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I have the option "Configuration->Shell Integration->Replace default Explorer search" checked but it doesn't seem to work. How do I get Ctrl+F to work on Windows 2008 R2?

asked by (1.6k points)

4 Answers

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The Ctrl+F functionality is implemented using a Browser Helper Object (BHO). You may not think of Windows Explorer as a 'Browser' but it is very closely related to Internet Explorer. The BHO is a keyboard hook that looks for Ctrl+F key presses and then launches the application.

However, since the BHO is effectively a browser add-in it can be easily disabled by Internet Explorer. If Ctrl+F is not working you need to check the BHO setting in Internet Explorer (yes, IE):

  1. Launch IE
  2. Go to 'Manage add-ons'
  3. Look for 'Agent Ransack Keyboard Hook' by Mythicsoft Ltd
  4. Make sure it hasn't been disabled
  5. Re-start Windows

You might also need to check the Advanced options and make sure that 'Enable third-party browser extensions' has been checked:

Enable extensions

Win x64: Since the BHO is a 64-bit component you must use Internet Explorer (64-bit) to manage the add-on on 64-bit versions of Windows.

answered by (55.7k points)
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I can confirm that the trick "Enabling extension in Internet Explorer" solved my problem.

In Windows 8.1, Internet Explorer 11, its called "FileLocator Lite Keyboard Hook". Pressing F3 in Windows Explorer only worked for me after I enabled this extension in IE and then reboot.

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Both of these are set properly on my computer but still ctrl+f does not launch agent ransack. Anything else I should try? Windows7 64bit Enterprise SP1

answered by (50 points)

Are you sure you were using IE 64-bit to check the Add ins?

I was checking 64bit IE. The BHO doesn't even show up when looking at the add-ons in non-64bit IE. However, ctrl+f has started working in most places for me now (not sure what changed, I didn't actively change anything). However if I'm on "libraries" or "computer" (the defaults when you first open up windows explorer) ctrl+f will still just trigger the windows find in the top right corner of the screen. But if I drill a level down into C-drive, for example, then ctrl+f will launch Agent Ransack. Before it wouldn't do this.

Any changes to Explorer often require a reboot before they take effect.

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With the latest 2014 (Release Build 820 - 2014.03.12.54802 (x64)) this still doesn't work properly.

Windows 7 x64 enterprise. yes, installed as Administrator, yes, rebooted, yes, checked IE64 BHO, yes, it's there, yes, it's enabled and yes, 3rd party browser extensions are enabled.

answered by (50 points)

Resolution: User responded privately that issue was problem with system and was working on other machines.

Not really there yet. For the disks it works, for the "Libraries"section it does not. However in digging a bit deeper I see you install a file called shellext.dll but did you know a file of the same name is being used by the Microsoft Security Client? I somehow am having a feeling this can cause trouble one way or another...
No, I don't think it will work on Libraries. The shell extension is only registered against 'Directories' and 'Drives'.
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Posted from another user:

I run Windows 10 Pro 64-bit build1510 since March 29, 2016. Since some days Agent Ransack didn't start anymore when I press CTRL-F or F3 in an Explorer window. Instead, the built-in search tool was activated always.

Fortunately, this post provided the fix. In my case, I found the Agent Ransack add-on as "new" instead of "active" in the Internet Explorer add-on manager. I fixed that setting and rebooted. Now A.R. works again.

The reason why the shell integration was disabled is not clear for me. Maybe a system update disabled the add-on (I would appreciate if other users would confirm this opinion), or I somehow touched a bad combination of keys on my keyboard? At least I am sure I never re-installed, re-configured or updated A.R. since March 29.

answered by (55.7k points)