8 best desktop search apps in 2021
Looking for a better way to search your files and apps? Look no further: This post will guide you through the eight best desktop search apps in 2021.
Why do you need a search app anyway?
We all know the problem: There are too many files in too many places.
With a constant stream of new information and apps, it’s easy to lose track of things. There’s nothing more frustrating than wasting time clicking through folders and apps, only to give up and start again from scratch!
A desktop search can give you back control and help you find what you need.
The best tools for desktop search
Finding a great search tool can be challenging. But don’t worry: We did the legwork for you and gathered the eight best apps for desktop search along with pros, cons and pricing.
Read on to find a solution that fits your needs!
Disclaimer: We’re the makers of Curiosity.
We created Curiosity because we couldn’t find any other search tool that fits our needs. Other tools have some strong features, but we couldn’t find the combination of an intuitive interface, deep search and data security anywhere else.
Benefits of Curiosity
Deep search: While other apps only search file names, Curiosity searches deep inside documents and attachments for better results.
Integrations: Curiosity lets you one-click connect all your favorite apps and search them in one place (GDrive, OneDrive, Slack, and more).
Security: All your data stays safe on your computer and nothing is sent to the cloud.
Cons of Curiosity
Workspaces (still in dev): Workspaces are useful for searching data in a team or company. However, they’re still in development (available soon).
Indexing: Deep search means Curiosity has to do heavy lifting to prepare. That means for the first hour or two your computer will be working hard (you can pause at any time).
Pricing: Curiosity is free for personal users, with paid upgrades for Pro, Teams, and Enterprise versions.
If you’re looking for a free solution to start with, Everything search might be interesting for you. It has limited functionalities (e.g. it doesn’t search in content, only file names) and a basic interface, but it’s free to use.
Benefits of Everything
Search: Searches across cloud and local apps for file names and content.
Open-source: If you’re a developer looking to dig into the code, Everything lets you do that.
Cons of Everything
Cloud apps: Everything doesn’t support cloud apps like Gmail or Dropbox.
Team features: Everything is focused on search for personal users; it’s not intended for collaboration in teams or companies.
Design: The barebones look of Everything might be a downside for design-focused users.
Pricing: Everything is open-source and free to use.
Slapdash is a search tool that lets you find your work across apps. It has a very slick UI and fast commands.
Benefits of Slapdash
Search: Lots of integrations for popular cloud apps like GDrive, Slack and many more.
Spaces: You can create spaces to organize your data for specific projects.
Commands: Commands are a quick way to do an action with keyboard shortcuts (e.g. create a new email).
Cons of Slapdash
Local file search: Slapdash only searches cloud apps, not local files. It also doesn’t search file contents (except for selected apps) or attachments.
People and Organizations: Slapdash offers a directory of people and organizations, but only with their custom Enterprise solutions.
Pricing: Slapdash includes a free version that will search two apps. Paid versions cost 12€ per seat per month.
4. Command E
Command E lets you search local and cloud apps. As the name suggests, it focuses speeding up actions with keyboard shortcuts. On the flip side it doesn’t support teams options.
Benefits of Command E
Search: Searches across cloud and local files.
Security: Data is kept safe with local storage.
Commands: Customizable commands for quick navigation, e.g. for creating a new Google Doc
Cons of Command E
Search: Command E does not search in file content (only file names), which limits the usefulness of its search results.
Team features: Command E is focused on individual users but does not offer tools for teams.
Pricing: Command E does not communicate their pricing except on request.
5. Lookeen Desktop Search
Lookeen searches across local files and applications like Outlook. However, it does not integrate with any cloud apps.
Benefits of Lookeen
Search: Full text search across local Windows files (Outlook, Drives, etc.).
Advanced filters: You can filter results by time, file type and others (thought it can take a bit of searching to find out how).
Cons of Lookeen
Cloud apps: Lookeen is limited to Desktop and Outlook search, it does not support cloud apps like Gmail, Dropbox or Slack.
Team features: Lookeen does not offer teams features like Spaces or shared search.
Pricing: In keeping with the limited feature set, Lookeen is quite cheap: A standard edition for a single user costs 69$ for lifetime access. The Business Edition costs 99$ for lifetime access.
Station is a browser extension that organizes your tabs in a nice way. It’s primarily a productivity tool: For search it just uses the apps’ native search functionality — where available (e.g. Google Docs).
Benefits of Station
Organize: Have all your browser work in one place without switching tabs all the time.
Integrations: Integrations for G Drive, Slack, G Calendar, a few others.
Cons of Station
Browser-based: Station is a browser extension and does not let you search in local files.
Integrations: Station integrates with numerous apps but only searches in three (Google Drive, Google Calendar, and Slack).
Pricing: Station is a free browser extension.
Qatalog gives you get a centralized work hub to organizes files, meetings, and other work-related stuff in one place. With Spaces, you can organize things into projects or teams.
Benefits of Qatalog
Organize: Everything is at one place and you don’t have to constantly switch apps.
Workflows: You can assign workflows in a team to be on top of all tasks.
Cons of Qatalog
- Search: Qatalog only searches in file names of cloud apps — not local files or file contents.
Pricing: $9/person per month or custom pricing for enterprises.
Alfred is a popular productivity app among Mac users. It is a Spotlight search with additional features like a calculator. You can quickly open files and search the internet.
Benefits of Alfred
Speed: Alfred is quick to open and the opening an app or files works fast.
Workflows: With Alfred, you can create custom workflows to increase your productivity.
Cons of Alfred
Search: You can search for apps and file names but not in file content.
Team features: Alfred focuses on individual users and does not offer any team features like shared spaces.
Windows: Alfred is only available for Mac.
Pricing: Alfred’s basic version is free to use. There’s also a power pack with some advanced features for a 29$ one-time payment.
We hope you find this collection of search apps useful. Let us know if we missed anything: email@example.com // @curiosity_ai.