Thursday, March 27, 2008

Locate32 - A lightning fast, free alternative to Windows search

Locate32 Desktop File Search

Frustrated waiting for the Windows search utility to find that document that you wrote last year? You know it's there, but can't remember where you saved it.  Well, there is a solution. Locate32 can find any file on your hard drive (or network drive for that matter) almost instantaneously.  It does this by scanning your drive(s) and indexing all of your files into a database.  When you search for a file, Locate32 just has to locate the file you are looking for in its database.  This will take less than a second on most systems.

Using Locate32 is almost identical to the Windows search feature, with one exception.  After installing the program, you first need to update the database that the program uses.  The update process took only 1 min 10 secs on my PC, which has about 50 gigabytes of files on it.  Why the Windows search feature can't do this is beyond me.  Once the update was done, I launched a search for all of the html files on my computer by typing "*.html" in the search bar of Locate32. The search came back with a list of 1678 files in less than a second.

I tried the same search using the Windows search utility, and I cancelled it after 5 minutes - I'm not sure how long it would have taken to complete.  And during the Windows search, my cpu usage went to 100%, meaning I couldn't do anything else while waiting for the search to complete.

Locate32 can search for files by name, size, extension and date. You can choose to include or not include folder names in the search, and can search for text strings within files. The program includes a built-in scheduler, so you can schedule the database updates to run when you are not using the computer.  The program can be set to minimize to the task-tray, so it's always handy (this requires about 17K of memory, though).

The Bottom Line...

Definitely, give this program a try.  It's a much better replacement for the default Windows app, and even has a few features not found in the Windows utility.  Once you've set it up to automatically update the database, which only takes a few minutes, you'll never use the Windows file search utility again.  

Locate32 is compatible with Windows 98/ME/NT4/2000/XP/Vista, and can be dowloaded at Locate32 website (Click on "Downloads" in the left sidebar, and choose the top download from the list for the latest version).

Author's Note - If you need help downloading, installing or using this program (or any program reviewed on this site), just post a comment.  If I don't know the answer, I can probably find out for you.  


Mani said...

THanks for the review..I think I will try this.

Ginger said...

I recommend TheSearchMan.

unlike Everything , TheSearchMan’s database is encrypted and it doesn’t show ALL files at the startup.
The database of Everything is on the most wanted List of hackers as it lists all your files.

TheSearchMan is a mere 30 KB download.
It is portable also. That means NO INSTALLATION.

Unlike Everything or Locate32 which can only search in the index, TheSearchMan can do real searching,ie, in the drive with a super fast speed.

It searched my 50GB Seagate drive in a little over 2 seconds.
It has bagged many 5 stars and Top Software awards.

The interface of TheSearchMan is extremely simple.
Just enter the path and search criteria

TheSearchMan’s database is updated on the fly.

The home page is:

Its also been reviewed by ghacks and addictivetips.

Adriano said...

I use Locate 32 already on my Windows desktop - brilliant.

Want it for my Linux Ubuntu 9.10 system on my laptop, but can't find correct d/load and instructions. Can u help pls.


Adriano said...

Sorry, my last post re Locate 32 was without email address. grateful you notify on email below.


wrgb said...


As far as I can tell, there's no Linux version of Locate32. You might try Tracker, it's an excellent desktop search tool that is available in the Ubuntu Software Center.


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