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I switched over from Windows 7 Ultimate to Linux Mint 18.1 Cinnamon a few days ago, and I wanted to search files and folders in my Home directory using the menu, but nothing happened. It seems like cinnamon is only searching for applications. Then I found out you could use the File Manager too search files and folders. But I wanted to use the menu instead. I don't like opening windows to search for something. Because my previous OS could do just that. And I DON'T what a third-party anything.

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From your desktop, open a shell or terminal window. At the prompt, use the 'man' command to review the details about 'find'.

 prompt$  man find
 prompt$  find {path} {options}

prompt$ find /home/myName -type f -iname somefile

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Cinnamon doesn't have this feature, unfortunately. It was one of the nice things about the Ubuntu Unity interface. The synapse launcher is what I use, but if you don't want to install a third party app, and are content with only searching recently opened or downloaded files, enable this:

  1. Where the heck did that Download Go? Use “Recent Files” to find out!

Answer found here: https://itsfoss.com/tiny-features-linux-mint-cinnamon/

Like every Linux OS I’ve ever used, Mint Menu has a “Recent Files” option. This option remembers not only files you’ve created or used but also everything you’ve downloaded. A mistake I frequently make is addressing a download to the wrong folder. Nemo has a decent search function but it can take time. It’s far easier to find a file’s location in the Mint Menu. Click on “Recent Files”, hover over the misplaced file and at the bottom of the menu it’s exact location will appear.

Cinnamon Start Menu "Recent Files" example

If the “Recent Files” option doesn’t appear in your menu, that’s because there is an option to turn it off in order to protect your computing activities from prying eyes. If you can’t find it on your menu, go to “System Settings” and click “Privacy”. You’ll see this screen:

Turn on Privacy in Linux Mint

Simply toggle it to “on” and adjust further as suits your needs. (But remember, if you select “Never forget old files” your menu will take longer and longer to open as time passes and entries multiply.)

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To my knowledge there is no other way to search for files or folders in Linux Mint. Nemo (the file manager in Cinnamon) will find files and folders by name in the current folder. There are a variety of 3rd party applications but Nemo is the default.

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I would recommend using the application Catfish. Unless, of course, you want to use the terminal. It's a very good search program. Catfish is also the package name.

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