The Google Drive Advanced Search is a thing of beauty.

My Google Drive is not the most organized, and I frequently rely on the search tool to find what I need.

8 Fantastic Ways to Find Anything in Google Drive

I have never been good at keeping all my digital files inside perfectly organized, color-coded, nested folders.

It’s a good thing that I don’t have to worry about organization inside my Google Drive.

The search inside Google Drive is very powerful and helps me find any file that I need.

Even with the thousands of files that I have accumulated over the years, the Google Drive advanced search is like my personal assistant, digging around and finding each and every file that I need.

As teachers, we can accumulate A LOT of files.

And often times, we need to find things fast.

Using the search strategies below, you can find exactly what you need with just a few keystrokes.

[Tweet “8 Fantastic Ways to Find Anything in #GoogleDrive”]

To open the Google Drive advanced search, click on the drop-down arrow at the end of the Google Drive search box, and you will find that you can search by file type, visibility, owner and much more!

(Note: the advanced search looks a little bit different in a Google Apps for Education account than it does in your personal account.)

8 Fantastic Ways to Find Anything in Google Drive

1. Search Google Drive by Keyword or Name

Just type in your keyword terms in the search box to start your search. This search also has the auto-complete feature we are used to seeing in our Google searches. Remember the auto-complete is not showing a complete picture.

After you have typed in your keywords, hit Return/Enter to see the complete results.

 Google Drive Keyword Search

2. Search Google Drive by File Type

When you click in the search box, a list of file types appears below the search box.

You can quickly filter your drive by file type to see a list of files by type.

You can also filter by file type with additional parameters using the advanced search tool.

Click on More Search Tools a the bottom of the search box,

OR click the drop-down arrow at the end of the search box and select the type of file you are looking for from the list.

Search by File Type

You can refine your search by file type:

  • photos and images,
  • PDFs,
  • text documents,
  • spreadsheets,
  • presentations,
  • forms,
  • audio,
  • video,
  • zip files,
  • drawings,
  • or folders.

 [Tweet “Never lose anything in your #GoogleDrive again! 8 search strategies!”]

3.  Search Google Drive by Date Modified

If you know the date or date range that the file was modified, you can also refine your search by the date.

You can use the pre-set date options to filter, or if you want to enter a custom date or date range, you can select Custom.

(Note: This is the date it was last modified, not the date of creation.)

Refine Your Search by Date

4.  Search Google Drive for Words the Item Contains

Searching for words the item contains is going to search the content within your files as well as the title.

Google’s smart search is SOOOOOO smart!

If you search for the word, “cat,” it will not only find files with “cat” in the name but also find any images you have of cats!

Note: This is the default search for number one, listed above, but here you can add other filters to help you locate the file or folder.

Search by Terms

5. Search by Owner

You can search your Google Drive for files that are owned by you, or not owned by you. If you remember who owned the file, you can search by the owner by specifically entering their email address.


Search by Owner

6. Search Google Drive by “Shared With”

You can also search for files that have been shared with certain users. Simply type in the name or email address of the person with whom the file was shared.

Search by Shared With

7. Search Google Drive by “Located In”

If you happen to know if the file has been starred or placed in the trash, you can specifically search those locations as well.

Search Drive by Located In

8. Search Google Drive for Exact Phrase

If you know your file is titled or contains an exact phrase, you can type that phrase into the search surrounded by quotes to locate every file that contains that exact phrase, similar to an exact phrase search on (Example: “Shake Up Learning”)

I hope these tips help you find all the files you need in your Google Drive! What are your favorite tips? Please share in the comments below.

Learning has changedWant to Shake Things Up in Your School or District? Bring Kasey Bell and Shake Up Learning to You!

Ready to shake things up in your school or at your event? Submit this PD request form to bring Shake Up Learning to your event.

Below are just a few of the keynote presentations and workshops that I deliver across the globe:

  • Be Dynamic and Shake Up Learning (keynote)
  • The Dynamic Learning Workshop (companion workshop to Kasey’s book)
  • Stranger Google: Crazy Tools from the Upside Down
  • Interactive Learning Menus and Choice Boards
  • Teach Like the Tonight Show


Here is what others have said about Kasey Bell’s presentations:

Thank YOU for an outstanding presentation this morning. I received so many wonderful comments about your keynote at our conference. These attendees didn’t just say they “liked” it; they each offered a specific point from your presentation to share with me that impacted their thinking about “change” or the integration of technology & instruction. Now that’s an effective presentation!” – Jane McKinney

Great session. Loved the ‘treasures’ theme throughout. Great, quick overview of tools and classroom applications for Google Apps.” – Chad Kafka

If you are attending a conference, follow these steps:

1. Search by presenter.

2. Find Kasey Bell.

3. Put all her sessions on your schedule!

You will learn so much and have a great time doing it!” – Stacy Menifee

Best session I went to at FETC…..So much wonderful information and every bit of it useful!” – Luanne Rowland


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