Desktop Search Review: Google vs Yahoo X1 vs Copernic

I never did use any desktop search programs until recently, when I discovered that I was searching through my files the old-and-slow way.

For instance, if I needed to look for a string of text such as “John was a boy”, my old method was to open up Dreamweaver and have it search for source code in the folder that I specified. Pretty neat, but there’s an easier and faster way – desktop search engines.

What’s Desktop Search For?

You know how web search engines work? Well imagine being able to search your own computer like how you search the Internet – that’s the kind of power desktop search programs give you.

Choosing the right desktop search engine was a 3-way dilemma: There was Google Desktop Search, the new Yahoo! and x1 partnership, and of course Copernic’s long-standing desktop search program.

The most famous of desktop search programs is seemingly Google Desktop Search – but I don’t like it. It’s clunky, and comes with extra stuff, like widgets (which I don’t need). It shows results in a Google search page, with some relevance ranking based on modified dates. That’s nice and all, but it’s not what I’m looking for.

Comparing Desktop Search Programs

Enter the next two players – Yahoo! Desktop Search, which is actually’s x1’s Enterprise Search application; and Copernic Desktop Search

Copernic Desktop SearchCopernic Desktop Search


Yahoo! X1 Desktop SearchYahoo! X1 Desktop Search

Well. I couldn’t decide on which to choose, so I tried both of these great software out for a week before deciding. And the winner’s clear – Copernic Desktop Search wins hands down.

Initially, Copernic was unimpressive – the installation screwed up, with the program crashing whenever I performed an index update. But after I restarted my computer, Copernic behaved, and all was okay.

The Yahoo!-x1 offering installed much more hassle-free. I was up and searching way faster. But as time went by, I discovered that x1 wasn’t really what I wanted. One thing was that the previewing of files made my searches very slow, especially for large and media files.

The Best Desktop Search Program

Copernic Desktop Search

Soon I just began to use Copernic almost all of the time – and before I knew it, I decided to uninstall the Yahoo!-x1 offering. I’m now pretty dang content with my new desktop search capabilities. And I’m suffering no decrease in performance or speed whatsoever, so I guess Copernic Desktop Search’s going to stay on my computer for a long time.

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Alvin Poh lives in Singapore, and is interested in marketing, techy stuff, and likes to just figure out how the two can work with each other. He can also be found on Google+.

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