Searching in Windows 8

20 Mar

Hi everyone,

Today I wanted to share some hints about searching in Windows 8.  I loved searching in Windows 7. It was a fast and easy way to find anything I needed.  Searching in Windows 8 is a little different, but just as fast and, I think, even easier.

One of the ways to search in Windows 8 (and this will always work, regardless of the app you have open at the moment), is to bring up the charms, and tap or click the search charm.

What are the charms?Screenshot (2)
That bar on the right side of the screen, those are the charms.  And the top one is search.  No matter where you are on the computer you can always bring up the charms and select search.

How do I bring up the charms and/or search?
Touch: Swipe from the right edge of the screen.  Tap search.
Mouse: Place your mouse in one of the right corners of the screen, the charms appear, move your mouse onto search, and left click.
Keyboard: Hold down the Windows Key and press the letter C to bring up the charms.
If you want to go straight to the search charm, then hold down the windows key and press the letter Q.
(If you’re wondering how to remember that it’s the letter Q, notice how a Q kind of looks like a magnifying glass, the universal symbol for search!)

REMEMBER!  No matter WHAT you’re doing on the computer, you can ALWAYS bring up the charms and search using one of the methods above.  That’s one of the things I love about Windows 8; no matter what I’m doing, I can always search the same way.

All of that being said, if you are using a keyboard with Windows 8, an even easier way to search for something, be it a file, app, or setting, is to just start typing on the start screen.  That’s right, if you’re on your start screen you don’t even have to select anything. Just start typing!

Here’s what happened when I typed “word” on my start screen.
Screenshot (16)
So it immediately searched for “word” in all my apps on the PC.  Now here’s where it’s a bit different from Windows 7.  If you typed “word” in the Windows 7 search, it would bring up a list of apps (like Word and WordPad), but it would also bring up a list of all your word documents or any file on the computer that had the word “word” in it, plus any settings that were associated with “word.” Depending on what you search for, this list of search results can be quite overwhelming to sift through.

In Windows 8 it only brings up the apps at first, but don’t worry, it has actually searched through the whole computer.
Screenshot (17)
In the screenshot above, I’ve zoomed in so you can see the different sections of search results that Windows 8 has for you: Apps, Settings, and Files.  As you can see, it has found items associated with “word” in all 3 sections.  The numbers next to each section tell you how many results there are (ie, there are 192 files that somehow include “word” in them).  With so many results I’m glad they’ve separated them by type of item, this makes it easier for me to find what I need.

Screenshot (18)
If you type in your search term it will bring the corresponding apps up first on your results list.  But simply tap or click “Settings” to see the results that are settings, like I’ve done above.

Screenshot (19)
And if you’re looking instead for files, then tap or click files and it will show you those.  Notice in the above screenshot that I have 192 files in my search results list, but it also divides them by type (ie, 136 documents, 2 music files, and 54 other types of files), that way I can narrow my search even further.

Screenshot (20)
If I realize I wanted to search for “word” in a specific app, I can scroll down and see a list of ALL my apps and choose the one I want to search in.

But what if you’re NOT on the Start Screen and you want to search?  For example, I’m looking around in the Windows Store and I want to find an app that will let me play the card game Spades?  If I already have my app open, no need to leave.
Screenshot (22)
I just need to bring up the charms and select search (I wrote the ways to do that at the top of this post), and then type the keyword I’m looking for, which, in this case, is “spades.”

Screenshot (23)
Since I’m already in the Store, it will immediately search within that app.  And now I’ve found some new games for me to play! 

If I was in another app, when I selected the search charm it would search through that app for my search term.

But even if I end up searching in the wrong place (ie, I’ve searched in the Windows Store, but I realize I want to search for something else, not an app in the Store), I can always click or tap one of the other options that shows up below (like Apps, Settings, Files, or even in one of my other apps).
Screenshot (24)

Remember, with Windows 8 apps, you can always access search, and all the areas of the PC that you can search through, using the Search charm!  Which means searching is easy and always in the same place!

Happy Searching!
Techspert Krista, ms Zuiderdam

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One Response to “Searching in Windows 8”

  1. Kathleen W. March 20, 2013 at 8:37 pm #

    Thank you Krista. I am on week 3 of my new Windows 8. This helped a lot. Looking forward to more!

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