Search for Windows Files Faster with Locate32

February 18, 2008 – 11:00 pm

Compared to any UNIX-based operating system search function, I can say that the Windows search / find function is taking too much time to return search results. If you are a good Linux user, you may have used the “updatedb” and “locate” command which make the process of finding a particular file a breeze. When ran, the updatedb command will search for all files inside a file system and build indexes based on it. To find a file, a user will run the locate command plus the file name. With this method, search results will appear almost instantaneously .

Thankfully, some good people out there had created a clone of “updatedb” and “locate” for Windows. True to the spirit of open source, they made it freeware and name it Locate32. From what I’ve seen, it really helps to search Windows files and folders faster than ever before.



How Does Locate32 Works?

First things first! You need to download Locate32. Once installed, you need to run the “Update Databases” command from the “File” menu. This process is similar to the “updatedb” command above, which is needed to build file indexes that will be used for search. Once the indexing process had finished, you can start looking up files from the Locate32 user interface as in a normal Windows search operation.


Locate32 Features

Locate32 offers powerful Windows file search features as listed below:

  • Fast, near instantaneous search results.
  • Filter search results by extension, sub directories, file sizes, date, character case and more.


  • Search files by group type – image type, text type, archive, etc.
  • Wildcard search support.
  • Mathematical operator support for better search results – you can use + or – minus if you like.
  • Updatedb auto-indexing during startup – the indexing process needs to be updated regularly so you can find newly added files with the locate command.
  • Updatedb scheduled indexing support.
  • Shell context menu – the “Locate” function can be auto added to your right click menu.
  • Multiple index database support – you can have different index database for different partition of hard disks inside your computer.
  • Network drives search support.
  • Locate32 can also be auto started with Windows.
  • Powerful, customizable keyboard shortcuts.


Do check out Options -> Settings on the Locate32 menu bar for more options to tweak that can help refine your search results. Try Locate32 today and believe me, it is one of the freeware that you wish Windows are supposed to have it built-in inside (and understand why the IT geek always said that Unix can do powerful things that Windows can’t). Enjoy a faster Windows file search today!

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  1. 10 Responses to “Search for Windows Files Faster with Locate32”

  2. Looks like a nifty utility, I do search for files and folders.

    By Nirmal on Feb 19, 2008

  3. Interesting. I wish I can learn Unix.
    Thanks for sharing.

    By Yoko on Feb 20, 2008

  4. For some reason the link hasn’t worked try this (Copernic) link

    By jsanderz on Feb 20, 2008

  5. It is a must have tool I agree 100%.

    By Jawwad on Feb 20, 2008

  6. Its a useful tool . Windows takes too much time in searching my 240 Gb hard disk.

    By Madhur Kapoor on Feb 25, 2008

  7. We have WIndows Search 4.0 which is now much fater then older windows Search.Thought its optional Updates for Windows XP i.e we need to download from Microsoft Update site

    By BlogsDNA on Jul 22, 2008

  8. I love this utility! Vista’s search SUCKS (doesn’t work right), runs like a pig, and beats the drives to death (I have since disabled it). However, Locate32 runs just as fast as ‘locate’ does on my Linux box. [Note that Locate32 also includes a command line utility named Locate.exe.] Remember that you can use the Vista task scheduler (taskschd.msc) to automatically run Updtdb32.exe each night.

    I’d pay 40 bucks for this tool, but it’s free!

    By Reaper217 on Nov 20, 2008

  9. Locate32 sucks just as badly. I’ve grown sick of seeing “cannot open database file”. Maybe the search function of Vista and Win 7 sucks but locate 32 is not the answer… it truly suck as badly.

    By whatever on Jul 8, 2010

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