I search an alternative to Windows Search for fast indexed fulltext search in text files, source code, ebooks (pdf, fb2, djvu) and, maybe, office formats.

I don't want to use standard Windows Search, because this is a very heavy load on the system and drive.

If possible, the program must be free/gratis and portable.

What I found

  • I found very fast tool Everything, but it doesn't create index of file content (only names), and the author has no plans to add this functionality.

  • I found very good index searcher DocFetcher, but it needs Java.

  • There are some commercial apps like Copernic and Archivarius, but these programs are closed source and not free, besides, they are rather difficult to use.

2 Answers 2


I use Agent Ransack. I think it's a nice complementary to Search Everything and I use both in parallel, because they serve different things: file content search and file name search.

Agent Ransack does not maintain an internal index. Instead, it searches the contents of the files on the fly. It will read file contents as fast as it can and do the searching multithreaded (8 threads on my machine), so it's still very fast. I'm using it for years and I'm very happy with its speed.

It's not directly portable, but you can install it once and then copy the installation directory.

It's gratis, not open source, and you need to register for free.

Agent Ransack Screenshot

If you want even faster searches with indexing, they have File Locator Pro for ~50 USD. But it seems you dislike such solutions.

  • 1
    Unfortunately, this is not a free tool. Furthermore, the index search does not work with most types of plaintext files (like .ini, .cpp) automatically. I have to manually specify all the file types that can contain text, this isn't comfortable. Mode *. * Indexing works very slowly and inaffective (index size can be more, than size of indexed folder). Besides, FLP can't work with archives (like .zip, .rar) Jan 28, 2017 at 14:07
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    Agent Ransack is the free tool. The paid tool of the same company is called File Locator Pro. Jan 28, 2017 at 17:40
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    Yes, i know. Agent Ransack is very very very slow searches (in content) among a large amount of information, so i don't consider, that is a variant for those who need fast fulltext search. But Agent Ransack can automatically find plain text files and search in them, while FLP (indexed search) can't. Jan 28, 2017 at 18:04

While I love Archivarius 3000 by Likasoft, and have used it for many years, I am also looking for a stable replacement, but only because Likasoft seems to be no longer operative.

One more tool that I found but haven't tested extensively to date is AnyTXT. It is a free search tool that creates a full text index database of your files.

Screenshot AnyTXT User Interface

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