Tips to Find Lost or Misplaced Files on Your Computer

Have you ever downloaded a file, or saved and closed out of a document, only to find that you can’t locate it again when looking for it later? There are few things more frustrating than a disappeared file that you know is lurking somewhere on your computer, so here are some tips to help you find those hiding items. 

There One Second, Gone The Next

There are a number of reasons that files may seem to suddenly disappear—they could be set to hidden, automatically moved by a program, or your computer could have some sort of malware corrupting them. Whatever the reason, a misplaced file can cause a lot of undue frustration. 

Though every situation is different, there are some universal tips that can help you seek out those lost files in a pinch. 

Tracking Down Your Files

Methods for finding your files will vary slightly depending on whether you use a Windows or a Mac, but they both rely heavily on the same key feature: the search function. Here are a few easy tips for searching smarter.

Think about the file type. If you’re looking for a picture, for example, you can narrow your search down significantly right at the start by filtering out documents and the like. 

Start with what you know. Not sure of the name of the file, but know that it’s a PDF you downloaded last night? That’s a start, and you can usually see a date associated with files. 

Try to remember keywords. If you’re looking for a document, you don’t have to remember the file name if you can remember some of the words or sentences it contains and search for those. 

Finding files can be tedious, but it will happen faster if you utilize simple tips like these.