Pros and Cons of using Explorer as an investigative tool


Windows Search window Windows Explorer is not a strong tool for searching for files and folders.

  • It makes you constantly go up and down its hierarchy of folders in search of that one file.
  • You’re not able to easily save your searches as an archive.
  • It’s not able to easy annotate your searches, and
  • It’s not being able to send someone else your file structure.

Our programs enable you to copy the contents of Windows Explorer into Excel or into another table – not just one folder’s content, but all of their subfolders and their subfolders files. This enables you to get a comprehensive workbook which you can then:

  • Search and filter using familiar Excel tools (for Filecats Standard and Filecats Professional).
  • Annotate more easily, by adding additional columns (Filecats Standard and Filecats Professional),
  • Open files from within the spreadsheet or table, allowing a easier link between the spreadsheet and your files, and
  • Copy and paste them into other applications,
  • Save the results of your searches, allowing you to create a snapshot of your folders, and
  • Email them to whomever you want, allowing distribution and dissemination.

Unreliable dates

Unfortauntely, the dates used in Windows Explorer can be misleading. For example, the “Last Modified” date may not be the date a file is last modified. See the article “Reliability of Windows Explorer dates” for more details.

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