Unlock Efficiency: How to Search Files by Date in Windows 11/10 Like a Pro

In this article, I will show you how to search files by date in Windows 10 or 11 like a pro. You will learn various methods and techniques for date-based file searches, from basic to advanced, and from built-in to third-party tools. By the end of this article, you will be able to find any file on your Windows computer by date with ease and confidence.

Date-Based Searches in Windows File Explorer

The simplest way to search files by date in Windows is to use the File Explorer. It is the default file manager in Windows that lets you browse and organize your files and folders. You can access File Explorer by clicking the folder icon on the taskbar, or by pressing the Windows key + E shortcut.

To search files by date in File Explorer, follow these steps:


  1. Open File Explorer and navigate to the folder or drive where you want to search for files.
  2. When you click on the Search box, Search Tools will unfold. From there, you can click Date modified to filter files. Alternatively, you can type “date:” (without quotes) in the search box.
  3. To narrow down your search results, you can use the drop-down menu next to the search box to filter by different date ranges, such as Today, Yesterday, This Week, Last Week, This Month, Last Month, etc.
  4. Alternatively, you can also type a specific date after the “date:” keyword in the search box, using the format YYYY-MM-DD (for example, 2024-01-28). This will show you all the files that have that exact date as their date property.

Windows Search File By Date

Within Search Tools, you can click Advanced Options to enable file content search. Besides, you can use Windows Search syntax like, “datemodified:”, “datecreated:”, and “dateaccessed:” to specify which date property you want to search by.

Multiple Search Filters and Syntax

In addition to the date-based filters we discussed above, there are many other search filters and syntax you can use in File Explorer to make your date-based file searches more precise and accurate. Here are some examples of these filters and syntax:

You can use operators like “<,” “>,” “=” to specify how you want to compare the dates. For example, “date:<2021-01-28” will show you all the files that have a date property before 2021-01-28, while “date:>2021-01-28” will show you all the files that have a date property after 2021-01-28.

You can use two dots “..” to specify a date range. For example, “date:2021-01-01..2021-01-31” will show you all the files that have a date property between 2021-01-01 and 2021-01-31 (inclusive).

You can use parentheses “()” to group multiple criteria. For example, “(date:2024-01-28 OR datemodified:2024-01-28)” will show you all the files that have either a date property or a date modified property of 2024-01-28.

You can use logical operators like “AND,” “OR,” and “NOT” to combine multiple criteria. For example, “date:2021-01-28 AND NOT datemodified:2024-01-28” will show you all the files that have a date property of 2024-01-28 but not a date modified property of 2024-01-28.

Windows File Search Settings

Another way to improve your date-based file searches in Windows is to customize the search settings in Windows. These settings allow you to adjust how Windows indexes and searches your files and folders.

Windows File Search Settings

To access the search settings in Windows, follow these steps:

  1. Open Settings by clicking the gear icon on the Start menu, or by pressing the Windows key + I shortcut.
  2. Click on Search.
  3. On the left pane, click on Searching Windows.
  4. On the right pane, you will see various options for customizing your search settings.

From here, you can choose which folders are included or excluded from indexing and more

AnyTXT – Fast File Search

If you think Windows default file search is too slow, you might want to try AnyTXT Searcher. It is a free and fast desktop search tool that supports full-text for various file types, including PDF, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, ePub, HTML, TXT, and more.

You can specify file type and folders. Once you enter a search term, it will show you results instantly. You can sort the results by date modified, type, size, etc. It also supports advanced search operators and syntax for more precise and accurate date-based file searches.

Additionally, you can use AnyTXT to search text on images.


Searching files by date in Windows is a very useful skill for efficient file management. You now have mastered various methods to search file by date in Windows 10/11. You may try the method you prefer and improve your productivity.