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How to quickly search google drive

@bradyjgavin
September 12, 2019, 9:00am EDT

How to quickly search google drive

If you haven’t gotten around to organizing your Google Drive and need to find something in a hurry, you might have difficulty finding a particular file. Here’s how to quickly search Google Drive.

Google Drive Quick Access

Google Drive has a feature that sits at the top of the homepage with suggestions of recently opened or edited and potentially relevant files. This feature is called Quick Access, and it’s one of the easiest ways to find a file you regularly open. You can enable Quick Access from the Settings at any time.

From the Drive homepage, click the Settings cog in the top-right corner, and then click “Settings.”

How to quickly search google drive

Scroll down to the “Suggestions” section, check the box next to “Make Relevant Files Handy When You Need Them in Quick Access,” and then click “Done.”

How to quickly search google drive

After you enable Quick Access, the next time you open your Drive, you’ll see a section at the top of the page with a few suggestions of relevant files.

How to quickly search google drive

Search Your Drive

If your file didn’t appear under Quick Access, then one of the next things you might try is to search your Drive for a specific item. You can do this directly from the search bar at the top of the page.

From the search bar, start to type the name of the file and Drive will start to parse all your files for a match dynamically. Click on the file when you see it listed in the results to open it.

How to quickly search google drive

Filter Search Results

As of February 2019, Google implemented a more advanced way to filter files in your Drive. It uses a list of file types you can isolate out of your entire Drive and then skim through the results until you find the file you’ve been looking for.

From your Google Drive homepage, click the search bar, and a list of file types will appear. You can choose from PDFs, documents, spreadsheets, presentations, photos and images, and videos.

How to quickly search google drive

Click on the type you want to filter out.

How to quickly search google drive

As soon as you click the file type, all the files that match will be displayed. To open the file, all you have to do is double-click it.

How to quickly search google drive

Advanced Filter Results

If you still can’t find the file you’ve been looking for, you can use the advanced search filter to narrow things down even further.

This time, when you click the search bar, click “More Search Tools” at the bottom of the list.

How to quickly search google drive

When you click “More Search Tools,” a new pane will open with a more granular way to find the exact file you’ve been searching. The additional fields to fill out are:

  • Type: File types such as documents, images, PDFs, audio, folders, or zipped files.
  • Owner: The person the file belongs to. You can choose anyone, me, not me, or type in a specific person’s name or email address.
  • Location: Whether the file is in a specific folder, “Trash,” or “Starred.” You can also search for files available to people in your organization.
  • Date modified: The date a file was last edited.
  • Item name: The title or term that matches part of the file name.
  • Has the words: Searches for words and phrases found within the file.
  • Shared with: The name or email of the person the file is shared with.
  • Follow up: If the file has action items assigned to you or suggestions in files you own.

Fill out any of the fields that could help yield more accurate results and then click “Search.”

How to quickly search google drive

Just like before, all of the files that match your search term are listed below the search bar. To open the file, double-click it and Drive will do the rest.

How to quickly search google drive

Search for a File by Size

Should you need to find something in your Drive based on file size, you can sort files depending on how big they are. You can display items from largest to smallest or smallest to largest, depending on what you’re looking for.

From the left pane, under Storage, click your storage amount—1.6 GB of 17 GB used—and all your files will be listed in the main section of your Drive. By default, everything is shown from biggest to smallest.

How to quickly search google drive

To sort everything from smallest to biggest, click “Storage Used.” The arrow next to the text will switch directions, signifying that the sorting order has been reversed.

How to quickly search google drive

How to quickly search google drive

If you haven’t gotten around to organizing your Google Drive and need to find something in a hurry, you might have difficulty finding a particular file. Here’s how to quickly search Google Drive.

Google Drive Quick Access

Google Drive has a feature that sits at the top of the homepage with suggestions of recently opened or edited and potentially relevant files. This feature is called Quick Access, and it’s one of the easiest ways to find a file you regularly open. You can enable Quick Access from the Settings at any time.

From the Drive homepage, click the Settings cog in the top-right corner, and then click “Settings.”

How to quickly search google drive

Scroll down to the “Suggestions” section, check the box next to “Make Relevant Files Handy When You Need Them in Quick Access,” and then click “Done.”

How to quickly search google drive

After you enable Quick Access, the next time you open your Drive, you’ll see a section at the top of the page with a few suggestions of relevant files.

How to quickly search google drive

Search Your Drive

If your file didn’t appear under Quick Access, then one of the next things you might try is to search your Drive for a specific item. You can do this directly from the search bar at the top of the page.

From the search bar, start to type the name of the file and Drive will start to parse all your files for a match dynamically. Click on the file when you see it listed in the results to open it.

How to quickly search google drive

Filter Search Results

As of February 2019, Google implemented a more advanced way to filter files in your Drive. It uses a list of file types you can isolate out of your entire Drive and then skim through the results until you find the file you’ve been looking for.

From your Google Drive homepage, click the search bar, and a list of file types will appear. You can choose from PDFs, documents, spreadsheets, presentations, photos and images, and videos.

How to quickly search google drive

Click on the type you want to filter out.

How to quickly search google drive

As soon as you click the file type, all the files that match will be displayed. To open the file, all you have to do is double-click it.

How to quickly search google drive

Advanced Filter Results

If you still can’t find the file you’ve been looking for, you can use the advanced search filter to narrow things down even further.

This time, when you click the search bar, click “More Search Tools” at the bottom of the list.

How to quickly search google drive

When you click “More Search Tools,” a new pane will open with a more granular way to find the exact file you’ve been searching. The additional fields to fill out are:

  • Type: File types such as documents, images, PDFs, audio, folders, or zipped files.
  • Owner: The person the file belongs to. You can choose anyone, me, not me, or type in a specific person’s name or email address.
  • Location: Whether the file is in a specific folder, “Trash,” or “Starred.” You can also search for files available to people in your organization.
  • Date modified: The date a file was last edited.
  • Item name: The title or term that matches part of the file name.
  • Has the words: Searches for words and phrases found within the file.
  • Shared with: The name or email of the person the file is shared with.
  • Follow up: If the file has action items assigned to you or suggestions in files you own.

Fill out any of the fields that could help yield more accurate results and then click “Search.”

How to quickly search google drive

Just like before, all of the files that match your search term are listed below the search bar. To open the file, double-click it and Drive will do the rest.

How to quickly search google drive

Search for a File by Size

Should you need to find something in your Drive based on file size, you can sort files depending on how big they are. You can display items from largest to smallest or smallest to largest, depending on what you’re looking for.

From the left pane, under Storage, click your storage amount—1.6 GB of 17 GB used—and all your files will be listed in the main section of your Drive. By default, everything is shown from biggest to smallest.

How to quickly search google drive

To sort everything from smallest to biggest, click “Storage Used.” The arrow next to the text will switch directions, signifying that the sorting order has been reversed.

Google has announced some new features that will be coming to the Google Drive app via an update. Apparently, this would enable users to search more quickly within the Google Drive app.

If you use the Google Drive mobile app, then this update would be pretty beneficial for you. Good thing is that Google will be releasing the update for both iOS and Android users.

According to the official blog, this Google Drive update would help the users to see and re-run recent desktop and mobile searches. Moreover, the intelligent suggestions will also be shown as you type for people, past searches, recently accessed files and keywords in the search box.

This latest Google Drive intelligent suggestion feature will come in pretty handy. As it will negate the need for searching for the same files repeatedly. Once you have made the search, it will give you a suggestion when you tap on the search box.

Google said that these changes are made keeping in mind the current COVID-19 scenario. Notably, many people are working from home. This means they are away from their desk while doing their work.

So, this new Google Drive update would make finding and searching for important files much easier. You will be able to quickly share the files and share, review, collaborate, and create wherever you are.

This feature will be enabled with the latest versions of the Drive Android and iOS apps

Once you have installed the latest version of the Google Drive app on your Android or iOS device, these new features will be enabled by default within the app.

Users will be able to make use of the search features on the Google Drive app within the search bar. To ease off work during COVID-19 restrictions, Google has released a lot of features. And this Google Drive search features are in line with it.

The new Google Drive update is already rolling out for the users starting from December 9. Google has said that you may not see the feature for a few days.

In order to see, if you have access to the new features then, you should simply start a search query in the search bar. There is no admin control on these features, and only the end-users will be impacted.

Moreover, the app will be available for Google Workspace Essentials, Business Starter, Business Standard, Business Plus, Enterprise Essentials, Enterprise Standard, and Enterprise Plus, and G Suite Basic, Business, Education, Enterprise for Education, and Nonprofits customers.

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How to quickly search google drive

If you haven’t gotten around to organizing your Google Drive and need to find something in a hurry, you might have difficulty finding a particular file. Here’s how to quickly search Google Drive.

Google Drive Quick Access

Google Drive has a feature that sits at the top of the homepage with suggestions of recently opened or edited and potentially relevant files. This feature is called Quick Access, and it’s one of the easiest ways to find a file you regularly open. You can enable Quick Access from the Settings at any time.

From the Drive homepage, click the Settings cog in the top-right corner, and then click “Settings.”

How to quickly search google drive

Scroll down to the “Suggestions” section, check the box next to “Make Relevant Files Handy When You Need Them in Quick Access,” and then click “Done.”

How to quickly search google drive

After you enable Quick Access, the next time you open your Drive, you’ll see a section at the top of the page with a few suggestions of relevant files.

These advanced search tips will help you get the most out of the search box at the top of Google Drive

Google Drive enables the storage and sharing of files within traditional folder hierarchies and the ability to locate folders and files via traditional navigation methods (e.g. clicking down through a folder hierarchy).

However it is often quicker to use the tremendous search facilities baked into Google Drive. Simple one or two keyword searches often surface the most relevant files immediately.

Advanced search operators can be utilized when the search needs to be narrowed by more specific criteria (e.g. when there are a lot of files likely to be returned by a simple keyword search).

Narrowing your search and/or typing in boolean search operators can help you more efficiently find your files & folders.

To narrow your search results click on the down arrow to the right of the search box to open a dropdown that will allow you to narrow your search by File type, Opens with and Ownership.

You can also optionally check the Search domain name box to widen your search to all items shared to you even if not added to your My Drive.

To include search operators and build a more advanced search, take a look at the table below.

Exact words within the quote marks

“marketing project” Document name or contents include the exact term marketing project

Files that include at least one of the words

project OR marketing Document name or contents include one of project or marketing

Files that include both of the words

project AND marketing Document name or contents include both project and marketing

Does not include, can be used in front of any operator to search for the negative ie is not a folder would be -type:folder

-sales -type:folder Document name or contents do not include the term sales and search will ignore folders

You have lots of files in your Google Drive and it can take some effort to find that elusive file you’ve been looking for. For instance, how do you quickly find the sales presentation that Kristin shared with you last week? Or how do you locate a specific resume among the hundreds of other PDF files in your Google Drive folders?

Like Gmail and Twitter, Google Drive supports a plethora of advanced search operators that will help you quickly find the exact file you’ve been looking for. You can use search operators on the Google Drive website and the Drive mobile apps. Chrome users can type drive.google.com in the search bar, press tab and enter the search query.

How Search Works in Google Drive

Google Drive, by default, will return files where the search query matches the file’s title, the content or the file’s description. It can also identify objects inside photos so a search for “birthday” may retrieve images of cakes in your Drive.

How to quickly search google drive

Drive will also perform a OCR and search for text inside images and scanned PDFs. I have stored a scanned copy of my Aadhaar card in Google Drive. I only remember the first few digits of my Aadhaar number but that is sufficient to locate the scanned image of the card in Drive.

How to Find Files in your Google Drive

You can use search operators to filter your search results in Google Drive. Multiple search operators can be combined with boolean operators like AND or OR (in capitals) to further narrow down your results and find the exact file or document you’ve been looking for.

Google Drive Search Tips & Tricks

Find Google spreadsheets shared by your colleague James type:spreadsheet from:James

Find Photos or Images containing photos of cakes type:image owner:me cakes

Find files in trash that were modified today is:trashed after:2020-07-28

Find PDF files that are shared with me type:pdf -owner:me

Find files that are shared with me and added to my Google Drive in:myFiles -owner:me

Find all folders in my Google Drive that are created by me type:folder -owner:me

Find presentations that I’ve shared with my secretary type:presentation to:[email protected]

Tip: You can also use the Google Drive Auditor add-on to generate a detailed list of users who can access your Google Drive files.

Find all files that I’ve recently viewed or added in Google Drive Click “Recent” in the sidebar or use this link

Bonus Tip: Find the biggest files in Google Drive

@craigelloyd
August 11, 2017, 3:00pm EDT

How to quickly search google drive

Recently, Google introduced a new feature in Google Drive that makes it easier to quickly access recently-opened or recently-edited files by displaying them at the top of the Google Drive page. However, if you want to disable this feature, you can do so easily.

Many users probably like this feature, but for some it’s just an annoyance and takes up precious screen real estate. Luckily, you can disable this feature on the Google Drive web interface, as well as in the Google Drive apps for iPhone and Android. Here’s how to do it.

On the Web Interface

Go to drive.google.com to access your Google Drive, and click on the settings gear icon up in the top-right corner of the window.

How to quickly search google drive

Click on “Settings”.

How to quickly search google drive

Find the “Quick Access” feature and uncheck the box next to “Make relevant files handy when you need them.”

How to quickly search google drive

Hit “Done” at the top of that pop-up window and then refresh the page. Poof!

In the iPhone App

If you’re an iPhone user, open up the Google Drive app and tap on the menu button in the top-left corner of the screen.

How to quickly search google drive

Select “Settings” at the bottom.

How to quickly search google drive

Tap on “Quick Access”.

How to quickly search google drive

Tap on the toggle switch next to “Enable Quick Access” to disable it.

How to quickly search google drive

In the Android App

On Android, open up the Google Drive app and tap on the menu button in the top-left corner.

How to quickly search google drive

Scroll all the way down and select “Settings”.

How to quickly search google drive

Tap on the toggle switch next to “Enable Quick Access” to disable it.

If you are using cloud storage solutions such as Google Drive you know that you have control over the visibility of your data in the cloud.

You can set it to private so that only you can access it, but also invite others to have access, and even allow public access to the files instead.

While most of you are probably taking good care of that to make sure that only files that you want to share with others are shared, this is not always the case.

One reason for that is that it is relatively easy to share files with the public or a circle on Google Drive, especially if you use the application and web service at the same time.

It pays to check the visible files from time to time to make sure that you are okay with it. If you discover files that you do not want to share, you not only need to change the viability of those files but also find out why they have been shared this way in the first place to avoid that you make the same mistake again.

Check Google Drive visibility

How to quickly search google drive

Thankfully, it is easy to get a list of files that are publicly visible on Google Drive. Here is what you need to do.

  1. Open the Google Drive website using your web browser of choice.
  2. Sign-in to your Google account if you are not logged in already.
  3. Click on the small arrow icon next to the blue search icon at the top. The menu that you see on the screenshot opens up.
  4. Select Public on the web first. This displays all public files that you are the owner of, public files that you have opened, and public files that were shared with you.

To change the visibility of a file do the following:

Once you are done going through the public file listing, you may want to go back to remove the public on the web filter and replace it with “anyone with the link”.

This lists another batch of files that have either been shared by you or by others with you. Use the same methodology to go through them to make sure you only find files shared by you that you want to share this way.

If you’re a Windows PC person, you’re familiar with File Explorer. Windows 10 brought an improved Explorer, allowing you to access One Drive easily. But what if your primary cloud-based storage is Google Drive?

How to quickly search google drive

Can you create direct access to your Google Drive using the File Explorer? The answer is yes, you can. But it will require tinkering. We’re going to explain the process in this article.

Adding Google Drive to the File Explorer

If all of your precious files are in Google Drive, it’s perfectly reasonable to want to have fast and convenient access to them.

Your Windows File Explorer is a fantastic tool, but you have to access your Google Drive via browser by default. The solution is to download the Google Drive desktop tool for Windows. Here’s everything that you need to do:

  1. Download the Google Drive Windows desktop tool. You can pick between Individual, Team, and Enterprise options.
  2. Install it and then sign in with your Google Account.

The installation process only takes a few minutes, and once you sign in, you’ll be able to see the Google Drive folder in your File Explorer. Your Google Drive for Windows will show up as (G:) in the navigation panel in the File Explorer.

It will function as a local drive on your computer. When you add or delete anything from it, it automatically syncs with your Google Drive.

How to quickly search google drive

File Explorer Quick Access

When you click on the File Explorer icon, on the top of the navigation pane, you’ll see a little blue star and “Quick Access.”

Most savvy Windows users already know that the list of all of your favorite and frequently used folders is there. You can add Google Drive there immediately if you want to.

All you need to do is right-click on the Google Drive folder and select “Pin to Quick Access.” That way, you’ll have your Google Drive at your fingertips at all times.

Will It Work Offline Too?

You might wonder if this is going to work if you lose the internet connection and need to access your Google Drive Files. The answer is no, and you can’t.

Even though this is a desktop utility, it works the same way Dropbox or One Drive does in your Windows File Explorer. If you want to have specific files from your Google Drive always within your reach, you can download them.

And you can always delete them from the local desktop drive and download them again since they’re safe in the cloud.

All you need to do is right-click the File you want to download and select “Available offline.” In rare instances, when this option is greyed out, you can access the File via Chrome and go to File>Make available online.

You will also have access to Google Drive from your Windows Start Menu if that’s more convenient. And you can even pin Google Drive to the Windows taskbar for more convenient access.

How to quickly search google drive

What Makes Google Drive Great

Major cloud storage services are competing for your attention all the time. And in most cases, let’s face it, people don’t use just one due to storage limitation and different features.

But if you have a Google Account, you also have Google Drive. So, what can you do with it?

Android users receive the Google Drive app preinstalled on their device because they need a Google Account to navigate the phone. And iOS users can also download it and make the most of it.

The app is very responsive and lightweight. Since it’s connected to your Gmail account, it can help your productivity if you send emails via your phone all the time.

Just make sure to have the latest version of the app for optimal user experience. Check for updates on Play Store and App Store.

Another reason to have Google Drive on your computer and phone is that it offers a lot of storage. Initially, everyone with a Google account receives 15GB for free.

Keeping Your Google Drive Files Close

If you work on your Windows computer every day, you likely use File Explorer a lot. Depending on how you organize your files and folders, it can help you stay super-efficient.

So, having access to Google Drive through File Explorer is more than beneficial. And all you have to do is install the Drive desktop app for Windows, and that takes a few minutes.

Do you use Google Drive often? And would you like to have it in the File Explorer? Let us know in the comments section below.