Microsoft: How To Search On Windows 8 – File Search, Settings Search, App Search

Earlier this week, Microsoft published a blog post on the Building Windows 8 blog that talks about how the search has been improved in Windows 8 and how you can now search for files, settings and apps.

Windows 8 full screen settings search results

The Different Search Types On Windows 8: File Search, Settings Search, App Search

windows 8 types of search

Windows 8 has the following different types of search — file search, settings search and app search. Each of these have their own short cuts too — WIN+W for searching through settings, WIN+F for files and WIN+Q for applications search. Another very intuitive way of searching through apps is simply to start typing whilst you are on the new Start Screen. This will immediately begin to filter through all your installed apps and show you apps matching your query. Also, the more you use this feature, the more the system will learn which apps you use more often. These frequently used apps will be placed higher than other apps that also match the query. An example used by Microsoft is this:

For example, if you type “paint” in the developer preview you get 2 apps back as search results – PaintPlay and Paint. If you predominantly just use Paint, it will be ranked higher than PaintPlay as you use it more often.

WIN+R still brings up the traditional run command and it will switch to desktop view automatically. Run does everything that it has been doing so far. So overall, it has been an overall improvement without destroying features that were already useful.

Faster, More Efficient Searching On Windows 8

Continuing their efforts at having a transparent dialogue with the Windows user and developer communities, Microsoft pointed out exactly how search on Windows 7 was inefficient and limited. The organization of search results was unpredictable because it panned several different types of data like apps, emails, files, etc. This data is now organized in Windows 8 by having different search types instead of just one unified search. Windows 8 also interacts differently with search data.

Windows 8 has an ‘app-first’ approach when it comes to indexing data for quick search results. It asks developers to present their app’s data to Windows 8 for indexing; making sure that it is properly filtered, categorized data that contributes to a rich search experience. Since search will now receive an organized set of data from apps, the results will be better organized and more relevant to what you are looking for.


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