SharePoint: How to find all files of a certain type and then download easily


The goal…

To find all .XYZ files in all of my sites, libraries and folders and then easily copy them to a local drive.

Finding them is not too hard, you can use search for “*.xyz” or use a Content Query Web Part to find them, but how do you now download them?


Windows Explorer to the rescue…

I need to start by saying that Windows Explorer access to SharePoint can be “finicky”, but this works for me. This process depends on the version of Windows... Vista and Server 2008 (and probably Windows 7), but not Server 2003 has a search box at the top of the Explorer screen that works for SharePoint. Windows Server 2003 does not display the right-click search option when looking at web sources.



  • Go to your top level site of the site collection and pick a document library
  • Click Actions, Explorer View
  • Click the Folders button in the Windows Explorer toolbar
  • In the folder pane click the top node/folder for the site collection    (sitename on servername)
  • Click in the Search box at the top of Windows Explorer and type something like *.doc
  • Select the files and copy and paste or drag and drop to a local disk drive


  • As you are selecting all files from all subsites and all libraries you may get files with duplicate names and will need to deal with the duplicates.
  • Security is still enforced. You will only see files from sites/libraries/folders that you have rights to)
  • Windows Explorer, when used this way, only searches on the file names, not the content.

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