Before Google discontinued it in 2010 on dubious grounds I used Google Desktop Search, had a few plugins, and I liked the fact that it could be accessed by browser and also you could browse a text version of the indexed document.

Although I found the old versions, they no longer work.

Is there a Google Desktop Search replacement for Windows that works pretty much like GDS used to?

3 Answers 3


After a few days of trying and surveying desktop searching alternatives, although not mentioned on Wikipedia I found the Regain opensource project which shares most of the Google Desktop Search options and is also opensource and still in development (full features list here).

Short Description

Regain is a Java search engine based on Jakarta Lucene. It provides indexing and searching files for plenty of formats (HTML,XML,doc(x),xls(x),ppt(x),oo,PDF,RTF,mp3,mp4,Java). A TagLibrary eases integrating search results in your JSP based web page.

Main features in common with GDS being:

  • web server
  • tray icon
  • cached version of the indexed file
  • search keywords
  • can support additional formats (regain supports I-Filter)

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You can try Lookeen. Since Version 10 it is a pure desktop search and has a free "lite" version.

Disclaimer: I’m a part of the company that developed Lookeen.


There are multiple other desktop search applications. I've found this list from Wikipedia very exhaustive but I've found that Copernic and Lookeen offer the most complete as free version. You can however use a file search if you do not want to search emails. It always depends on what you are looking for on your computer and which other productivity tools you use.

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