DocFetcher vs. DocFetcher Pro: DocFetcher Pro is the commercial big brother on steroids of the free and open-source desktop search software DocFetcher. While DocFetcher Pro is hosted on this site, DocFetcher is hosted over at SourceForge. Both DocFetcher and DocFetcher Pro can be run on Windows, Linux and macOS.

What is desktop search: If you’re unfamiliar with the term “desktop search”: To put it simply, desktop search software is to your local machine what Google is to the internet: It allows you to quickly find files on your computer by typing in words contained in not just the filename, but also the file contents.

More on desktop search: For a more detailed explanation of desktop search and its usefulness, please see the DocFetcher website. And yes, the latest iterations of Windows and other operating systems do come with built-in file content search. But then, why torture yourself if you can use real search software that won’t slow your computer to a crawl, is easy to use, and actually finds what you’re looking for? If you’re looking for software that can accomplish these amazing feats, you’ve come to the right place.

About DocFetcher: First, about the open-source DocFetcher: It was first published in 2007 and is now legacy software, meaning it is no longer being actively developed, but will still receive bugfixes and support funded through DocFetcher Pro. In addition, DocFetcher’s open-source license guarantees that it will remain free forever. Thus, as the name “DocFetcher Pro” indicates, DocFetcher is now essentially the free, “basic” version, while DocFetcher Pro is the paid version with more “stuff” in it.

About DocFetcher Pro: DocFetcher Pro was first published in 2021 and is a full rewrite of the old DocFetcher, incorporating much improved programming technology and over a decade of lessons learned. This post goes into more detail about where DocFetcher and DocFetcher Pro came from and why the rewrite was undertaken.

Where to go from here: So, if you’re interested, which one will it be, DocFetcher or DocFetcher Pro?

  • DocFetcher: Give good old DocFetcher a try if you haven’t already. It’s free after all, and may in fact already prove powerful enough to cover all your searching needs.
  • Going Pro / Features: For those already familiar with DocFetcher, the Going Pro page and its subpages give an overview of all the “extra stuff” offered by DocFetcher Pro. Those unfamiliar with DocFetcher may find the Features page more helpful.
  • Free demo: There’s a free demo of DocFetcher Pro. It has all the features of DocFetcher Pro and can be used without time limit. The only functional limitation is that it will never display more than 5 results per search. Thus, it gives you an accurate idea of all that DocFetcher Pro has to offer, minus the quality of search results. For the latter, you can check out DocFetcher instead; its search results are comparable to those of DocFetcher Pro.