Search & find a file in Google Drive

If you can’t find files in Google Drive, you can use search chips or conventional search to find files. You can also sort and filter search results.

If you think that someone accessed your Google Drive without your permission, we recommend you take steps to make your account more secure.

If someone else created the file, they can delete, rename, and restore it. Contact the person who created the file and ask them to restore it or share it with you again.

Open suggested files

  1. On your iPhone or iPad, open the Google Drive app .
  2. The app displays recent and relevant files in My Drive and Shared drives.

Use search chips

You can use search chips before you enter a term in the “search bar” to narrow down the list of files in Drive. To use search chips:

  1. On your iPhone or iPad, open the Google Drive app.
  2. At the top, tap Search Drive.
  3. Tap to select a search chip, you can select:
    • Type
    • Folders
    • Modified: Today, Yesterday, Last 7 Days.
  4. After you tap on the chip, you can further narrow your results: type in the search bar.
  5. Tap Search.

These chips appear below the search bar. They will search all files, folders, and subfolders. To remove a search chip, on the right of the chip, tap .

As you enter your search, you'll find suggestions to select relevant chips that can reduce the need to enter long text.

Search for your files

  1. On your iPhone or iPad, open the Google Drive app.
  2. At the top, type a word or phrase in the search box.

Search tips

  • Google Drive searches the titles and content of all files you have permission to see.
  • To see all results, tap Search Search.
  • To save your Drive searches, turn on Web & App Activity.
  • To search within a folder, go to the folder, enter your search and click the suggestion that pops up.
  • If you search from a folder location, it automatically adds that filter to the top.
  • You'll get filter suggestions as you enter text.
Drive search categories

In Drive, you can search by:

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

Search for your files in Docs, Sheets, or Slides

  1. On your iPhone or iPad, open the Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides .
  2. At the top, tap Search Search.
  3. Type a word or phrase in the search box.
  4. On your keyboard, tap Done.

Related resources

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