Here are 5 best free Grep GUI for Windows that you can use. Using these software, you can find files based on content from a specific folder and then perform certain operations. You can opt to replace text in those files and even perform file operations such as copy, move, and delete. Some of the software here can be run in portable mode and you can carry them in a flash drive or use them to search files in portable media.
Grep is one of the powerful tools in Linux which is meant to search files based on content and even extract it. It is a command line tool and if you are transitioning to Windows then you will not find grep there. Which is why I have found these best grep CLI replacements which also offer you a GUI to make a file search using simple as well complex patterns.
5 Free Grep GUI for Windows to Search in Files
dnGrep is one of the best free GUIs for Grep that you can use on Window. It supports search as well as replace operation among other things. You only need to select a directory, specify a filter, and then it will return the output. This is an open-source software which you can use on Windows with ease. It allows you to save the search results as well and you can perform certain file operations on the searched files as well.
You can make this software copy the files fitting the specified search criteria. Or, you can opt to move/delete them if you want to. The GUI that it offers is very nice and lets you specify all the mandatory parameters with ease. The wildcards and pattern have their own input box. It supports both; wildcards as well as regular expressions so it depends on you which pattern you want to use for the search.
dnGrep supports file previews and you can make it stop after it finds the first match. After it displays the matching files, you can right click on anyone of them to exclude from the results as well. You can download and install it from the link above and then use it for text-based file searching. It can search for text in any kind of file and show you the results.
grepWin is another free and open-source software for Windows which is a nice GUI for grep. Here you can use it to search for text, a whole word, or a Regex pattern in a folder. It searches files by content and allows you to limit search based on file size, date, and lets you use multiple separators as well for OR case. It comes as an installable as well as a portable software that you can keep in a flash drive as well.
The search results that this software shows can be saved to a file and it can search inside hidden files as well in binary mode. You just download it from above and then simply open it up. All the buttons and labels are self-explanatory. Enter the input text and configure the regular expression pattern or wild cards. Next reconfigure the search filters and then click on the search button and it will produce the matching results instantly.
AstroGrep is yet another free software that you can use in place of Grep on Windows. Just like other tools in the list, it lets you quickly find files using regular expressions. It lets you save the search results as well as perform file operation on the files that it finds in the search results.
Out of all the software I have mentioned here, this one is very simple in look. You just start by selecting an input and then specify the search criteria. For the search criteria, you can use wild card patterns or regular expressions. In case you decide to use regular expressions, you will have to check that option from the list.
After configuring the search parameters, click on the search button and then it will instantly show you all the matching results. Files that match the search criteria and you can click on that file to see more information. For example, if you want to see where exactly is the search term in the file then it can show you that.
After your search is complete, you can opt to save the search results in a text file. In addition to that, it shows in the search result it can be moved or deleted depending on the specified file operations.
Mugi-grep calls itself visual grep and sed tool. Here this is an extremely simple and fast grep GUI that you can use to quickly find files based on content and even replace that content if you want to. It lets you save search results to text and HTML files and you can use a grep syntax for finding something in a specified folder. Just like most of the tools in this list, this is an open-source software as well and it can run on Linux and macOS besides Windows.
You can run this software in portable mode and to start you just have to specify an input folder and then enter the expression or search pattern that you are looking for. If you are using the search tool then after specifying all the search parameters, simply hit the search button and it will show you the results. This is as simple as that.
There is a replace mode in this software as well which allows you to replace the specified text with something else. From the tool menu select the replace tool, enter the text that needs to be replaced, and click on the replace button to finally commit the changes.
You can download the software from one of its GitHub releases using the link above. If you already know how to use grep and what are the different search patterns and parameters then you will understand easily how to use the software quickly.
BareGrep is the last free tool in my list which is a very nice alternative to grep as well. It is quite old software and comes as a freemium tool. There is a pro version of this software with more features but the free version works as a good grep alternative. You can use it to search files by specifying a desired mask and a regular expression. The best part about this software is that it keeps generating the search results as you are typing the search filter or expression.
You can download this software from the link above and then start using it right away. There is no need to install it as it comes as an executable and you can use it as a portable grep GUI too. Launch it, specify the input folder to search files and then proceed to specify the search criteria. Enter the wildcard and regular expression and as you can complete the expression; it will immediately show you matching files. You can keep using this software to search anything you want.
These are the best free “grep” alternatives that I have found so far. Use any of these software to quickly find files in a directory according to content and even replace text in those. Almost all these allow you to export the search results and use complex wildcards and regular expressions to extract or find exactly what you are looking for. If you are transitioning from Linux to windows then I’m sure you’ll like these tools and I will personally recommend you to use grepWin and Astrogrep. But other tools are good as well.