Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

Locating a File

There are times when a file gets saved in the wrong location or you forget where on the computer you have saved the file. The ability to find a critical file that is lost can make – or – save your day.

Please note that these instructions are for users running Windows XP. It will be different for other operating systems, though only minimally so for other Windows versions.

Step: Using search

  1. Click your Start menu and choose Search.
  2. A search window will open up like the one below. Click on the type of file you wish to search for. In this example, we will search for a document.
  3. The menu on the left will then present you with more options, including the ability to use advanced search options:
  4. The advanced options give you the opportunity to search for text within the document if you cannot remember anything about the name you gave the file, but remember a distinctive word or phrase it contains. The advanced options also let you search a specific folder for the file.
  5. Click on the Search button when you’ve filled in all the criteria by which you wish to search.

Depending on your viewing settings, once your file has been found, you will be able to see where and in what folder the file was saved. You can also click on the file name and the file will open up, or you can rename or move the file as you see fit.