Just about every Windows feature is bound to disappoint some users at some point, since it obviously can't be everything to everybody but has to try. Take the Windows Search feature: Does it always find exactly what you're looking for the first time, and quickly? Didn't think so. Many third-party apps tout enhanced search capabilities that go beyond what Windows offers. InSight Desktop Search is a free search engine for Windows that can quickly find what you're looking for anywhere in your system or network, and can also fetch information online from Wikipedia and other sites. But finding stuff is just part of what InSight does; it can also store Quick Launch shortcuts to quickly access files, programs, and Web links, and it's even a full-featured music player and jukebox.
InSight's Getting Started dialog explains how to set up and use the program, beginning with indexing your hard drives. We opened the program's tiny main view, clicked the settings icon, and then clicked each of our seven drive partitions to index them one by one, a process that took a few minutes. There's an icon to add or remove Outlook folders for searching, too; InSight will only search through specified Outlook mailboxes. The program's compact, expanding interface resides in the center top of your desktop view and displays a digital clock by default. Moving the cursor over the clock display changes it to a search field. We entered a search term and clicked Enter, and results quickly populated expandable categories for applications, media, documents, images, and miscellaneous; clicking any search result opened the item. Along the bottom of the interface there's a series of icons for directly searching Outlook mail, Wikipedia, and music files. We clicked the music icon, and the music search interface opened with built-in media player controls and a timer. We searched for a tune and clicked it in the results, and InSight played, paused, and otherwise performed just like any other music player.
We like InSight Desktop Search a lot, and it does a lot, especially when it comes to its main duty, improved searching. We wish you could drag it to other places on the desktop instead being limited to center top, especially since today's desktops have so much real estate. Still, InSight is a standout among free search tools.