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 to: Who you have shared the file with.
    • 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.
    • Creation date: The date a file was created.
  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 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 includes any app that is connected to your Google Drive account. For example:
    • app:'Google Apps Script'
    • app:"Google Jamboard"


  • Find documents that 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 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 & after

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


  • Search for items by title
  • Example: title:Conference 2014


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

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