Agent Ransack

Feature Comparison

Lite (free) Professional
+ Search Engine
+ Indexing
+ Office/PDF Support
+ Compressed Archives
+ Data Discovery
+ Reports &Exporting
+ Internationalization
+ Programmability
+ Advanced features 

Feature Details

Lite (free) Professional
Search Engine
Lightning fast multi-threaded C++ based search algorithms
Network drive searching using either mapped drives or UNC paths
Regular expression support on file name and content
Boolean style searching (AND, OR, NOT)
Enhanced performance tuning for Boolean searches
Extended Boolean operators (LIKE, NEAR, LINES, REGEX, DOSEX) [more]
Relative date/time searching (e.g. Today -2 days) [more]
Criteria can be dynamically loaded from text files
Exclude folders based on path or expression
Customizable memory manager to control memory usage over large searches
Multi-line regular expressions
Lite (free) Professional
Optional index search functionality for even faster searching [more]
Ability to create multiple user-defined indexes on data repositories
Share indexes over network drives
Lite (free) Professional
Office/PDF Support
IFilter powered searching
Bespoke Word/Excel text processors for improved accuracy
Outlook PST/MSG searching of emails, contacts and appointments (including attachments) [more]
Caching database for saving converted text for much faster searching [more]
Lite (free) Professional
Compressed Archives
ZIP, JAR, 7Z, RAR, TAR (and more) searching [more]
Found files can be extracted from archives using drag/drop or copy/paste
Lite (free) Professional
Data Discovery
Save/load commonly used search criteria
View text hits by file
Keyword hit coloring [more]
Save/load complete search results (inc. history)
Show surrounding lines
View whole file with highlighted hits and secondary searches [more]
Navigate back/forward through previous results
Narrow down searches using Search within Search and Search Again functionality
Thumbnail previews of images
Filter results with as-you-type column filters [more]
Favorite searches can be added for quick reference [more]
Lite (free) Professional
Reports &Exporting
Printing and print preview
Export results in Text and CSV
User customizable reports (columns, headers etc.) [more]
Bulk Copy to folder or ZIP file [more]
Export results in XML and HTML
Excel compliant CSV exports
Keywords reports (summary and by file) [more]
Custom export formats (based on XSL Transforms)
Lite (free) Professional
German, French, Spanish, Hindi, and Chinese translations of User Interface
German, French, and Chinese translations of help files
PDF foreign character support
Lite (free) Professional
Command line operation
Specific console app
.NET 4 class library
COM class library
Extend supported formats through COM plug-ins
User-defined file interpreters [more]
Lite (free) Professional
Advanced features
Alerts/Notifications on search events [more]
Search by file hash (MD5, SHA1/256/512)
MSI based installer
Portable installation option
Launch external editor at line (inc. Visual Studio)
High DPI Scaling Support

Something missing? We ’ve tried to summarize all the features we think you ’ll be most interested in but if there ’s something missing please Contact Us .


Q . Hey, I ’m confused! It looks like FileLocator Pro and Agent Ransack are now the same product and it's just whether they are in Lite mode or Pro mode, is that right?

A . Yep, apart from the name they are both the same. Honestly, it ’s the same code. During the build process an automated script runs that locates all the FileLocator Pro branding and replaces it with Agent Ransack branding and then recompiles.

Q . That's a bit odd, why have two names?

A . It is a bit odd but maybe a short history of the product will help explain:

Apr 2000 - The first version of the product was released under the name Agent Ransack.
Apr 2003 - A Pro version of Agent Ransack was released under the name FileLocator Pro.
Mar 2010 - Due to the discomfort from some people over the name Agent Ransack an alternative rebranded version named FileLocator Lite is released.
May 2018 - FileLocator Pro adds a new feature that can downgrade itself to 'Lite' mode.
Sep 2019 - Agent Ransack adds a new feature so that it can upgrade itself to 'Pro' mode.

The end result is that we now have a single code base for the product, which is much easier to maintain, but two product names, which is potentially confusing. Over the next few years we'll carefully monitor the demand for both names and hopefully retire one eventually. If you'd like more information on the change please see this blog post.

Q . Does it matter which one I purchase for the Pro version?

A . No, the Pro license codes for FileLocator Pro and Agent Ransack are interchangable, ie you can use a FileLocator Pro license with Agent Ransack and vice-versa.

Agent Ransack™ version History

2021 BETAMajor release (12 Aug 2021)
2019 (2951)Bug fix release (20 Nov 2020)
  • Reduced background CPU usage when idle
  • Improved parsing of MBOX/EML date time format.
  • Improved SearchTask recovery if 3rd party IFilter causes problems.
  • Bug fix: "A required resource was unavailable" error when lots of search terms (> 10,000) specified.
  • Bug fix: Relative date/time searching issues with FR/ES/NL languages.
  • Minor fixes/improvements
2019 (2947)Bug fix release (19 Aug 2020)
  • Additional installer flags /regdetails /langfile /ui
  • Bug fix: Exporting index based searches much faster if content not required.
  • Minor fixes/improvements
2019 (2946)Bug fix release (29 May 2020)
  • Japanese translation (beta).
  • Bug fix: Keyword summary report not displaying empty keywords properly.
  • Minor fixes/improvements
2019 (2944)Bug fix release (30 Jan 2020)
  • Bug fix: OneDrive folders not searching properly.
  • Bug fix: Numeric column filters not working with '<' directive.
  • Bug fix: UI sometimes becomes unresponsive when using Index Searching and column filters.
  • Minor fixes/improvements
2019 (2941)Bug fix release (20 Jan 2020)
  • Bug fix: Index searching reporting errors with some queries
  • Bug fix: Portable device searching not filtering sub folders correctly
  • Minor fixes/improvements
2019 (2938)Bug fix release (4 Dec 2019)
  • Indexing speed improvements
  • Bug fix: occasional index crash
2019 (2936)Bug fix release (20 Nov 2019)
  • Bug fix: Printing issue
2019 (2934)Bug fix release (17 Nov 2019)
  • Bug fix: Missing installation files for Win 10
2019 (2933)Bug fix release (14 Nov 2019)
  • Folders are now sorted ahead of files.
  • Bug fix: LIKE not highlighting correctly for Index searches
  • Bug fix: Environment variables not working with Lite version
  • Bug fix: Shell Integration configuration issues, ie settings were not showing correctly in the user interface
  • Bug fix: .NET library exception.
  • Various language updates.
2019 (2928)Major release (17 Sep 2019)
  • Announcement: Agent Ransack 2019
  • 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
  • Pro mode option
  • and many small fixes
2016 (867)Minor release (2 Mar 2017)
  • Moved to SHA-256 code signing
  • Various minor bug fixes.
2016 (865)Minor release (19 Oct 2016)
  • Bug fix: Fixes in French translation
  • Bug fix: Crash when changing criteria type during search.
  • Bug fix: Rare crash when search had finished.
2016 (864)Minor release (10 Oct 2016)
  • Improvements to French translation
  • Bug fix: Invalid context menu entry
  • Bug fix: Registration code expiration issue
2016 (863)Bug fix release (13 Sep 2016)
  • Bug fix: Registration code issue
2016 (862)Major release (13 Sep 2016)
Full Release Announcement

  • Tabbed Searching
  • Keyword color highlighting
  • Search warnings/errors
  • Search threads monitoring window
  • Boolean support on File Name criteria
  • Full IFilter support
  • Agent Ransack icon that works well for dark backgrounds
  • Exclude folders
  • Faster searching
  • UTF-8 auto detection
  • Improved date/time parsing
  • Bug fix: Installation issues
  • Many other improvements and bug fixes
2014 (828)Bug fix release (Nov 24 2014)
  • Bug fix: Include file name in content searching could not be switched OFF.
2014 (825)Bug fix release (Sep 14 2014)
  • Bug fix: Accepting single-quotes in XML UTF declaration.
2014 (822)Bug fix release (Jun 23 2014)
  • Bug fix: Missing installation file for x64.
2014 (821)Bug fix release (Jun 20 2014)
  • Search engine upgrade.
  • Bug fix: *.* not matching ALL items.
  • Bug fix: Browse for folder not including current path.
2014 (820)Bug fix release (Mar 12 2014)
  • Bug fix: Installation issues on some computers (installer was leaving just a single InstallIssue.txt file).
  • Bug fix: Double-click column header divider to auto size.
  • Bug fix: Registration code crash.
  • Windows 8.x related minor fixes/improvements.
2014 (819)Bug fix release (Feb 06 2014)
  • Bug fix: Closing app when minimized causes problems when re-starting.
  • Other minor fixes/improvements.
2014 (816)Bug fix release (Jan 6 2014)
  • Browse for folders limit bug.
  • Updated help file.
2014 (813)Major release (Dec 20 2013)
  • New reporting tab.
  • Improved file handling functionality.
  • Improved User Interface.
  • New crash reporting functionality.
  • Enhanced DOS Expression functionality.
  • Improved exporting functionality.
  • Lots of bug fixes.
2010 (762)Bug fix release (Mar 29 2010)
  • Added thread configuration option to switch off multi-threading.
  • Fix: Focus issue with Ctrl + A on file list.
  • Fix: PDF not working on some machines.
  • Fix: Crash in Basic view if search with containing text checked but no text entered.
  • Wizard labels needed resizing.
2010 (759)Major release (Mar 15 2010)
  • Boolean expressions (AND, OR, NOT).
  • Supports popular office formats including Office 2007 and OpenOffice.
  • Available in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions.
  • ‘FileLocator Lite’ alternative branding for corporate environments.
  • New context menu features, such as Explore Here.
  • More robust.
  • Modernization of the User Interface.
1.7.3Bug Fix Release (Mar 3 2003)
  • Copy acting as Cut on certain versions of Windows 98 (thanks to Kasauli for reporting bug and testing fix).
  • Executable unnecessarily linked against oleacc.dll (Win 95/NT does not install this Active Accessibility support DLL).
  • WinXP shell extension bug fix.
1.7.2Bug Fix Release (Sep 9 2002)
  • Expression Wizard bug. Not correctly handling a couple of expression types (reported by Robert McAllester).
  • Now using ShellExecuteEx instead of ShellExecute. Fixed inconsistent behaviour with WinNT.
  • Fixed problem with saving results to clipboard (reported by Mike Stewart).
  • Fixed major memory leak problem.
  • Command line ‘-o’ option now streams directly to output file allowing unlimited search result sizes.
1.7.1Bug Fix Release (Jul 10 2001)
  • Fixed bug in non-string command line switches (thanks to Jody Adair for pointing it out).
  • Options settings not being remembered, fixed.
  • Match case on contents searching not working correctly, fixed.
1.7.0Enhancement release (Jul 6 2001)
  • Ability to search multiple folders.
  • Ability to specify Unix (LF) and Mac (CR) as valid EOL markers (accessed through Configuration menu).
  • Context menu support for multiple file selections (e.g. copy and delete multiple files).
  • Ability to clear drop down list history added.
  • No longer filters out foreign characters (i.e. allows anything over ASCII 32).
  • Installation is now self-contained EXE (sorry it’s taken so long).
  • Keyboard accelerator problem fixed (e.g. Ctrl + N etc.) and added Ctrl + A for Select All.
  • Keyboard shortcuts added for dialogs (e.g. Alt + N for filename).
  • More responsive to Cancel Search, especially when searching large files.
  • Better validation when restoring Window to saved position and size.
  • Better support for font size changes.
  • Tab functionality fixed.
1.6.0Enhancement release (Feb 23 2001)
  • Ability to save results (file names and/or contents) to a file or the clipboard.
  • Shell extensions. Agent Ransack adds itself to the context menu for folders and the Find menu.
  • One Phase Searching option to allow for more efficient contents searching of large drives (disables progress meter).
  • Command line parameter to perform search without GUI and output results to a file (AgentRansack.exe -h to see all parms).
  • Access to folder denied Stack Fault bug fix (mainly a problem with Network drives).
  • Better support for non-English language characters.
  • Truncates lines that are over 5,000 characters.
  • Supports DOS expression ‘;’ for specifying multiple file names.
  • Printing bug fix.
  • Minor aesthetic changes.
1.5.0Enhancement release (Oct 21 2000)
  • Highlight found text in user specified color
  • Command line parameters
  • Ability to switch off regular expression for contents searching
  • Better print preview and page numbers
  • Supports UNC names
  • Ability to specify exclude file names
  • Shows folder names
  • All fields are now horizontally scrollable
  • Fixed “Abnormal program termination” on bad files bug (uncaught exception).
  • Use Windows color preferences
  • Remember window size, position & font.
  • Fix for “Please enter date/time” bug. (Replaced COleDateTime with Chris Sells’ CComDATE.)
  • Minor aesthetic changes
1.0.2Minor release (May 21 2000)
  • Added support for different Windows font sizes (e.g. Large fonts).
  • Added additional file list view columns: Size, Modified, Type.
  • Added sort functionality to file list view.
  • Added ability to ‘Remember’ options.
  • Fixed interpretation of ‘&’ bug in Contents view.
  • Folder drop down speeded up.
  • Basic Search Wizard examples reworded.
  • Size filter bug fixed.
  • Various minor bugs fixed.
1.0.1Bug fix release (Apr 19 2000)
  • Registration code bug fix.
  • Error message when listing directory history if not connected to network and history includes a networked drive.

– Did not fully validate search directory name.

1.0Initial release (Apr 10 2000)


Search results, showing the contents view docked below the file list view

Search results, showing the contents view docked below the file list view

Regular expression wizard helps you build regular expressions for complex pattern matching searches

Search by modified, created, or last accessed date

Export your results to a file for importing into other apps or for sharing with others

Reporting tab for easy copying, printing or saving of search data

Various options to control searching

Help file

The Agent Ransack help file is available online here: Agent Ransack – Online Help

Alternatively if you have a question about the product please contact Technical Support

What's the difference between Agent Ransack and FileLocator Lite?

FileLocator Lite and Agent Ransack are built from the exact same source code and therefore offer exactly the same functionality. The only differences are cosmetic,  ie different names and icons.

Why the two different versions? Agent Ransack is the original name and widely known and liked by many people. However, the name Agent Ransack appears to be a bit too ‘aggressive’ for many corporations hence the gentler sounding FileLocator Lite.

Simple as that!

Hardware / Software Requirements

  • Microsoft Windows Vista/2008/7/2012/8.x/10 or higher
  • PC with at least a 486 66Mhz processor and 64MB RAM
  • 40 MB of available hard-disk space
  • Mouse or compatible pointing device
  • VGA (800×600) or higher resolution monitor with 256 colors.

Agent Ransack is free for both Commercial and Personal use