You may have already used the Windows 7 Instant Search feature without even realizing it. Click the Start button and you will notice a search bar at the very bottom of the Start Menu. This is just one of the locations in which you can find the Instant Search feature. It is also in the top right corner of the Documents folder, the Music folder, the Pictures folder and the Search window.
To use Instant search, simply begin typing the name of the folder, file or program for which you are searching. After just a few letters, Windows 7 will start to offer possible results.
If you are using Instant Search in the Start Menu, Windows 7 will group your results into categories, such as Control Panel, Programs, Internet History and even Email. This will help narrow your choices so that you can find the folder or item you need more quickly. If you use Instant Search within a Library window, such as Documents or Pictures, the results will only pertain to those folders. You can expand the search by selecting an option under Search Again In: at the bottom of the window. Options include Libraries, Homegroup, Computer, Custom and Internet.