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Windows file search capabilities are certainly limited, to put it mildly. Looking for large files or duplicate files is simply out of the question. LookDisk not only covers that essential lack efficiently, but it also does it for free. It can even locate specific text strings within PDF and text-based file on your disks, as well as find files within archives without extracting them first. All the search operations it offers are fully configurable to meet the most demanding needs.
The program’s interface is not the most attractive one, but it’s highly functional. Some tabs show similar GUIs when opened, which may be a bit confusing for inexperienced users, though it only takes a few searches and – if in doubt – a quick glance at the tabs (simply to check which one is active) to get familiar with the program’s extensive functionality.
Though the program’s name may lead you to believe that you’re dealing with a disk management tool, this is actually a program to look for files of a certain size, name, type or attribute (or a mixture of any of those) or to look for text within files among the thousands of GB of data available in today’s disks. Actually, when it comes to disks, all that LookDisk offers you is an overview of the units connected to your computer. Here you can check how much free space they have left and a few basic data about their type. In this same tab (Disks Overview) is where you’ll find the option to look for the X largest files on your disk(s), so that you can see for yourself which files are taking the most space and decide accordingly.
The bulk of the program’s functionality is therefore devoted to finding files. You will see three tabs – one to Find Duplicate files, a second one to Search Text, and a third one to Search Files. You can locate duplicates either by looking for identical file names or by checking their contents. You can use all kind of wildcards to build your search, and even tell the program to look into any archives (or only into archives with the extensions of your choice) and into all disks or selected ones. Search Files displays a nearly identical interface, and the choices here don’t differ much from the ones used to find dupes.
Searching for a text string, though, is a completely different matter. Search Text will let you choose disks, folders (with or without their subfolders), file size, attributes, modification dates, etc. Alternatively, you can tell the program to ignore specific drives, folders, and subfolders, as well as specific file names or types. The possibilities here, as you can see, are endless. Add to it all kinds of wildcards and filenames combinations and you’ll understand the high level of flexibility and versatility of this highly useful free utility.
LookDisk may not be one of those apps you will be using every day, but given the sizes of our internal and external disks today and the amount of files they hold, it is one of those tools we tend to overlook and then end up missing more often than not.
- Looks for duplicate files
- Looks for files using an accurate combination of filters
- Finds text within various kinds of text-based files
- Searches for files within all the most common archive files
- Its repetitive interface design may look confusing at times