How do I save and refine desktop searches in Microsoft Windows Vista?

By Mark Kaelin

Searching .doc

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One of the more useful features of Microsoft Windows Vista is the built-in desktop search capability. In theory, you can type in a word or two into the search box on the start menu and get to any application, file, or folder you want, which should save you time and frustration from perusing the program folders tree made famous in Windows XP. The even more useful thing about the Vista desktop search is that you can save your searches and use them in the future to find exactly what you want when you want it. This feature adds a significant layer of organization to what can become, in a world where 250GB hard drives are common, a chaotic mess of files and folders. This How do I... shows you how to save your Vista searches using advanced options to hone the search to just find what you are actually looking for.

Starting a search
Starting a search is about as simple a procedure as you'll ever find in Windows Vista. Click the Start button and type your search term. In this screenshot, I have opted to search for .doc.

By Mark Kaelin

Mark W. Kaelin has been writing and editing stories about the IT industry, gadgets, finance, accounting, and tech-life for more than 25 years. Most recently, he has been a regular contributor to,, and TechRepublic.