How to Quickly Find Google Drive Files or Folders Using the Search Bar

Quick and easy-to-follow guide for Google Drive users

What is the best way to find a file or folder in Google Drive quickly and easily

  • The best way to find a file if you have a deep folder structure is to search.

How to search in Google Drive step-by-step with images

Step 1

How To Quickly Find Google Drive Files Or Folders Using The Search Bar - Step 1

To find a file or folder in Google Drive at https://drive.google.com fast, use the search bar on top of the page.

You can search by title and even content, including words featured in pictures, PDF files, or other files stored on your Drive.

The top results will appear below as you type. You can press the Enter key on your keyboard to display all results. 

You can also click one of the icons below to look for specific items, such as Documents, Spreadsheets, Sites, Folders, Presentations, PDFs, and items edited today.

Click Advanced Search at the bottom to view more options that help you narrow down your search results so that you can be even more specific.

Step 2

How To Quickly Find Google Drive Files Or Folders Using The Search Bar - Step 2

Google Drive advanced search operators for precise searching

The advanced search options are the following:

  • Type – files of a specific kind, such as Folder, Document, Spreadsheet, Audio, Video, .pdf, etc.
  • Owner – lets you search by owner.
  • Location – you can also look for items in Trash or Starred.
  • Date modified – allows you to search only for items that have been modified in a specific time range.
  • Item name – lets you enter a term that matches part of the file name.
  • Has the words – lets you look for words found in the file.
  • Shared to – finds items shared with a specific email address.
  • Follow up – can be used if the file has action items assigned to you or suggestions in files you own.

You can click RESET at the bottom to reset the search terms.

There are also other terms you can use to refine your search even more:


Quotes “”

Find documents that contain an exact word or phrase.

Example: “match this phrase exactly”


Minus sign –

Find documents that exclude a particular word. If you want “salsa,” but not “dancing”…

Example: salsa -dancing



Find documents owned by a specific person.





Find documents shared by a specific person.

Example: from:jim@gmail.com



Find documents in a Shared Drive created by a specific person

Example: creator:roger@yourdomain.com



Find documents you shared with a specific person or a group.


to:[email protected]



Find items in Starred



Find items in Trash



Search by document type: folder, document, spreadsheet, presentation, PDF, image, video, drawing, form, site, script, table, or jam file.

Example: type:spreadsheet


Before & after

Find items edited before or after a specific day. Format the date as YYYY-MM-DD.






Search by title

Example: title:Conference 2014



Find Google Fusion Tables or Apps Script files. 


app:”Google Apps Script”

app:”Google Fusion Tables”


Source:domain (Google for work or school)

Search for items shared across your organization’s entire domain instead of items you or your group created.

Example: To search for files related to a domain, use source:domain

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