Microsoft Windows Desktop Search Syntax

Microsoft Windows Desktop Search is a decent tool to index all your files and emails and search them. Unfortunately the user interface is too minimal lacking even a help menu that allows you check on syntax etc. So here below is some info on the advance search syntax that you can use with Microsoft Windows Desktop Search. My explanation is focused on searching email since I use Microsoft Windows Desktop Search primarily in conjunction with Outlook.

You can combine search terms using the keywords “NOT” and “OR” (use in upper-case, default is to “and”). You can’t combine multiple keywords in the same query. Use parentheses to group words that need to be separated by the keyword (NOR, OR).

one thing Look for all sources containing the words “one” and “thing” (case and order insensitive)
one NOT other All sources containing “one”, but not “other” (case-insensitive)
one OR other All sources containing “one”, “other” or both (case-insensitive)
“one thing” All sources containing the exact phrase “one thing” (case-insensitive)
hasattachment:true,hasattachment:false All sources containing (if ‘true’ specified) or not containing (if ‘false’ specified’) attachments. Can be combined with other search terms.
isattachment:true,isattachment:false Sources that are (true) or are not (false) attachments. Use this in conjunction with a search term to only look inside the attachment, but not the source containing the attachment itself.
date:, before:, after: Use to specify dates. You can use the following terms “yesterday”, “today”, “tomorrow”, “thisweek”, “nextweek”, “lastweek”, “thismonth”, “nextmonth”, “pastmonth”, “lastmonth”, “thisyear”, “lastyear”. You can also give names of months and names of days (in which case it refers to the current year or the past week). Also you can give dates in mm/dd/yyyy format. You can specify years by themself too. You can preceed the date with the greater-than (‘>’) or less-than (‘<‘) sign to specify ranges. You can include two dates to when preceeding the date with the greater-than or less-than signs. e.g. date:>1/1/2008<1/31/2008.
subject:, from:, cc:, bcc:, to:, received:, sent: Use to search specific fields of an e-mail. The date type fields can use specifiers as for the “date:” syntax.

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