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Copernic – Part 1

Friday, October 5th, 2007 by | Filed Under: File & Disk Management

Copernic – Part 1

Do you ever find yourself asking, “Where did I save that e-mail to Uncle Bert telling him I was paying him a visit?”

Or, how about, “Where on earth are those pictures from last year’s holiday? I know I saved them somewhere on my computer!”

And, “I’m sure I saved those MP3s that Brenda sent me. Where are they?”

If you’ve ever experienced those frustrations, you know there are important documents, photos, MP3s, etc. on your computer somewhere, but instead of being able to find them easily, you’re tearing your hair out trying to remember where they are among the thousands of files on your computer.

Of course, there is a Windows Search program you can use to locate them, but how long does that take and how successful is it in reality?

Allow me to show you how to do it easily, and for free, with a piece of software called Copernic. It is a program that will save you a great deal of time and a whole lot of frustration!

First of all, here’s a basic explanation of Copernic:

When the Windows Search program does its job, it goes through every file on your hard drive each time to see whether it contains the word or phrase you are looking for.

On the other hand, what Copernic does is build an index of all the files (well, the ones you choose to be included) on your computer and it just searches that index to retrieve the files you are looking for. Hence, the vast speed up of time!

So, let’s see (1) how to install Copernic, (2) how to index your files and (3) how to initiate a search for a specific item. Now, there is a lot of information here, so we will spread this out over two different articles, but please don’t let that put you off. You can do it far quicker than I can explain it in writing!


Here is the download link that will lead you to this page:

Clicking the Free Download link will take you here, where clicking the file circled will allow you to download it:

Elect to Save the file and when completed, click on the program setup file:

This will initiate the setup process:

When completed, you can run the program. To do so, click Finish.

You can now configure Copernic to suit your needs.

As you will see below, you are offered the choice of a recommended configuration or a custom configuration. Normally, I would suggest the recommended one, but in this case, you might be better off selecting the Custom configuration:

Now, you can choose what basic files you want to index/search for, including your local files (for example, on this computer as opposed to a network), contacts and e-mails from your e-mail client. You can even narrow those down later on, along with your browser history and favorites if that’s what you want (see below):

Now, it’s time to narrow the search down a little (again, if you wish). Here is the default list of folders that will be indexed. So, let’s amend it to suit ourselves:

Click Next to get here, which is where you can select a specific area you want to narrow down (in my case, I don’t want all of my C: drive to be indexed, because I store most of my data files on my D: drive). So, I select C: and then Modify to allow me to make changes, but do what’s best for your computer:

As you can see, this opens an Explorer-type window where you can just select the folders you want to be indexed:

But, do note the boxes I have circled. In my case, I only want to be able to find documents on this drive, but you may want to find pictures, music and videos on other drives, so just make sure you checkmark the relevant boxes.

In addition, if you have folders below the main folder, you should also select the Include Subfolders option.

Again, in my own case, I have also told Copernic to index documents on my D: drive, but not to index anything in my Desktop, My Documents, My Music or My Pictures, because I don’t store files there. But again, you must individualize this to your own needs.

Now, let’s move on to selecting the e-mail indexing requirements. Click Next to get to this screen:

Select the e-mail program you are using (in my case, it is Outlook, not Outlook Express). Once you do that, this screen will open (some information has been blanked out for the sake of my confidentiality):

You will see that this lists all the folders you have in your Outlook or Outlook Express and you can choose to have all of them or just some of them indexed.

Important note: Outlook will archive older e-mails from time to time, so if you want Copernic to work on those too (because often times, it’s the older documents you are trying to find), don’t forget to select those too (see the picture below):

Clicking Next brings you another choice:

Do you want Copernic to keep a little box on your desktop that you can type a search directly into (see picture below) and/or do you want a search bar to appear in either Internet Explorer or Firefox?

Make your choices and then click Next.

Here’s a picture of the Desktop search box:

A final Next will allow Copernic to accept those modifications and then start the indexing process:

I will leave Part 1 at this point and we will take it up from here in Part 2 tomorrow. We will then discuss how to make changes once you have set up Copernic and how to modify it to suit your own needs. We will also go over how to use Copernic to find those elusive files. So, be sure to stay tuned for that in tomorrow’s newsletter. See you all then!

~ David Woodford

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