Search within files using Microsoft Windows

July 28th, 2004
Cool Scripts

I have used a bunch of tools over the years to try to search within files, folder and drives, but have yet to find something that works everywhere and in every case.

Lately, I have been using the Windows search tool (the one that comes default with the OS) with some success. So if you are on a Windows Platform, create an import.reg file with the following in it (where .phps is replaced with the extension of files you would like to search inside, such as .cfm .php or .xml). Multiple ones can be added by making copies of the registry key and replacing the extension.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00


Save, double click, say yes, reboot and voila, now it searches inside those files for you.

One little tip, try to edit with the default Windows editor or Notepad to get the best results.




  1. Chmouel (3 comments.) says:

    not to be too geeky, but grep + find under cygwin is cool as well to use if you got all the options that needs to be put on the command line in your brain.

  2. Podz (12 comments.) says:

    Thanks for this !
    You wouldn’t happen to know of a reliable tool that can do search and replace inside a zipped file would you ?

  3. blumagic says:

    Thanks so much! I’ve been trying for the longest to search through a mass of VB code.

  4. markdude says:

    Did not work for me after reboot :(
    I’ve windows xp sp3

    String enterd into reg file:
    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00


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