4 Google Drive Search Tips to Help You Find Anything

You regularly use Google Drive to store and share data then finding what you need can be challenging. Luckily, Google Drive puts its Search Drive box right at the top of your browser window for easy access.

Google Drive is a free cloud storage service provided by Google. You get 15GB of free storage, a free online office suite, and it integrates with Gmail to boost your email experience. But that means your Drive has a whole bunch of files. How do you find the right one? Here are 4 tips to help you find anything quickly.

  1. Search by File Type or Extension

If you want to search file by type, for example, .PDF, .docx, mp3 … click the little drop-down arrow in the search bar then select Type.


Here are the options you have for refining your search:

  • PDFs
  • Text documents
  • Spreadsheets
  • Presentations
  • Photos and images
  • Videos
  • Audio
  • Archive
  • Drawings
  • Folders

This method shows you all file extensions in a certain category.

Enter *. followed by the file extension, and search to find all files with that extension.

For example: *.png for all PNG files, or *.MP4 for all MP4 files.

  1. Search by Date

Google Drive always lets you sort and manage files by date, but what about when you need to find files within a specific range.

You can type directly into the search line as:

For example, if you find the files before 20 Dec 2015 we typed: before: 2015-12-20


Or you can click the arrow in the Search line. Click on the day to select the date you up or receive file. There are some basic options such as:

  • Today
  • Yesterday
  • Last 7 days
  • Last 30 days
  • Last 90 days
  1. Search by Owner or Who It Was Shared With

If you have too many documents, remembering the file name or date to search is very difficult. But there are still other ways that you can search for your file-sharers.


In the More search tools on desktop, you have two ways to filter based on people.

  • Owner: Files owned (or created) by you, not owned by you, and those owned by a specific person. You’ll need to have that person’s email address though.
  • Shared with: Files that are shared with a certain person. Again, you’ll need to have that person’s email address.
  1. Search by Title, or Inside Files

By default, when you enter any word in Google Drive, it’s looking for that word in file names as well as their content. In addition, Google’s smart algorithms can determine the image content. You can search for files quickly.


Above are some tips to find files or document you’ve probably forgot. If your files you want to search accidently deleted, you can refer How to Recover Deleted Files in Google Drive, then search as the ways above.