Technology Tips!

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Search your Google Drive Effectively

Presented by Google

Use the search box at the top of Google Drive on the web to find your files and folders.

Type a word or phrase into the search box in your Google Drive to find a specific file, folder, or Google document, spreadsheet, or presentation. If your search locates something that's in your Trash, a notification will appear at the top of your search results with a link you can click to view the items found in your Trash.

Techniques to search faster

Narrowing your search and/or typing in search operators can help you more efficiently find your files, folders, and Google documents, spreadsheets, and presentations so that you spend less time searching and more time editing.

Narrow your search results

  1. Go to the search box and click the dropdown menu icon
  2. Choose criteria for narrowing your search:
    • Type: Text documents, images, PDFs...
    • Visibility: Private, everyone in your domain, public...
    • Ownership: Whether the file belongs to you or someone else
  3. Type a word or phrase and press Enter on your keyboard or click the Search button.

google drive search query

Search by document owners and collaborators

If you know the name of a person who owns or can access the file you're looking for, begin typing his or her name in the search bar. Then select a name from the list of people that appears at the bottom of the search box.

Include search operators

Combine your search phrase with predefined search operators.

  1. Type the search operator (see table below for some of our most popular).
  2. Enter a search phrase directly after the operator and press Enter on your keyboard or click the search button.
“ ” QuotesTo find documents that contain that exact phrase.“match this phrase exactly”
ORTo find documents with at least one of the words.tacos OR nachos
- HyphenDocuments that don’t have a particular word. So if you want docs that mention salsa, but not dancing use...salsa -dancing
from:Documents shared from
to:Documents shared to
is:starredItems that you have marked with a
type:Search by the type of document. This covers: document, spreadsheet, presentation, drawing, image, video, image_or_video, pdf, and textdoc.type:spreadsheet
before:YYYY-MM-DD after:YYYY-MM-DDFind items that were edited before or after a certain day.before:2010-12-01
owner:Search according to who owns the item. Searching by owner works best with owner:email
title:Search by the item’s titletitle:"Conference 2010"