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Summary:

Recently, one of my favorite desktop search tools–Copernic Desktop Search–has had a couple of good upgrades. If you haven’t used this free desktop search tool before, and especially if you maintain a large inbox in products such as Microsoft Outlook, it can be a very quick […]

Recently, one of my favorite desktop search tools–Copernic Desktop Search–has had a couple of good upgrades. If you haven’t used this free desktop search tool before, and especially if you maintain a large inbox in products such as Microsoft Outlook, it can be a very quick solution when you need to find things. It’s for more than just searching e-mail, though.

You can view an animated tour of how the application works at the Copernic site. While I initially started using it for searching my giant Outlook e-mail inbox, I’ve come to really appreciate its ability to search my desktop for targeted types of rich media.


Copernic Desktop Search sits in my Windows tray so that I can bring it up instantly whenever I need it. Some desktop search products that stay loaded in this way can start to degrade your system performance, but Copernic never gives me that problem. It’s been tuned for memory usage in recent updates.

Across a toolbar atop the application, you have a series of icons for e-mail searches, web searches, searching just for photos, music, videos, contacts and more. Typically, before you finish typing a word in, say, an e-mail you’re looking for, it will return what you need. You can also do an All search, which executes surprisingly quickly compared to doing a similar search using Windows.

In my experience with Gmail, searching for messages is very fast, but my Gmail archives aren’t as large as the ones I’ve built over the years in Outlook. If you too tire of waiting to find files in applications such as Outlook or in Windows, try Copernic.

Do you use a dedicated desktop search application? What’s your favorite?

  1. Definitely Copernic! I like it so much better than Google’s or Window’s desktop search. You can easily customize it (e.g., file types, folders) and see a preview of many file types.

    I don’t think that CDS gets as much good press as it deserves :)

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  2. Huh? Who keeps anything on their desktop? I thought this blog was Web Worker Daily, not Desktop Worker Daily.

    C’mon guys/gals. You’re slippin. Search for stuff on our desktop? Okay, here’s everything. Halo, SmartDraw, Some nicely organized website files, Windows Calculator… hmmm… did I miss anything?

    Oh yeah! iTunes. Who needs this old school junk? I’m starting to lose faith in WWD.

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  3. Copernic..Google…Windows…yuck…they’re all crap. Look, I’ve got about 50gb worth of text I need to search with some regularity. These things are toys — most choke on even a few gigs worth of text, much less tens of gigs.

    The only decent text search engine for Windows is DTSearch (http://dtsearch.com/). It ain’t cheap — $200 for the desktop version — but if you are serious about searching, this will find a needle in a haystack in a nano-second.

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  4. Saying that Copernic is free isn’t exactly true. Their FAQ is says: “The free version available for download is intended for home and personal use only. Commercial use is prohibited and requires a license [...]“.

    I was using it up until the beginning of March when they changed the license agreement from freeware.

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  5. Does it support offline pst files? I believe it doesn’t.

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  6. My favorite file finder is Locate32. Definitely much faster than Copernic. The downside is that it does not search for text inside a file like Copernic does.

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  7. My favourite search tool is Lookeen!(http://www.lookeen.net) Primarly a Outlook search, but you can also index all folders from your desktop or external archives, as well as you can search public folders! If you are using outlook Lookeen is the best choice, two things in one! :)

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