Screenshot of Everything v184.108.40.2066 on Windows 8.1
220.127.116.115 / February 9, 2018
|Operating system||Windows XP and later|
Everything is a desktop search utility for Windows that can rapidly find files and folders by name. On October 30, 2009, Everything was ranked #857 among 1,757 computer programs used by the 70,000 users of Wakoopa, making it more widely used than WinZip. Since January 2013, Everything has been actively developed after a four-year break. This utility is released under a free software license that allows modification and commercial redistribution, requiring only attribution.
When Everything first runs, it creates an index of the names of every file and folder on all NTFS and ReFS volumes on the system from file metadata, in the case of NTFS from the NTFS Master File Table. By default, all mounted NTFS and ReFS volumes are indexed. Once created, the index is continually updated by the application; in the case of NTFS the updates are fetched from the NTFS change journal.
Specific folders on any file system can also be added to the index, but the indexing of folders not using NTFS or ReFS will be slow. The actual search using the gathered index will not be slow, though.
Regardless of the file system used on the indexed drives and folders, Everything searches its index for file names matching a user search expression, which may be a fragment of the target file name or a regular expression, displaying intermediate and immediate results as the search term is entered.
Because Everything doesn't index content and in the case of NTFS drives relies only on the NTFS change journal to filter file updates, the only file system activity it requires on NTFS drives is updating its index, and it uses very little memory and processor time to provide its service when only indexing NTFS and ReFS drives.
Useful as it is, Everything is not a safe application in a multiuser environment. Because it requires access to the NTFS change journal, Everything must run with administrator privileges, either in a privileged user account or as a Windows service. As a Windows service it can expose search functionality to accounts without administrator privileges. However, Everything doesn't filter search results by client privileges before displaying them, so that every user can see every file on a volume, just as if they were using Everything in an administrator account themselves. Furthermore, a user can double-click a file name in the Everything results list to open the file or run it, if it is an executable, and if Everything was run with administrator privileges (i.e., not using the service), it will launch the file with its own administrator credentials rather than with the user's own credentials. Although there may be a way to prevent privilege escalation when opening a file, there is no obvious remedy to prevent one user from listing the private files in another user's account.
Development was on a hiatus for three years, between November 2009, when the at that time last stable version was released, and January 2013, causing concern and disappointment among users. On January 5, 2013, a new beta version was released, and since then the program has received regular and stable updates.
These alternative and also free search engines use the same technique of reading the NTFS index directly:
- UltraSearch – freeware
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- Everything Search Engine Comic Review, TheSimplest