How to Search for All Pictures on a Computer in Windows 7

By Nick Peers

Here is how you can search the entire computer for pictures and filter the results by using advanced search parameters: date, file name and size.

Microsoft Windows includes a powerful search tool -- Windows Search -- that can help you find anything on your computer, including pictures. Windows Search accepts various parameters so that you can customize your search and find only files of a specific type.

Tip

  • Windows can find images in all known formats, including JPEG, GIF, PNG,TIFF and BMP.
  • Image files used by the operating system orvarious applications are also displayed. You can filter the search results by specifying minimum and maximum file sizes.

Step 1

Click the Start button and then click Computer to launch Windows Explorer. Although you can search using the Search box in the Start menu, Windows Explorer supports the selection of specific folders and drives for your search, to narrow results.

Step 2

Selecting the Pictures option from the Search menu.

Select the partition or folder to search in from the left pane. To search the entire hard drive, select Computer. Type kind: (including the colon) into the Search box and then click Picture to search for all pictures on your PC. The images are displayed in the right pane.

Tip

  • You can search for specific image formats like JPG or PNG by typing *.JPG or *.PNG into the Search field in Windows Explorer. Replace JPG or PNG with the file type you want to find.
  • Finding all pictures on your computer may take some time, depending on the size of your hard drive and the Windows Index settings.
  • To preview images directly in Windows Explorer without opening them in Photo Gallery, change the view to Large Icons or Extra Large Icons.

Step 3

Specifying the minimum and maximum file size.

Limit the number of search results and eliminate many of the images that came with the operating system or various applications by specifying the minimum and maximum file sizes.

Type size:>xMB size:<yMB after the kind:=picture parameter and replace x and y with the minimum and maximum file size, respectively.

Step 4

Searching by date in Windows.

If you know approximately when the pictures were taken or downloaded, you can search by date. Type datetaken: after the kind:=picture parameter, and select a date or choose one of the other options -- Earlier This Year or Earlier This Month, for example.

Tip

You can find images that contain specific words anywhere in their name by appending the filename:~="word" parameter to the search. For example, many digital camera photos contain the word DSC or IMG in their name.