Does Windows have Smart Folders?

Last week I showed you how to use Smart Folders to organize files on a Mac. (Click here to read that article)  A reader asked if there was a similar feature for Windows 10. Smart Folders allow you to sort documents, images, and more by setting up parameters like size, date created, and type. For example, I could create a folder that would contain only documents created in the past seven days. That folder would continually update so that I always had a folder containing documents created in the past seven days.

The interesting thing about Smart Folders is that they really aren’t creating new folders at all. It’s just a very convenient way to save a search of your existing folders. You can do the same thing with Windows File Explorer (Not to be confused with Internet Explorer, File Explorer is the file manager for Windows).

Let’s learn how. We’ll start by clicking on the File Explorer icon to open the app.


Here’s what File Explorer looks like when you open it.


Let’s look at how you can create and save an advanced search.  Start by clicking in the Search field at the top right of Explorer.


The Search Tools will now display at the top of the window.


You can choose to search the entire PC or pick one particular folder like Documents or Pictures.


Your next option is to narrow the search by Date modified.


Sort by recent days, weeks, months, or years.


Next, you can sort by Kind, Size, and Other properties.


Choose kind to narrow it down by categories like documents, pictures, or email.


You can also refine by the file size, Type, Name, Folder path, or Tags.


For example, I could choose Picture files modified within the last week. Those search parameters would appear in blue in the search box.

blue parameters.jpg

And the results would appear in the main pane of Explorer.


The next step is to save that search by clicking Save search at the top.



Name the search and hit Save.


Now, we’ll want to move that Searches file somewhere convenient.  Put the term Searches into the Search box.


Right-click on the result and choose Open file location.



Right-click on Searches in Explorer.


From the drop-down menu, you can choose to pin to the Quick access menu, Start, or create a shortcut for the desktop.


I’ve chosen to pin to Quick access.


To use, just click Searches and then select the saved search.


In this case, I’ll see all pictures saved within the past week.


It’s a bit of an easier process on a Mac. However, once you get the hang of it, you should be able to create useful saved searches in Windows 10.



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