Finding Stuff in Windows 10–Just Search


I hear so many people saying “I can’t find anything in Windows 10!”  “I spend all my time just trying to navigate in Windows 10 and I can’t get anything done.”

If you understand how Search works, you don’t ever need to navigate.  As in Windows 8, and 7 before that, you just click the start menu, type what you’re looking for, and then click on the item you want in the search results.

Ask me anything = Search Box

In Windows 10, when you click the Start menu, you’ll see a space that says, “Ask me anything.” If you click the microphone icon, you can talk to Cortana. But, if you type in this space it is a regular Search box.

In Windows 10, when I want to use a program on my computer, I click the Start menu (or use the Window key) and start typing what I wanted, e.g. Picasa, the Picasa program would show up on the search results and I clicked on it. You can search for an application, a document, a picture, or even a computer setting.  Let’s say you want to change the background of your Start Screen but you don’t know how.

  1. Just click the Start button in the lower left, the Windows Logo key image.
  2. Type Background.  It will search for the word “Background” and show you the results by displaying the  Apps that match the word, the files that match, and the settings that match.  Click where it says Background Settings, and it will take you right there. There’s no need for you to learn that you can go to Start->Settings->Personalization, and Background. Just search for Background!

This even works for things like shutting down your computer – just type shutdown and you’ll see a search result for “Turn off your PC.”  When you click on that, you’ll see the Power button in the lower right.  That’s how you turn it off.

Search is fast, and Search is powerful.  Don’t remember where you stored that letter to Uncle Paul?  While viewing the start screen, just type Paul – I’ll bet your letter will show up in the search results. If you want to get to the File system of your computer, just type File.

Don’t navigate, just search.