Windows Search is great at locating files on the current PC, but what if you also want to check CDs, DVDs, USB keys, even other computers?
File List Maker is a free tool which offers probably the simplest and most lightweight solution available.
The program arrives as a single portable executable, only 176KB. That’s impressive programming, but it also means you can run it from a USB key on any PC where you’ve files to be searched.
The core idea is that you create static text lists containing the contents of any folder tree. This worked just as we expected: choose a target drive and folder, scan the files in that folder, and save the list locally.
Some handy settings allow you to reconfigure the search, including the scan depth (no subfolders/ 1 level/ 2 levels/ 3 levels/ all subfolders), and whether you want to list empty folders.
Repeat this process for optical discs, USB keys, network drives, anywhere you’ve a reasonably static set of files which you’d like to be searchable.
When it’s time to find a file, click the “Find in lists” tab, type a keyword in the search box and press Enter. File List Maker displays any matching file names, along with their source folder and file list name.
Or, if you prefer to use some other search program, that’s possible too. File List Maker saves its lists in plain text, making them easy to reuse elsewhere.
Yes. It’s true. This is just about as basic and low-tech as search tools get. And if you really need to access files from anywhere, then it would probably make more sense to back them up to cloud storage or some other central location.
Still, if you have collections of files – pictures, videos, documents – scattered across multiple storage devices then File List Maker does provide a simple way to track them down. Check it out.
File List Maker is a free application for Windows XP and later.