Introduction: How to Search Files on Android Like a Pro

Almost any Android app which deals with many files has a search option. You know how it is - tap the Magnifying glass icon, type the search word and it'll present you with the results. For most users it OK, but in case you have too many files and want to narrow down your search results, there are some tips that will help you.

Step 1: Preparations

As I've mentioned earlier, almost any app has a search feature. But it's the manager apps that require it the most. So, for this example we'll use B1 File Manager which you can download from Google Play for free.

Step 2: Basic Search

The search results in B1 File Manager and many similar apps are dependent on where exactly you search. If you’ll tap the Search icon in a specific folder (like Downloads), the app will search for files only in that particular folder. If you want to search your whole device’s memory, you should start the search from the Home screen. But if you have an SD card inserted and you want to search files only there, you should go to SD card location. Ultimately, to search through the internal and external storages, tap Local, select Another location and in the address bar type “/” - this will take you to the root catalogue.

Once you’ve decided where to search, tap the search icon in the top right corner.

Start typing the search word and B1 File Manager will instantly display the results. This will show you all files with the combination you’ve entered in the filenames.

But there is a way to narrow down the search. First of all if you want to see files containing exactly the word you’ve entered, not as a part of a filename, place space after the word.

Step 3: Using Question Marks (?)

Another situation is when you’re sure that the file you’re looking for has 6 characters in it’s name but you remember only the first three characters. In this case it’s better to type those three characters followed by three question marks (?), followed by dot.

Question mark represent any character, so without the dot at the end you’ll get absolutely different search results.

Step 4: Using the Asterisk (*)

Similar to the question mark, asterisk mean any number of any characters. So if you’ll type character from the filename you know, followed by asterisk and followed by dot, you’ll get broader results when compared to the previous method.

Step 5: Filter by Format

B1 Free Archiver had a filter option allowing to search for files based on their extension. Basically the same search can be performed via the Search option. All you have to do is type a dot followed by an extension.

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