Copernic - Best Free Desktop and Email Search Software

Sunday, February 19, 2012 9:41:00 PM Categories: Searchers
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Suddenly someone asks if you have a particular file, or if you've saved an e-mail message that you received a few months ago about a particular subject.

What do you do? Uses the Windows Search itself, or Outlook Search?

Unfortunately, this is an area where Microsoft had everything to win, but don't. If you depend on the Windows searches for this type of task, you can even find what you're looking for, but it will take a long time!

An exit is seek alternatives to these Desktop and Email Search software.



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Among the alternatives to this type of Software, the best available on the market are:

  • Google Desktop Search
  • X1 Desktop Search
  • Copernic Desktop Search

The ‘Google Desktop Search’ It sure would be a good option, as most software from Google. However, it has some problems, such as compatibility with Windows 7 and Outlook, and is slow on some systems. Apparently Google doesn't want to focus in this area, and an explanation might be because the Google should be with more interest in searches in online programs, where the Desktop is a minor role.

The ‘X1 Desktop Search’ is an option that would be perfect – if it had a free version. Unfortunately, the developers of this great search tool decided to cancel the free version, and the maximum you can have is a 14 days trial. And it's not what we want. It would be much more interesting if it had a free version for home users, and charged for the corporate version – the program is so good that users certainly would like to use it in their businesses.

Fortunately, the ‘Copernic Desktop Search’ is a very good option, and therefore, the recommended by us. In comparison with the rival X 1, Copernic even WINS in some questions.

So let's go, and know how to install and use the ‘Copernic Desktop Search’?


Program's website

As always, the first step is to visit the program's website and download the latest version.




But how Copernic works?

Like most of such programs, the Copernic initially do an indexing of all files in your computer. It does this to build a database with the information that you will get when you perform searches.


Of course the initial indexing consumes resources, then Copernic expects the system to be idle for 2 minutes to get back to work – so it doesn't affect your work.

One suggestion is: after installing the software, let it finish this initial work.


After that, Copernic updates its index every time there is a change in the system, for example when you save a file, or receive an email. All this when you leave it idle for some time, i.e. avoiding mess up your work.


Note: this time of 2 minutes waiting for the computer to become idle can be changed. In addition, when you back to use the computer - so it's not idle anymore, this indexing is paused automatically.


Performing searches with Copernic

Once installed – and completed the initial indexing – we can start to perform searches.

You can search through the interface of the program, but also through a small text box located on the Windows taskbar.


It's really amazing how this search is fast. In addition, you can start your search without having to open any intermediate window.

You simply type what you're looking for (1), and Copernic opens a 'quick' result window (2) like the one below with the results.


In the example below, see the options when we search for 'flowers'.


Clicking any of the results in the result window, the main interface of Copernic is opened.

In the main window, you can search for a new term (or terms) (1), and choose some specific search category (2) as files or e-mail only.

The results appear in list form in the upper area (3), and when one of the results is selected, the Copernic highlights (with color) at the bottom (4) the first occurrence of the fetched term.


The following is an example of viewing the result of a search for 'flowers'.


As we said, it's interface is pretty intuitive, and simple to use. This does not mean however that you may are be able to do more advanced searches.

For example, you can perform a Boolean Search: to do so, simply use the operators AND, OR and NOT. Another interesting is the NEAR operator, which searches for words that are close to the term(s).

Note: the AND operator is default, and don't need to be entered when you search more than one term. And too search for an entire phrase, simply put it in quotation marks.

If you want to perform nested searches, just use parentheses. If you want to learn more about advanced searches, and to fully exploit this capability of Copernic, worth giving a read on the Program Help. In fact, reading the Program Help is recommended in all cases where there is any doubt, either from use or any other option.

Copernic also allows a quick preview of the contents of most files. So, you may not even need to open the associated program – you can check at program interface the contents of the file. (In the example below, the contents of a PDF file is viewed without even opening the file).


Copernic integration with Windows is also a very interesting feature. As an example, in the case of e-mail, Outlook integration allows you to access several actions (1) as to respond or forward directly through the interface.


Copernic has yet another tool, which performs searches on the Web, the 'Copernic Agent'.


Other Features

The program also has some features not shown here, since we believe that the greatest goal has already been achieved, which was to inform you about this great alternative.

Feel free to explore all the existing menus and settings – this is the best way for you to evaluate the program!


Options Menu

The Copernic ‘Options’ Menu presents a series of important settings and describe all here would be too long.

However, it is worthwhile to find that Mail indexing settings and indexing of files have specific screens where the settings can be done mainly by informing what 'should' be indexed (Consequently, what 'should not' be indexed).


Options Advanced - Menu

At ‘Options -> Advanced’ Menu we have, as the name suggests, several other advanced settings.

You can leave all as 'Default ', but if you want a little more control over how the program should work, this is where you change.

See for example the 'Maximum file size for content indexing' value. This is the maximum size of files that should have all its contents indexed. Using the default value of 10 MB, the Copernic won't index the content of files larger than this value. You can change this value, but remember that the larger, more resources (memory and space) will be consumed by the program to store and access.

Another interesting Setup here is the location where the index file is stored. In other words, this is the location where the Copernic store all your information indexed – and therefore, requires a lot of space (some GB).


Options – Indexing & Performance Menu

Another place with settings that control how the program works is accessed through the ‘Indexing & Performance’ Menu.


You can always leave 'Default' options, but also can do the necessary adjustments to suit your needs.

Note: the option 'Indexing Performance' can be accessed/modified by clicking the right mouse button on the program icon on the taskbar.


The Indexing Status is shown next to the icon of the program, as you can see in the figures below.


Everything has a price!

It is worth however, do an important note: everything comes with a price!

If you want to accelerate from 0-100 km/h in 4.3 seconds, you need to have a Ferrari 360 Modena, that has an engine 3.6 liter V8 400 hp. If you have an old Volkswagen Beetle, will only achieve this feat in more than twice as long.

And also: If you accelerate with the empty car, the result will be different if it is full of people and their luggage. Ok, in the case of Ferrari I guess this won't make a difference, but I think you understood the idea, don't you?

If you have a powerful computer, with a good processor and available memory, plus plenty of space in HD, you will be able to extract the best results from Copernic.

But if you have limited resources, so you'll need to have a little 'patience'. Depending on your scenario, the response time can be a bit slower – especially when you make a search after a long time without using the Copernic. But nothing that overlap the overall advantages that the program offers.

The tip is then: test. If you are interested in an alternative program for emails and files, it is worth to install and use for a few days, go gradually getting acquainted with it.

Only this way you can have your own conclusions!



This was a brief overview of Copernic Desktop Search, an excellent file search program and e-mail that besides being free, it's easy and to use, showing the data with speed, reliability and accuracy.

We recommend the same as a way to increase productivity in daily work, finding efficiently and virtually instantaneous information you need, when you need it!

We hope you have enjoyed, and in this case, thank you for your sharing and/or leaving comments just below – a simple contribution on your part that motivates us to continue seeking always the best content for you.