How to search a word inside multiple files in Windows 10

In this post, we will share tools and Windows inbuilt service to help you search a word inside multiple files in Windows 10. While Windows 10 offers a powerful search, especially compared to Windows 7, sometimes the complexity is such that Windows 10 default search might not work. So we will have to use third-party applications to meet the need. On top of that, Windows 10 search doesn’t offer flexible UI as other tools.

How to search a word inside multiple text or binary files

How to search a word inside multiple files in Windows 10

  1. Windows 10 Search
  2. PGrep utility
  3. Text Crawler
  4. wReplace

1] Using Windows 10 to search text in files

If you want to use Windows 10 to find text in a file, then you have two options. First is to use the Start menu if you’re going to do a global search or open the folder in file explorer, and then do a search which will be limited to that folder. Windows 10 can do this if the option to  Index Properties and File Contents is enabled.

  • Type indexing in the Start menu, and click on Indexing options when it appears
  • Then click on Advanced> File Types
  • Click on the option “Index properties and file contents.”

Windows Indexing File Contents

If you have enabled it for the first time, you should wait for the indexing to complete. To find text in a file, follow these steps

  • Open File Explorer
  • Type the content you are looking in the search box, and you should see a list of files appearing. Hit enter to view the result in File Explorer.

In case you are not able to find, read our guide on how to fix Windows 10 file indexing issues.

2] PGrep utility

If the Windows search is not helpful, then you will need to use third-party software, especially to find complex words. PRGrep is a free utility that allows you to search for a word or phrase in single or multiple text files. The output gives a clear idea in several lines, a complete path, and highlights wherever it is present.

Features of PGrep Word finding software

  • Supports text search in files that are located in subdirectories.
  • Multiple File search both text and binary.
  • Its free and can be downloaded.
  • It allows you to save your search parameters for re-usability.
  • Export your search result in .csv,.txt, excel, and XML format.
  • Allows you to open the files which are found in search result directly from the application in one click.
  • It uses Grep utility, which is one of the most advanced search functions used for the same purpose; the results are very accurate.

I find this utility very handy for any class of people. It’s a boon to people who are not tech-savvy and find it challenging to look for the word in this situation. Do you use a search tool? If you have better or similar software, do tell us in comments.

Download PGrep word search utility

3] Text Crawler

search word multiple files

Using this software, you can search, delete, insert, and replace text across files in any subfolder. It supports Regular expression in case your documents are complex or when you try to scan large files. More on Text Crawler.

4] wReplace

Multiple Word replace

This application lets you add multiple words that are searched in the document, and for each of them, a replacement can be set, and then all of it can be run in one go. Replace All in short. More on wReplace.

I hope these tools were easy to use, and you are now able to find words inside text files.

1 COMMENT

  1. How do I do a batch search in a directory full of multiple Word files to discover if there are any jpg, jpeg, or bmp files in them? I need to generate a report of what Word files contain any images.

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