Find files on Android

This information only applies to the latest versions of the Drive, DocsSheets, and Slides apps for Android. To download them, or upgrade to the latest versions, go to Google Play.

To find files in the Drive app and any of the Docs, Sheets, and Slides apps, you can search, sort, or filter files to easily locate what you’re looking for.

Search for files

Search in an app

To find files in any of the Drive, Docs, Sheets, or Slides apps, you can use search.

  1. Open the Drive, Docs, Sheets, or Slides app.
  2. Touch the magnifying glass at the top of your screen .
  3. Type what you’re looking for and then touch Go on your keyboard.

You can find a file by:

  • File title
  • File contents
  • Names of items featured in pictures, .pdf files, or other files stored on your Drive

Search Drive using Google Now

If you have the Drive app and Google Now on your Android phone or tablet, you can search for files in Drive straight from Google Now.

  1. Open Google Now.
  2. Touch the search box at the top if you want to type your search or the microphone icon next to the box if you want to use your voice to search.
  3. Type or speak the words "Search Drive for" followed by the phrase you want to search for in Drive.
  4. The Drive app will open and search for the phrase you requested.

After making a search, touching the back arrow in the Drive app will bring you to your full file list in "My Drive".

Different ways to view files

To more easily find files, you can change the way you view files in the Drive, Docs, Sheets, or Slides apps:

  1. Open the Drive, Docs, Sheets, or Slides app.
  2. Touch the navigation panel on the left-hand side.
  3. Choose the way you want to see files using one of the options below:
Drive views
View Notes
My Drive
  • Everything in your Google Drive that you’ve created, synced and uploaded
Shared with me
  • Files and folders that have been shared with you. By touching the grey i next to a file in "Shared with me", you can perform a number of actions including:
    • Share
    • Download
    • Move to another folder in Drive
    • Print
    • Remove
Starred
  • Files that you have starred as important
Recent
  • All private and shared files that you’ve opened with the most recent at the top
On device
  • Files you’ve made available to view offline on your Android device
Uploads
  • All of the files you have uploaded to the Drive app
Docs, Sheets, and Slides views
View Notes
Docs or Sheets or Slides
  • All private and shared documents, spreadsheets, or presentations that you’ve opened with the most recent at the top
Shared with me
  • Documents, spreadsheets, or presentations that have been shared with you. By touching the menu next to a file in "Shared with me", you can perform a number of actions including:
    • Share
    • Download
    • Move to a folder in Drive
    • Print
    • Remove
Starred
  • Documents, spreadsheets, or presentations that you have starred as important
On device
  • Documents, spreadsheets, or presentations you’ve made available to view offline on your Android device

Sort files

To organize files in a way that makes sense to you, you can sort files in any section of the Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Slides apps.

  1. Open the Drive, Docs, Sheets, or Slides app.
  2. Touch the Menu icon in the top-right corner of any section or folder of the app.
  3. Select Sort by and choose the way you’d like to arrange your list of files (for example, by “Last modified”).

You can also sort files after you have performed a search to sort only the files from that search.

Filter files

To narrow down your files when searching, you can filter (for example, by file type) in the Drive app.

  1. Open the Drive app.
  2. Touch the Menu icon in the top-right corner of your screen.
  3. Select Filter by and choose the file type you’d like to see with the filter (for example, presentations or folders).
  4. To undo filtering, touch the navigation panel on left-hand side and select one of the Drive views like “Starred”.

Filtering will display results from your entire Drive. For example, even if you were in the Starred section before selecting a filter, the list of displayed search results will include unstarred items.

Sorting and filtering doesn't automatically change how you see files on other devices. For example, if you sort on your Android phone or tablet, it won't affect how you see your files on your desktop computer.