Thursday, April 7, 2011

Desktop Search Engines for the Forgetful

In recent years I have been desperately looking for a search engine that can deal with 20 plus years of electronic files that have built up on my desktop computer.  I’m sure that many of you have large amounts of documents, e-mails, and other files that in the “Age of Google”, should be instantly accessible.  In recent years I have tried several desktop search engines including ones from Microsoft, Google, and the ISYS (many years ago) and Copernic systems.  The only solution that I have found that meets my needs is named X1.  X1 started as the Yahoo search engine that was later developed for the individual desktop computer.  The X1 system has the ability to index both live and archived Microsoft Outlook e-mail as well as multiple versions of word processing documents including Microsoft Word, WordPerfect, and OpenOffice.  And once indexed, I can search the titles and the contents of the documents and files.  And of course I am able to restrict the search by a particular directory or date range.

Finally, I am not alone at the NCSC in using automated search.  We use the Google Search Appliance to index everything available on the Center’s website on multiple systems.  You can try out this search online at the main NCSC website.  The search “box” is located in the upper right corner of the page.

For a list of desktop search engines click here.

Happy searching.


  1. Hi James,

    I agree with you. Having tried a few desktop search engines I was very happy with Microsoft's Desktop Search as available for Windows XP. Then I got a computer with Win 7 and for whatever reason, the way in which searching has been implemented in Win 7 does not consistently achieve what I could in XP. And there is no comparable MS standalone search product for Win 7.

    After further exploration I found X1 and it does what I want a search engine to do. With X1, I reckon you could stop filing documents and emails! I am now trialling version 7 beta currently (Jan 2012) available for download from X1 web site.

  2. X1 has been rock solid for me. The big thing for me was the ability to index E-mail archive files. We have restrictions on the size of our Exchange mailboxes and so this solves the problem of saving project messages. Good luck with it!

  3. I actually enjoyed reading through this posting.Many thanks.

    Search Engine Optimization New Jersey