Find files in Google Drive

You can find files using suggested files, search chips, or conventional search. You can also sort and filter search results.

Open suggested files

You can access your recent and relevant files in Home, 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 Google Drive.​
  2. At the top right, click Settings Settings and then General.
  3. At the bottom, in "Suggestions," choose:
    • Show suggested files in My Drive and shared drives.
    • Show suggested files in "Shared with me."
    • Make "Priority" my home default page.
  4. Click Done.

Tip: To display suggested files in "Shared with me," refresh your page.

Use search chips

To narrow down the list of files in Drive, you can use search chips. You can search and filter:

  • Type
  • People 
  • Modified

These chips appear below the search bar and search all files, folders, and subfolders within that view, like My Drive, Recent, or Trash.

  • To remove a search chip: On the right of the chip, click .
  • To remove all search chips: At the end of the chips, click .

Tip: Search chips are present by default, to hide them, click on the filter button .

Search for your files

  1. On your computer, sign into drive.google.com.
  2. At the top, enter a word or phrase into the search box.
  3. On your keyboard, press Enter.
Drive search categories

In Drive, you can search by:

  • File title
  • File contents
  • File type
  • Other metadata, like:
    • 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

Search tips

  • Search results will appear as you type.
  • Google Drive searches the titles and content of all files you have permission to access..
  • To find 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.

Filter using chips:

  1. On your computer, go to drive.google.com.
  2. At the top, type a word or phrase into the search box.
  3. To narrow your search, use the filter chips below the search box to filter on the following criteria:
    • Location: Searches in a specific folder, for example: “My Drive”, "Trash," or "Starred.”
    • Type: File types such as documents, images, or PDFs.
    • People: Searches for people associated with the file (all, owned, or shared by.)
    • Modified: The date a file was last edited.
    • Title only: Searches only for the title or name of a file.
    • Labels: Searches for labels applied to your file.
    • To do: Items that may require your attention, including approvals, follow ups, and ownership transfers.
  4. To remove a filter chip: On the right of the chip, click .
  5. To remove all filter chips: On the far right of all chips, click Clear all.

Filter using search options:

  1. On your computer, go to drive.google.com.
  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.

Tip: After you click Search, to sort by relevance, on the far right above your search results, click Menu .

Find files by size
  1. On your computer, go to drive.google.com.
  2. At the left click Storage .
  3. On the Storage view, on the right to sort by file size, click Storage used.
  4. To reverse the sort order, at the top right, click Storage used again.
Advanced search in Google Drive

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

Tip: Not all examples work on all devices.

Quotes

  • 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

owner:

  • Find documents owned by a specific person.
  • Examples:
    • owner:bob@gmail.com

pendingowner:

  • 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

creator:

  • Find documents in shared drives created by a specific person.
    • Example: creator:jane@yourdomain.com

to:

  • Find documents you shared with a specific person or a group or documents shared with you.
  • Examples:
    • to:me
    • to:bob@gmail.com
    • to:bobsgroup@googlegroups.com

from:

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

app:

  • 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"

sharedwith:

  • Find documents a specific Workspace account or group has access to. Exclude files the account owns.
  • Examples:
    • sharedwith:me
    • sharedwith:bob@gmail.com
    • sharedwith:external
    • sharedwith:public
  • External includes groups where one or more members aren't part of your Google Workspace organization.

is:starred

  • Find items that you starred.

is:trashed

  • Find items that are moved to trash.

type:

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

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

title:

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

followup:

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

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