Find files in Google Drive

To find files in Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Slides, search by:

  • File title
  • File contents
  • File type
  • Other metadata, that includes:
    • Description field
    • Shared labels
    • File location
    • Owner
    • Creator
    • Last modified date
    • Approvals
    • Follow-ups
  • Items or words featured in pictures, PDF files, or other files stored on your Drive

You can also sort and filter search results.

Open suggested files

You can access your recent and relevant files in My Drive and Shared drives.

  • To open a file, double-click the one you want.
  • For more options, right-click the file.

Turn suggestions on or off

  1. On your computer, go to​
  2. At the top right, click Settings Settings and then General.
  3. Under “Suggestions,” check or uncheck the boxes you want to use:
    • Show suggested files in My Drive and shared drives
    • Show suggested files in Shared with me (page refresh required)
    • Make Priority my default home page
  4. Click Done.

Search for your files

  1. On your computer, sign into
  2. At the top, type a word or phrase into the search box.
  3. On your keyboard, press Enter.

Search tips

  • Search results will appear as you type.
  • Google Drive searches the titles and content of all files you have permission to see.
  • To see all results, press Enter on your keyboard.

Filter your Drive results


To find files more easily in Drive, you can narrow search results by filtering them.

  1. On your computer, go to
  2. At the top, type a word or phrase into the search box.
  3. To narrow your search, click Search options .
  4. Fill out any of the following sections:
    • Type: File types such as documents, images, or PDFs.
    • Owner: Searches for the owner or creator of a file.
    • Has the words: Searches for words and phrases within docs.
    • Item name: Searches only for the title or name of a file.
    • Location: Searches in a specific folder, for example: "Trash," "Starred," or “Encrypted.”
    • Date modified: The date a file was last edited.
    • Labels: Searches for labels applied to your file.
    • Approvals: A status, whether if a file awaits your approval or another person’s approval.
    • Shared to: Who you have shared the file with.
    • Follow up: A status, whether if a file has action items assigned to you, or if there are suggestions in files you own.
  5. At the bottom, click Search.


Find files by size

  1. On your computer, go to
  2. At the left, under storage, click your storage.
    • Example: 13.4 GB of 15 GB used.
  3. To reverse the sort order, at the top right, click Storage used.

More search options

Advanced search in Google Drive

You can refine a search in Drive with these advanced searches.

Tip: Not all examples work on all devices.


  • Find documents that contain an exact word or phrase.
  • Example: "match this phrase exactly"

Minus sign

  • Find documents that exclude a particular word. If you want "salsa," but not "dancing"...
  • Example: salsa -dancing


  • Find documents owned by a specific person.
  • Examples:


  • Find files you are a pending owner of.
  • Important: You can only search for files that you are the pending owner of.  
  • Example: pendingowner:me


  • Find documents in shared drives created by a specific person.
    • Example:


  • Find documents you shared with a specific person or a group or documents shared with you.
  • Examples:
    • to:me


  • Find documents a specific person shared with you or find documents you shared.
  • Examples:
    • from:me


  • Search by app name. This include any app that is connected to your Google Drive account. For example:
    • app:"Google Apps Script"
    • app:"Google Jamboard"
    • app:”Google Meet”


  • Find documents a specific account has access to. Includes files the account owns.
  • Examples:
    • sharedwith:me


  • Find items that you starred.


  • Find items that are moved to trash.


  • Search by the type of document: folder, document, spreadsheet, presentation, PDF, image, video, drawing, form, site, script, table, or jam file.
  • Examples:
    • type:document
    • type:forms
    • type:spreadsheet

before & after

  • Find items that were modified before or after a certain day. Format the date as YYYY-MM-DD.
  • Examples:
    • before:2021-05-02
    • after:2021-05-01

createdbefore & createdafter

  • Find items created before or after a certain day. Format the date as YYYY-MM-DD.
  • Examples:
    • createdbefore:2022-05-02
    • createdafter:2022-05-01


  • Search for items by title
  • Example: title:Conference 2021


  • Find files that have any action items or suggestion assigned to you.
  • Examples:
    • followup:any
    • followup:suggestions
    • followup:actionitems

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