Searching by Item Type or Kind

To search for files with a particular file name extension, you can simply enter the extension in the search box, like this:

The results will include files that incorporate the extension in their contents as well as in their file names—which might or might not be what you want. You will get a more focused search by using the ext: operator including an asterisk wildcard and a period, like this:


As with many properties, you have more than one way to specify an exact file name extension. In addition to ext:, you can use fileext:, extension:, or fileextension: .

File name extensions are useful for some searches, but you'll get even better results using two different search properties: Type and Kind. The Type property limits your search based on the value found in the Type field for a given object. Thus, to look for files saved in any Microsoft Office Excel format, type this term in the search box:


To find any music file saved in MP3 format, type this text in the search box: type:mp3

To constrain your search to groups of related file types, use the Kind property. Table 9-3 lists many (but not all) of the options available with this search term .

Table 9-3 Limiting Items in Search Results by Kind

Kind Syntax

Returns as Search Results

kind kind kind

=calendar =appointment = meeting

Appointments and meetings stored in Microsoft Office Outlook, iCalendar and vCalendar files



E-mail messages and attachments

kind kind

=contact = person

vCard files, Windows Contact files, Outlook Contacts


Text files, Microsoft Office documents, Adobe Acrobat documents, HTML and XML files, and other document formats

kind kind

=email =e-mail

Microsoft Office Outlook and Windows Live Mail messages, including messages saved as files



File folders, search folders, compressed (Zip) files, and cabinet files


= link

Shortcuts to programs and files, internet shortcuts

kind kind

=music =song

Windows Media playlists and audio files in MP3, WMA, or WAV format

kind kind

= pic = picture

Picture files in any indexed format, including JPEG, GIF, Bitmap, PNG, as well as icons and shortcuts to image files


= program

Windows and MS-DOS applications, batch and VBScript files, saved registration entries, Windows Installer packages, and program shortcuts



TV programs recorded by Windows Media Center



Movie files and clips in any indexed format

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