Advanced Searches on Google Drive – Jenny’s Weekly Tip #4

Organizing Contacts

Finding files and folders efficiently in Google Drive

How did the naming convention turn out? Hopefully, you now know your Robs from your Robs.

This week we have decided to provide you with a tip on Searching in Google Drive. Most of us know how to do a basic search within Drive, but sometimes you need a more advanced search to locate a certain document.

Narrowing your search and/or typing in boolean search operators can help you more efficiently find your files, folders, documents, spreadsheets, and presentations.

Here are 3 tips to consider when searching for a file, folder or Google document:

  • To narrow your search results click on the down arrow to the right of the search box to open a drop down that will allow you to narrow your search by Type, Visibility and Ownership.

Tip Pic 4.1

  • To search by an individual owner you can now start typing their email address or name and select them from the list of people that appears at the bottom of the search box.

Tip Pic 4.2

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

Common search operators:




“search term “

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 ofproject or marketing


Files that include both of the words

project AND marketing Document name or contents include bothproject 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


Files shared by a person

from:[email protected] Files shared by [email protected]


Files shared with a person

to:[email protected] Files shared with [email protected]


Files owned by a person

owner:[email protected] Files owned by [email protected]


Items marked with a star

is:starred Files that have been starred.


Search for document types – document, spreadsheet, presentation, drawing, image, video, pdf

type:pdf Finds all pdf files

before:YYYY-MM-DD after:YYYY-MM-DD

Files modified before and/or after the entered date – ie search between a set of dates

before:2012-10-12 after:2012-10-08 Files modified between the 8th and 12th October 2012


Search by title of the file or document (combine with ” ” to perform exact title search)

title:”google apps tips” Files with the title including the exact phrase google apps tips

See you next week for another tip!

Organizing Contacts
By Jenny Bamber
12 September 2013
Jenny's Admin TipsJenny's Weekly TipsThe Good Systems Blog

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