Find files in Google Drive

You can find files in Google Drive, Docs, Sheets and Slides by searching for:

  • File title
  • File contents
  • Items featured in pictures, PDF files or other files stored on your Drive

You can only search for files stored in My Drive. Files stored in folders shared with you won't appear in your search unless you add the folders to My Drive. Learn how to add files to My Drive.

You can also sort and filter search results.

Get quick access to your files

Under 'Quick Access', you'll see recent and suggested files. 

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

Turn Quick access on or off

  1. On your computer, go to​
  2. At the top right, click Settings Settings and then General.
  3. Tick or untick the box next to 'Make relevant files handy when you need them in Quick access'

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 the Down arrow Down arrow.
  4. Fill in any of the following sections:
    • Type: File types, such as documents, images or PDFs.
    • Date modified: The date on which a file was last edited.
    • Item name: Searches only for the title of the file.
    • Has the words: Searches for words and phrases within documents.
    • Owner: The person the file belongs to.
    • Shared with: Who can view, comment on or edit the file.
    • Location: Whether the file is in a specific folder, 'Bin' or 'Starred'. You can also search for files available to people in your organisation.
    • Follow up: If the file has action items assigned to you or suggestions in files that 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. 

Note: 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 or shared by a specific person.
  • Examples:


  • Find documents in a team drive created by a specific person
    • Example:


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


  • Find items marked with a star.


  • Find items that have been binned.


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

Before & after

  • Find items that were edited before or after a certain date. Format the date as YYYY-MM-DD.
  • Examples:
    • before:2014-05-01
    • after:2014-05-01


  • Search by title.
  • Example: title:Conference 2014


  • Find Google Fusion Tables or Apps Script files. 
  • Examples:
    • app:'Google Apps Script'
    • app:'Google Fusion Tables'

Source:domain (Google for work or school)

  • Search for items that have been shared across your organisation’s entire domain, instead of items created by you or your group. 
  • Example: To search for files related to domain, use source:domain

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