Author Archives: dave

New help videos

We’ve recently added two new YouTube videos describing features customers are often unaware of:

Column Filters

Column filters provide a quick way to filter the results of a search. Quite often, when people ask difficult ‘How do I search for’ questions, the answer is to use Column Filters to refine the search. More information can be found here:

Index Searching Tips

Since the index interface doesn’t have separate fields for separate search features it can be harder to figure out how to describe your search. This video aims to show common index search techniques. More information can be found here:

What’s next?

We have a few more ideas for videos but if you would like to see a video on a specific feature please send the request to Technical Support.

Crash Reports

Crash reports are incredibly useful, they allow us a detailed look at the state of the software at the time of the issue. Some of the most gnarly and difficult bugs have been resolved through the use of crash reports.

Crash investigation tool

But of all the crash reports we receive we only look at about 1-2%. Why?

We receive just under 2,000 crash reports a month. Guess how many of those are from legitimate installations of our software? Yep, around 1-2%. Those illegitimate crash reports are filtered out and never looked at because the software is designed to crash if the software detects program manipulation.

Fortunately, for legitimate users of our software crashes are very rare but if you do ever experience one please send it, every genuine report is investigated.

Agent Ransack featured in Disney+ series

They say that imitation is the the sincerest form of flattery so imagine my surprise watching Dopesick (S1, E5) on Disney+ when the hard working DEA agent is introduced to a tool that looks like Agent Ransack:

“… what’s taken you months will now be accomplished in just a few seconds.”

I say ‘looks like’ because they’ve moved a few things around. Here’s the Dopesick screen shot (approx. 12:09s):

And here’s a screenshot of Agent Ransack circa 2003 (1.7.3):

They’ve removed the ‘File name’ fields and moved the date and size fields but the rest is identical.

Disney probably should’ve asked Mythicsoft for permission to use an altered version of Agent Ransack in their show but I’m satisfied with the compliment.

Version 2022 – Release

We’re really pleased to announce that the next version of FileLocator Pro and Agent Ransack is now available for download:

There’s lots of nice new features including:

  • New visual themes (including a Dark theme)
  • Improved indexing functionality, including a new automatic update scheduler, index groups, and indexing of archives (e.g. zip, tar etc).
  • Optical Character Recognition (OCR) functionality
  • Many more small updates and fixes

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Version 2021 Beta release available

I’m pleased to announce that the beta version for the next major release of FileLocator Pro and Agent Ransack is now available to download. This version has been a long time in the making and includes some really nice improvements, and will be a free upgrade for any recent purchases.


  • OCR text for scanned documents and images
  • Major improvements to indexing and index management
  • User interface updates, including a dark theme
  • Many more minor improvements

Please note that this is a beta version of the product and will contain bugs, although hopefully not too many. The help file has not yet been updated so if you have questions about specific features please ask Support.

Over the next few weeks more beta versions will be released along with improved documentation on the new features so please check back here for updates.


Full installation: 32-bit & 64-bit

Portable version: 32-bit | 64-bit

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New Blue theme

We’ve been ‘dog-fooding‘ the next major version for a few weeks now and everything is looking really nice, there’s still a few issues but work is progressing well. One of the areas that has had a big revamp is the visual themes, here’s an example of the new ‘Blue’ theme:

If you look closely you’ll also see a language change from ‘DOS Expression’ to ‘Wildcards’. The term ‘DOS Expression’ has been used in the product for over twenty years but now, when some of our younger users have never heard of DOS, the decision was made to gracefully retire the term from the UI.

Running a little late, sorry

Just in case you’re wondering what’s going on with FileLocator Pro and Agent Ransack we just wanted to share some updates.

There’s no denying that version 9 is running late. We had hoped to release it in 2019 but the Agent Ransack Pro/Lite mode work pushed it back quite a bit. There’s also been a lot of feedback from version 8, especially surrounding indexing, which has involved a major rework of how indexing works internally.

Indexing in v9 will include an option for real-time updates, the ability to group indexes together, and also precise search options, including search by Name, Size, Date, Type, and Location. A sneaky preview screenshot also shows that the indexing history is much more accessible to help diagnose and resolve any indexing issues.

One other thing you’ll probably notice from the screenshot is that there is now an improved dark theme for v9, a very common feature request.

Don’t worry if indexing isn’t an important feature for you as there’s plenty of other new functionality coming in v9, which we’ll be sharing over the next few months.

At the moment the expected release date is Apr 2021 but whatever the actual date is all v8 purchases made now are guaranteed to work for v9.

Agent Ransack 2019

Agent ransack 2019I’m pleased to report that Agent Ransack 2019 is now available for download.

Agent Ransack download page

This is a major new release for Agent Ransack and completes a big internal project to build Agent Ransack and FileLocator Pro from the same source tree. As I said in the Lite Mode post

Maintaining separate code branches for the Pro and Lite version is not an efficient way to develop the products. Over time the code diverges enough that it becomes harder and harder to apply patches from the Pro version to the Lite version. The loser in this patching battle is invariably the Lite version. Version 8 of FileLocator Pro has received nearly fifty enhancement updates since its release in 2016. The Lite version? Five.

So Agent Ransack will now be benefiting from the same update schedule as FileLocator Pro. Here’s just some of the new features that are now available in the Agent Ransack:

  • High DPI support
  • Faster file list loading, especially with ‘sticky’ sort.
  • Improved PDF searching
  • Updated language files
  • Dedicated portable installer
  • Freely available MSI files for unattended installations
  • and many small fixes

Probably the most prominent change you’ll notice is when you start Agent Ransack for the very first time, you’ll be asked if you want to try the Pro features:

You can, of course, just click ‘Lite (free)’ if you want to continue using Agent Ransack for free but if you are curious about what the Pro features might offer you can switch them on for the trial period. After the trial period has elapsed you can either switch back to the free Lite mode or pay for a Pro license.

As always, if you have any opinions on this change please let us know at:


Software Piracy

I was looking at a recent error report and surprised to see included in the error report a screen shot of a software pirate at work. The miscreant appears to have been trying to figure out why a crash was occurring with the license checks removed:

It’s not the first time I’ve seen such screenshots but it’s a useful reminder of how hard people work on tasks that, consciously or not, undermine the  structure of the company and the ability to support and improve the very products they, the pirates, want to use.

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Version 8 – Feature Complete

Back in Apr 2016 when I introduced version 8 of FileLocator Pro I ended with a ‘Roadmap’ of planned features for version 8:

  • Customizable columns – the ability to add/remove columns and column options such as Author or Comments.
  • Document preview – WYSIWYG view for the most common document formats.
  • Thunderbird email searching.
  • Allow file criteria to be included in Persistent Search Filters.
  • Support for WPD attached storage (e.g. Phones).

The list was based on customer feedback and contained features I knew people wanted and would be disappointed weren’t in the initial release. I’m pleased to say that with build 2878 of FileLocator Pro the last of those promised features has been implemented. Over the last few years there’s been a lot of really nice new features added to the product which weren’t on the list but honouring the promises on the list was a major focus of the development efforts.

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