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How to use search to find files quickly inside Google Drive

Rob Clarke

Rob is the co-founder and CEO of Learning Architects. He supports leaders and organisations to thrive in the future through coaching, development, technology and learning design. He is a Ministry of Education accredited PLD facilitator. He is also a Dad and volunteers as Special Officer - Education for the United Nations Association of NZ.

For more information please visit: or get in touch via +64 21 590 572

Advanced Search In Drive

One of the biggest headaches for people is learning how to find items inside Drive. This quicktip will help you overcome this and learn how to find files inside Google Drive really quickly, by using Google Drive search properly. You’ll never lose a Google Drive file ever again!

These tips are the most common areas we help people with when providing professional learning in digital fluency. Read on to learn how to use filtering to quickly narrow down your Google Drive search results and get on with your work!

There are various ways you can filter the files inside the search panel of Google Drive, each with their own advantages. For example:

  • Type – this is the most common choice at the top, it allows you to choose whether you are searching for a text document, presentation, spreadsheet, form, image, folder plus a number of other less common options.
  • Date modified – handy if someone sent you something last week!
  • Item name – this searches only in the file names, rather than inside the body of the files themselves. Because it is quite specific, you may need to alter how you phrase your search.
  • Has the words – this is a broader search that looks inside the contents of the files themselves. You might like to alter how you phrase your searches using this.
  • Owner – if someone shared a document with you but you can’t recall what it is called.
  • Shared with
  • Located in – this searches inside specific areas (ie. folders) inside your Drive, or inside Team Drives.
  • Follow up – this is an interesting search because it looks for items that have a specific follow up inside them.
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We hope this tip helps you save time when searching Google Drive.

Using search effectively is a key skill for being successful in any cloud-based environment – if you’d like unlimited support in developing your skills in a supportive environment, why not join our Online Learning Community. In there you will get all sorts of great tips, tricks, templates, resources, online video courses and more!

Our QuickTips email bulletin is focussed on supporting educators, students,
and businesses to implement technology quickly and easily

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