Fast, focused searching with UltraSearch | Download Product Review - CNET

Fast, focused searching with UltraSearch

Search NTFS runs fast without indexing with this free search tool.

The search tool built into Windows has gotten a lot better over the years, but many users still prefer a third-party search utility, especially a tool that doesn't use indexing. There are many standalone search tools to choose from, most of them freeware. UltraSearch from JAM Software is a free search tool optimized for NTFS drives. Instead of indexing, it searches your NTFS drive's Master File Table (MTF). It searches while you type, returning results almost instantaneously.

UltraSearch has a compact, efficient layout in a medium-size, draggable window. It's a very simple tool: you see a search entry field, and a results list displaying file type, last accessed, size, and other data in draggable, rotating, customizable headings. In the bottom panel, UltraSearch displays your disk drives, their total size, and free space as a percentage and a bar graph.

The Use Exclude Filter feature is selected by default. We clicked it, and a small dialog appeared with the Recycle bin and other locations selected. We could add other default filters or create our own patterns. For example, we would exclude DLL files by typing "*.dll" and clicking Add Pattern. To exclude any filter, we simply had to uncheck its box. If that's not easy enough, just click Help (F1) to open the users' manual. Search results can be saved and exported as text, CSV, and Excel files.

We tried a wide range of searches in our NTFS drives, both solid-state drive and hard-drive types, using a variety of search patterns, such as searching our C drive for stray images by entering "*.jpg" and excluding thumbnails by creating a filter. UltraSearch proved one of the fastest search tools we've yet tried, whether we were searching one drive or three. Right-clicking any result accessed a full Windows context menu that let us open the item's containing folder, rename it, open the item, open it with a different program, or scan it with our antivirus software; cut, copy, delete, or move it; print, save, and copy the results list; and much more. UltraSearch's blistering speed makes it a great choice for SSD users who disable drive indexing.

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