Knowledge Management & Research Tools: Desktop Search

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Desktop search on both Windows and Mac is a great tool to help you find long lost files and emails.

To ensure that you’re searching all your files and emails, you need to have a copy of everything on your hard drive. So for example, if you use Gmail, it is helpful to connect your gmail account to a local email client (Mail, or Outlook) that downloads your emails, so that when you do a desktop search, your email is searched as well. The same goes with documents you store in the cloud. Google Drive & Dropbox sync to your local hard drive and make those files visible.

Now for a short exercise:

A. Using your desktop search tool, see if you can find a paper you wrote last year.
B. Try searching for an email message. If no emails are showing up in your desktop search, you probably need to add your webmail account to your desktop mail program.


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