Have you ever struggled to find a folder on your computer, buried deep within a maze of files and folders? Windows 11 has an easy-to-use search feature that can help you quickly find the folder you need. However, the default search function in Windows 11 often returns too many results, which can include both files and folders, making it difficult to locate the right folder. In this article, we’ll show you how to search for folders only by name in Windows 11 using File Explorer, the built-in file management application.
We’ll also cover how to refine your search with advanced query syntax, save your search criteria for future use, and search for folders using the Start menu search bar or Total Commander, a powerful third-party file manager. By the end of this article, you’ll have the tools to streamline your search process and find the folders you need with ease, whether you’re a student, professional, or casual computer user.
Introduction to Windows 11 Search
Windows 11 introduces a sleek, modern interface that is both visually appealing and highly functional. Its built-in search features are no exception, with enhanced search capabilities that make locating your files and folders a breeze. The advanced search functionality in Windows 11 allows you to fine-tune your search criteria, saving you time and effort.
Also see: How to Search Only Video Files in Windows 11
Using File Explorer to search for folders by name
File Explorer is the built-in file management application in Windows 11, and it’s the primary tool you’ll use to search for folders by name. Here’s how to search for folders only using File Explorer:
- Press the Win + E keys on your keyboard to open File Explorer.
- Navigate to the location where you want to start your search. If you want to search your entire computer, select “This PC” in the left pane.
- Click on the search box in the upper-right corner of the File Explorer window.
kind:foldersfollowed by the folder name you’re searching for. For example, if you’re searching for a folder named “Vacation Photos,” type
kind:folders Projectand press
File Explorer will display the results matching your search criteria, showing only folders with the specified name.
Related issue: Windows 11 Search Slow? How to Speed Up Search in File Explorer
Refining your search with advanced query syntax
Windows 11 supports Advanced Query Syntax (AQS), allowing you to add precision and specificity to your search queries. You can use AQS to refine your search further and locate folders with specific attributes. Here are a few examples of AQS filters you can use in combination with “kind:folders“:
name:("Family Photos")– Search for folders with the exact name “Family Photos.”
name:~=("family photos")– Search for folders with names that are similar to “family photos,” such as “Family_Photos” or “familyphotos.”
datecreated:01/01/2023..01/31/2023– Search for folders created between January 1, 2022, and January 31, 2022.
To use these filters in combination with “kind:folders“, separate them with a space. For example,
kind:folders name:("Family Photos") datecreated:01/01/2023..01/31/2023.
Useful tip: How to Search for Text in Files on Windows 11
Saving your search for future use
If you find yourself frequently searching for specific folders, you can save your search criteria for future use. To do this, follow these steps:
- After performing a search in File Explorer, right-click any empty space in the search results and select “Show more options“.
- In the context menu, select “Save Search.”
- Choose a location to save your search, and give it a descriptive name.
- Click “Save.”
The saved search will be stored as a
.search-ms file in the specified location. To reuse this search, simply double-click the saved
.search-ms file, and File Explorer will display the search results based on the saved criteria.
Recommended resource: Change Windows 11 Start Menu Search to Google
Searching for folders using Start menu search bar
Windows 11 also allows you to search for folders directly from the Start menu search bar located in the taskbar. To do this, follow these steps:
- Click on the magnifying glass icon on the taskbar or press Win + S to open the search bar.
folder:followed by the folder name you’re searching for. For example, if you’re searching for a folder named “Games,” type
folder: Gamesand press
The search results will display only folders with the specified name. If you’re looking for a more specific search, you can combine this method with the Advanced Query Syntax mentioned in the previous section.
Relevant concern: Windows 10/11 Start Menu Search Can’t Find Anything
Utilizing Total Commander for folder search
Total Commander is a powerful third-party file manager that offers advanced search capabilities, making it an excellent alternative for locating folders by name in Windows 11. To search for folders using Total Commander (
https://www.ghisler.com/download.htm), follow these steps:
- Launch Total Commander.
- Press Alt + F7 on your keyboard to open the “Find Files” dialog.
- In the “Search for” field, enter the folder name you’re searching for.
- Under “Search in,” select the location where you want to search for the folder. To search your entire computer, choose the root directory (e.g.,
- Next, go to the “Advanced” tab and check the box next to “Attributes”.
- Then, click on the checkbox next to ‘Directory’ until a checkmark appears.
- Click “Start Search” to begin the search.
Total Commander will display a list of folders matching your search criteria. You can double-click on any folder in the search results to open it in Total Commander.
Creating shortcuts to frequently used folders
If you find yourself frequently accessing specific folders, consider creating shortcuts to save time and effort. To create a shortcut to a folder, follow these steps:
- Locate the folder you want to create a shortcut for in File Explorer.
- Right-click the folder, select “Show more options” and then choose “Create shortcut.”
- A new shortcut will appear in the same location as the original folder. Drag and drop this shortcut to your desktop, taskbar, or any other convenient location.
By creating shortcuts, you’ll have quick access to your most important folders without having to search for them each time.
Whether you’re using the built-in search features of Windows 11 or opting for third-party tools, it’s essential to understand how to fine-tune your search queries to locate the folders you need without getting lost in a sea of files. By mastering these tips and tricks, you can ensure that finding the information you need in Windows 11 is always a breeze.
Remember that as you continue to use your computer, your folder organization may change, and new folders will be added. Regularly updating your saved searches and folder shortcuts will ensure that your search experience remains efficient and productive.