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 that are 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 that 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', tick or untick the boxes that 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 homepage
  4. Click Done.

Search for your files

  1. On your computer, sign in to
  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 that 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 down 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 in 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 documents.
    • Item name: Searches only for the title or name of a file.
    • Location: Where a file is in a specific folder: 'Bin', 'Starred' or 'Encrypted'.
    • Date modified: The date on which a file was last edited.
    • Labels: Searches for labels applied to your file.
    • Approvals: A status, if a file awaits your approval or another person's approval.
    • Shared to: Who you have shared the file with.
    • Follow up: A status, if a file has action items assigned to you or if there are suggestions in files that you own.
  5. At the bottom, click Search.

Find files by size

  1. On your computer, go to
  2. On the left, under storage, click on 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 of which you are a pending owner.
  • Important: You can only search for files of which you are the pending owner.  
  • Example: pendingowner:me


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


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


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


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


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


  • Find items that you have starred.


  • Find items that have been moved to the bin.


  • 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 and 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 and 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 suggestions assigned to you.
  • Examples:
    • followup:any
    • followup:suggestions
    • followup:actionitems

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