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How to scan a Windows network for files

You need to find all occurrences of a file on the network. For example, you may be looking for any instance of a file named “Sample”.


This is easily done using SoftPerfect LAN Search. There are certainly other tools for this, but LAN Search is free and fast. It works well!

We’ll be using LAN Search to search the local computer and all Windows computers, including hidden file shares such as C$.

  1. Launch LAN Search as a Domain Admin in your Windows network.
  2. Go to Properties.
  3. Click Properties->Net Search.
  4. Click “Computers with specific IP address”. Enter the subnet you want to scan.
  5. Click Properties->Hidden Folders.
  6. Enable “Common and hidden folders”.
  7. Click Ok.

You are now ready to do a search.

  1. In the “Search files” dialog, enter your text “Sample”.
  2. Click the Start button.

LAN Search will now start your search! Give it time, it will look for all computers on that subnet and scan them.

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