Using the Search Bar and Advanced Search to Locate Files and Folders in Google Drive

Watch how to Use the Search Bar and Advanced Search to Locate Files and Folders in Google Drive:


 Key Points:

  • Basic Search in Google Drive
  • Advanced Search in Google Drive using Type of Document (Text, Spreadsheet, Presentation, PDF, etc.), Ownership, Visibility, Created By.

Search your Google Drive

Use the search box at the top of Google Drive on the web to find files, folders and Google Docs.

Type a word or phrase into the search box in your Google Drive to find a specific file, folder, or Google Doc. If your search locates something that's in your Trash, a notification will appear at the top of your search results with a link you can click to view the items found in your Trash.

Techniques to search faster

Narrowing your search and/or typing in search operators can help you more efficiently find your files, folders, and Google Docs so that you spend less time searching and more time editing.

Narrow your search results

  1. Go to the search box and click the dropdown menu icon
  2. Choose criteria for narrowing your search:
    • Type: Text documents, images, PDFs...
    • Visibility: Private, everyone in your domain, public...
    • Ownership: Whether the file belongs to you or someone else
  3. Type a word or phrase and press Enter on your keyboard or click the Search button.

Search by document owners and collaborators

If you know the name of a person who owns or can access the file you're looking for, begin typing his or her name in the search bar. Then select a name from the list of people that appears at the bottom of the search box.

Include search operators

Combine your search phrase with predefined search operators.

  1. Type the search operator (see table below for some of our most popular).
  2. Enter a search phrase directly after the operator and press Enter on your keyboard or click the search button.
Operator Definition Example
“ ” Quotes To find documents that contain that exact phrase. “match this phrase exactly”
OR To find documents with at least one of the words. tacos OR nachos
- Hyphen Documents that don’t have a particular word. So if you want docs that mention salsa, but not dancing use... salsa -dancing
from: Documents shared from someone
to: Documents shared to someone
is:starred Items that you have marked with a star. is:starred
type: Search by the type of document. This covers: document, spreadsheet, presentation, drawing, image, video, image_or_video, pdf, and textdoc. type:spreadsheet
before:YYYY-MM-DD after:YYYY-MM-DD Find items that were edited before or after a certain day. before:2010-12-01
owner: Search according to who owns the item. Searching by owner works best with owner:email address.
title: Search by the item’s title title:"Conference 2010"

Google - Help - Drive - Search your Google Drive
Molly Schroeder's Tech for Teachers - Google Drive (Permission Granted by Creator)
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