Find files in Drive on Android

This article describes the latest version of the Drive app for Android. To get the latest version, download an update from the Play Store.

Drive views

The Drive app gives you a few different ways to view what’s on your Drive. Within each of the views below, you can touch the list or grid icon at the top of the screen to toggle how the items are displayed (either as a list of items or a grid of images). 

  • My Drive: Everything in your Google Drive that you’ve created, synced and uploaded. Folders will be shown first, followed by files and Google Docs in alphabetical order. You can automatically sync "My Drive" to the Google Drive folder on your computer.
  • Shared with me: All of the files, folders and Google Docs that have been shared with you. To sync files in this view, move them to "My Drive" on your computer. The "Shared with me" filter doesn't include files shared to a mailing list or files set to 'Anyone with the link' or 'Public' (unless the file has been shared directly to your email address).
  • Starred: Items that you’ve marked with a star. If you star something in the Google Drive app, it’ll be starred in Google Drive on the web.
  • Recent: All the private and shared files that you've opened, in reverse chronological order.
  • Offline: Shows items you’ve made available to view offline on your Android device. Read more about pinning items offline in your Android Drive app for Android.
Star any Drive files that you’ll need to return to in the near future. Then access them right from the Starred view.

Sort files

The Drive app lets you sort your list of files:

  • Touch the Menu button in the top-right corner of your screen.
  • Select Sort by to arrange your list of items by Title, time Last modified, time Last opened by me, or time Last edited by me.
  • Sorting can be applied in addition to another search criterion. For example, you can perform a search and then sort the results of that search. You can also click into one of the app’s sections, like Starred, and sort only your starred files.
  • You can sort files within a specific folder in your Drive.

Filter files

The Drive app also lets you filter your files:

  • Touch the Menu button in the top-right corner of your screen.
  • Select Filter by to view your Drive items by file type. For instance, you can choose to see a list of only Folders, Google presentations, text documents, images, videos, or PDF files.
  • To go back to the app’s home page and undo filtering, touch the Google Drive app logo in the top-left corner of your screen.
  • Note that filtering will display results from your entire Drive. Even if you were in the Starred section when you filtered, for example, the list of displayed search results will include unstarred items.
Sorting and filtering Google Drive within the Android app won't affect how items are sorted on your desktop computer, and vice versa.

Search for files

The search box is located at the top of your device screen.

  • The Drive app will match your search terms to both the names of your files and their contents. Search for text within a file, or search for the names of things featured in pictures on your Drive, like “Eiffel Tower.”
  • Drive uses OCR technology to search the content of non-Google Docs files.
  • Note that searching by keyword will display results from your entire Drive. Even if you were in the Starred section when you searched, for instance, your search results will include unstarred items.
  • As you type search terms into the Search box, the app will show a running list of suggested results. To get the full list of results, finish typing and touch Search on your device’s keyboard.

Additional tips

If you touch a photo in your Drive, you'll see a large preview of that photo. If you then swipe to the left or right, you'll see a large preview of other files.  

To make sure that you are seeing the most updated list of files and folders within a view, you can simply pull down on the screen to refresh the list.