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How to Find a File You've Lost on Your Computer
by Gail Eddy

For me, there is nothing more frustrating than not to be able to find the very important Excel spreadsheet I was working on just last week. Where did I file it? What name did I give it when I saved it? Luckily, Iapostropheve got a helper to find what Iapostropheve lost - if I can only remember some of the pertinent details!

  1. To find a file, first open Windows Explorer. (The easiest way to do this is to press the key with the "Windows" symbol and the letter "E" at the same time.)
  2. Click on the folder where you think the document might be located. If youapostrophere not sure where it could be, click on "My Documents". (For the purpose of this explanation, weapostrophell use "My Documents".)
  3. Next, on the top toolbar, click on "File", then "My Documents", then "Search".
  4. Then, enter everything you can remember about your lost file.
  5. In "All or part of the file name", enter the type of file:
    a.For a Word file, enter ".doc"
    b.For an Excel file, enter ".xls"
    c.For a web page, enter ".htm"
    d.You can also enter anything you remember about what you named the document.
  6. In "A Word or Phrase in the File", enter any word or words that appear in the body of the document.
  7. If you remember approximately when you last saved the file, click on "When was it modified". Then select the appropriate timeframe - last week - last month, etc.
  8. Then click "Search". All the documents which match your criteria will appear.
    a.If there are too many files, add more criteria. Itapostrophes okay to enter multiple words in "A Word or Phrase in the File"
    b.If the file youapostrophere looking for doesnapostrophet appear, remove some of the criteria youapostropheve entered. Keep doing this until your document appears.
    c.If it still doesnapostrophet appear, itapostrophes possible that you didnapostrophet save the document that you worked on. I find that it is best to give a file a name as soon as I start working on it and then to save often! Use the Keyboard Shortcut [<CTRL> S] to save your document easily and quickly.

About the author:

Geek For Hire, Inc. provides Computer Troubleshooting and repair throughout the US and Canada and onsite support in the Greater Denver/Boulder area. Our ideal customer is a woman running her own small business. Geek For Hire wants you to be Outrageously Happy with your computer system! For more information on Geek For Hire, please visit