Where'sMyStuff? Desktop Search Leaves You Still Looking

Where'sMyStuff? ($99) can quickly index and find files on multiple hard drives, and aims to reduce the need to manually type in search criteria. But it lacks features you'd expect in a paid desktop search program.

Where'sMyStuff? screenshot
Narrow your search for files on your computer with Where'sMyStuff?’s file type tabs.

The $99 app--currently listed at a sale price of $69--can pull together a searchable index of files on up to four different NTFS-formatted drives (the default file system for modern Windows versions). When Where'sMyStuff? first runs, you'll need to select which drives to index. The task took only a minute or two on my underpowered test machine, but it likewise has few files to index.

Where'sMyStuff? tries to provide easier searches by making use of the mouse instead of the keyboard for many tasks. For example, clickable program tabs allow for searching among Applications, Documents, or other file type categories, and you can also narrow your time period to search within by moving start and end bars along a ruler-like time display.

Search results display quickly, and list details such as file name, path, size and date created. But Where'sMyStuff? doesn't quite hit its intuitive target. While you can use the mouse to select some options, you'll still have to type to choose others, such as the particular file type (ie. .txt or .doc). And to search among every document file type, instead of just .txt files for example, you have to figure out for yourself to manually delete anything in the Type field before searching.

Also, Where'sMyStuff? can perform only basic searches among file names. It can't look inside a document, nor can it find a file name that contains one keyword, but not another. What's more, you'll need to manually update the program's indexes any time you add or change files. A tutorial video suggests getting into the habit of spending a few minutes on the task every day.

A 15-day free trial can help you decide if Where'sMyStuff? is the app for you, but you'll likely get more out of the free Google Desktop, if you want an easy-to-use and low-maintenance desktop search tool. And if you're a techie who wants to be able to create fine-tuned, advanced searches, take a look at the also-free Agent Ransack.

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