Best File Search Tools of 2024: Everything VS Listary

May 15, 2024

Searching for files is frustrating for many Windows users, as the built-in search often falls short compared to Mac or Linux. Because of this, powerful file search applications like Everything and Listary have become popular on Windows. These two tools are exceptionally effective and highly regarded by users.

Both tools access the NTFS file system's USN journal, allowing them to search millions of files within milliseconds and track all changes in real time. Their speed far surpasses Windows Search and other third-party tools.

Let's explore the strengths and weaknesses of these two powerful tools to help you choose the best one for your needs.


Everything is a well-known search tool praised for its fast search speed and low memory usage. It can search millions of files on your computer within milliseconds.

Everything also supports advanced searches using regular expressions.


  • Powerful file search engine
  • Can be integrated with third-party tools
  • Supports regular expressions


  • Basic user interface
  • Focuses solely on file search, lacking additional features found in Listary
  • No intelligent sorting


Listary is another popular efficiency tool known for its user-friendly interface and simplicity. In terms of file search, Listary matches Everything in speed and memory usage, allowing you to quickly find and open files as long as you know their names (or parts of their names).

Besides powerful search capabilities, Listary features a launcher mode. It includes a sorting algorithm that prioritizes files based on usage frequency and last opened time, making it easy to quickly open files. You can use Listary to launch apps or open files by typing just a few keystrokes.

Listary also offers other useful features, such as quick switch, which allows you to quickly locate a folder when saving or opening a file.

quick switch-use Listary's file search in open/save file dialogs

Listary enhances Windows File Explorer, includes commands, actions, and more, making it a comprehensive tool for productivity.


  • Intelligent file search engine with built-in sorting algorithm
  • Offers a range of efficiency tools beyond file search
  • Attractive and user-friendly interface
  • Supports fuzzy search and Pinyin


  • Some features like dark theme and online drive indexing require payment
  • Does not support regular expressions
  • Cannot be integrated with third-party software

How to Choose the Right Tool for You

In general, both Everything and Listary are excellent and belong to the top tier of local file search engines. They both excel in search speed and accuracy, capable of searching millions of files within milliseconds.

If you need advanced search syntax to locate files:

Use Everything. It supports regular expressions, filtering hidden files, and advanced search conditions like folder depth filtering.

In Listary, you need to use the filters on the left side to narrow down your file search. These filters include common search criteria such as file type, modification date, and specified paths.

If you want to quickly open files and improve efficiency:

Use Listary. Its launcher feature, with intelligent sorting, prioritizes the most needed files, allowing you to open them quickly with just a press of Enter. After opening the file, Listary automatically minimizes to keep your desktop clean. For other actions like opening the file's folder, you can set up actions within Listary.

Everything lacks intelligent sorting, and its small font size requires more time to identify the files you need, making it less efficient.

If you need a simple, easy-to-use tool that boosts overall productivity:

Use Listary.

  • It has a low learning curve, an attractive UI, and powerful, easy-to-use features.
  • It supports fuzzy search, allowing you to find files with just a few keystrokes.
  • You can narrow the search scope by adding file paths with \ and use built-in filters to sort by file type.

Listary enhances your productivity comprehensively around file search—giving you more time to relax and play games.

Download Listary for free and boost your productivity!

With Listary, you can finally leave work early. "Time to log off and Netflix!" 🐶

Download Listary 6 for free
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