Find a file in a large directory quickly
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Walter Roberson on 8 Sep 2016
About the only possibility that might be faster would be to dir() the entire directory and do the pattern matching yourself. You would get all of the names together, of all of the files.
My expectation would be that doing that would be slower than what you already have, as the pattern matching that exists already is almost certainly more efficient than what you would implement in MATLAB.