In this era of Internet, most people are frequent users of
computers. Many of us use computers through out the day,
accumulating morasses of information in various formats, which
include email, digital photo, word document, spreadsheet,
presentation file, ebook, article, other downloaded files,
music, visited web pages, and many others. We stuff them in
multiple folders in our PC. Before we know it, our hard drives
become a storeroom of misplaced items. As a result, finding a
needed file of information some times become a daunting task!
The search function integrated to Microsoft Windows is not a
big help either. It requires you to know, albeit vaguely,
where the file could possibly be located. If your data storage
is significant and you made a search on your whole hard disk,
it might take ages to get search results and, then again, there
is no guarantee that you will find the right file. Frustrating?
Thanks to new Google Desktop Search this is about to change!
What is Google Desktop Search?
Google Desktop Search is a free downloadable small program,
which will quickly and easily find your files no matter where
in your hard disk they are stored. The great thing about this
program is by making your computer searchable, this program
frees you from having to manually organize and sort your files,
emails, and downloads. You no more have to mull over where in
your PC the information you are looking for is residing – in
your email, files or web pages that you browsed recently.
At present Google Desktop Search works only with the full text
in Outlook and Outlook Express email, text, HTML, Word, Excel
and PowerPoint files, AOL chat, and Web pages viewed through
Internet Explorer. Other files like PDF will be probably added
in future version.
How it works?
Google Desktop Search is fairly easy to download and set up.
The address for downloading the program is
Once you installed the program, it begins initial indexing
process of your hard disks. This may take several hours for
an average size disk. The one-time indexing process only works
when the computer has been idle for more than thirty seconds.
Indexing for Google Desktop Search is an ongoing process,
new files and emails get updated automatically. The search
index created by the program resides on your own computer.
On your system tray you will see a swirled icon in Google
colors, by clicking on it you will open the regular Google
search page with the addition of Desktop along side with other
search areas. Once the indexing is done, files are searched
in under a second and the results are impressively precise.
The top bar shows quantities of files found under the four
categories, which include emails, files, chat and Web history.
The results are shown in much the same way as regular Google
interface. You can choose to see relevant results from all
or any of the categories. You can also sort results by
relevance or by date. By clicking on any result you open
the file in respective application software.
The email query results are the best! No longer have you
had to remember in which folder you stored the email written
to John in reference to Peter. By searching for Peter or John,
you will find all relevant emails and related correspondence.
You can read and answer to any of the discovered email from
the thread. This really saves time when you need to follow up
to a large numbers of emails each day.
There are two more text buttons next to the search field.
One is Desktop Preferences and other is Remove Items. Desktop
preferences allow you to choose the types of files you would
like the program to include in its index out of available ones.
You can also point out not to index specific folders from
your hard disk. If you share your PC with others, it’s a
good idea to eliminate your private folders from the Desktop
index. You can also specify not to index certain websites
from your cached web history as well. The Remove items
button allow you to eliminate selected results from the
The advance search option allows you to search by phrase by
putting the phrase within quotation marks, to eliminate a word
from search by putting a minus sign in front of the word, to
search by file type, and to search within a web URL. A neat
feature is to integrate your desktop search with your web search.
This is very handy if you have already done an extensive search
for some information and after a few days doing search for
similar information once again.
By default, Google Desktop Search collects a limited amount
of non-personal information from your computer and sends it
to Google. This includes summary information, such as the
number of searches you do and the time it takes for you to
see your results, etc. You can opt out of sending this
information during the installation process or from the
no personally identifying information, such as your name or
address, will be sent to Google without your explicit prior
What is missing?
I bemoan not having PDF files in the search process as yet.
I have dozens of e-books and PDF whitepapers residing in my
PC, and I really would prefer to have them indexed. That way,
I’d have been able to read materials, when I needed them most.
The other thing I want to see is clustered result of my query,
which shows organized search results into meaningful
hierarchical folders similar to the way Vivisimo search engine
works. This clustering is particularly helpful for desktop
search, as this allows us to see other relevant documents
connected to the searched word.
Due to Google’s immense popularity as a search engine, it’s
logical that most users will prefer Google’s desktop search
program as oppose to other similar programs, such as Copernic
and Hotbot. Finally you can search your very own computer
with similar ease and preciseness as you have been searching
the Internet for quite some time.