Google Desktop Search – no more agonizing searches for lost documents


This weekend I installed the Google Desktop Search tool. It is currently in Beta, it is free, about 400K in size and can be downloaded from After you have downloaded and installed (within a minute) it starts scanning the files on your harddisk: Word, Excel and Powerpoint, HTML, text files such as Java and Outlook Mail. You can interupt this indexing process at any time – it will automatically resume when there is Idle Cpu time available.

As soon as the indexing has started, you can start searching for documents. It is Google as you know it – but running locally against local data!

And it is FAST. I have never liked the Windows Explorer Search – slow and never able to return exactly what I was looking for. With Google I find my documents within seconds, from my emails to my Office documents and even the webpages I have visited in the past (yes, it also indexes the webpages from my browser’s cache!).

I have never been one for hardware gadgets or software goodies and I have certainly never before written about one in this weblog. But I really would like to recommend this Google Desktop Search!

About Author

Lucas Jellema, active in IT (and with Oracle) since 1994. Oracle ACE Director and Oracle Developer Champion. Solution architect and developer on diverse areas including SQL, JavaScript, Kubernetes & Docker, Machine Learning, Java, SOA and microservices, events in various shapes and forms and many other things. Author of the Oracle Press book Oracle SOA Suite 12c Handbook. Frequent presenter on user groups and community events and conferences such as JavaOne, Oracle Code, CodeOne, NLJUG JFall and Oracle OpenWorld.


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  2. For those who are not security conscious, you may like to know that Google announced the Production Release 1.0: GoogleBlog – Taking the plungeMonday, March 07, 2005 –

    We seem to be famous (or infamous) for never taking our products out of beta — the software equivalent of commitment issues, perhaps. But in one case, at least, we’re taking the plunge: Google Desktop Search has been kicked out of the Google Labs nest, and is officially 1.0.

    We’ve been listening to your suggestions, and this release is crammed with our responses. You can now search your computer for PDFs and media files like MP3s, JPGs and GIFs, video files and so on (Desktop Search even indexes your media files’ meta-info, so you can search for artist and file names, song titles, etc). And version 1.0 supports the Thunderbird and Mozilla email clients, Firefox browser — and Chinese and Korean languages. There’s a new floating deskbar you can place anywhere on your desktop, too. To better protect your personal info, Desktop Search won’t search password-protected Office files. And serious geeks can now search cool new filetypes and create customized apps with the Google Desktop Search API.

  3. Zeger Hendrikse on

    The windows standard search is a nightmare indeed! I’m definitely going to install the Google browser on my Windows XP partition. Under Linux, I’ll stick to “locate”, “find”, “xargs” and “grep” 🙂

  4. I have tried Filehand (free desktop search tool). It provides also PDF file scanning and can allow you to define any extensions as scannable text file. So index your sql, jsp or java file is not a problem 🙂

    Unfortunatly I’m too organized for this kind of tool, I bearly use it for my daily work.

  5. Windows Explorer Search in Windows XP is completely broken. I got so desperate that I was using “findstr /s” to get accurate results! Google Desktop has really been useful. Wished it indexed my .sql files, though.