(I know this is a slightly silly question, but...)

I've recently been made aware of "find" and "findstr", despite having been doing at least light admin on Windows XP since it came out. I was surprised, to say the least, to discover that somehow these commands never managed to hove into my field of view before yesterday.

(Exact quote: "wow, I guess I didn't have to keep downloading grep ports after all.")

On the other hand, better late then never, right?

Anyway, and I'mm just curious, how long have those two been built into Windows? If it was new in XP I'll only feel slightly stupid, but I could have been using those back in my DOS 5.0 days I'm really going to feel like a doofus.

  • Just for completeness, I think FIND appeared in DOS 2.0.
    – staticsan
    Jun 1, 2009 at 5:41
  • Well, I'll be damned. I guess I AM a doofus. ;) But really folks, downvotes? Really? (Man, tough crowd in here some days...) Jun 2, 2009 at 1:17

4 Answers 4


Findstr was in the Windows NT4 Resource Kit and added to the native OS in W2K and higher. 'find.exe' has been in DOS forever. I seem to recall using it in DOS 3.3.


FIND has been in DOS since waaaay back. FINDSTR I'm not sure how long that has been around but I remember using FIND on basic text files and occasionally in batch files quite some time ago.


Find is on my DOS 5.0 disks, but it isn't a replacement for grep in my opinion.

  • grep is definitely more powerful. I still use ports of it.
    – squillman
    Jun 1, 2009 at 2:10
  • Yeah, clearly not, if I can spend 15 years installing grep on DOS/Windows machines and never once have someone say "why not just use find?" Jun 2, 2009 at 1:15

If you have Perl installed, you can use ack for most of your text searching needs: http://betterthangrep.com/

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