Best Search tips and tricks for Google Drive

Google Drive is a popular cloud storage that is powered by the web giant, Google. Behind the popularity, there are few couple of reasons like you do not have to create any other account for using Google Drive. If you have Gmail account, you can use Google Drive right away. 15GB free storage is another reason, why Google Drive is so much popular.

Anyway, if you have been using Google Drive for a long time, you may have stored a lot of files, created loads of folders, etc. Now, if you are facing any problems in finding any particular file, or to organize files accordingly, here are some search conditions. You can utilize these search terms or filters to find out something that you are looking for.

Google Drive Search Tips and Tricks

Search tips and tricks for Google Drive

1] Find the exact match

This is something like Google search. We often use quotation marks (“”) to find something particularly. The same thing can be used in Google Drive as well. You can use quotation mark to filter the files with a particular name. Let’s assume that you have a file name called All about Microsoft Windows 10 and you remember that. Therefore, you can search for that files with this following search term,

“All about Microsoft Windows 10”

Do not remove the quotation mark. Otherwise, this filter will not work. If you have more than one file with the same name but in different folders, you will get them all in the search result.

2] Find documents with at least one word

Suppose, you have some files with single word unique names and you do not remember the spelling of those files. Now, if you want to find those files, you can use OR filter. OR filter will help you to find those files those have at least one of the words you have entered in the search box. At such situations, you can use OR filter like this,

Word1 OR word2

Do not remove the OR from the search terms and do not forget to replace word1 and word2 with your own search terms.

3] Exclude a word

Suppose, you have some files with names like “Microsoft Windows 10”, “Windows Phone 10”, “Microsoft Windows” etc. Now, you want to get all those files those are have “Microsoft Windows” in the title but not “Phone”. At this moment, you can use minus sign to exclude any word that you do not want to get as search result. The search term looks like this,

Microsoft windows –phone

Those aforementioned search term will show all the results those have Microsoft Windows in the title. But, you cannot find “Phone” in the search result.

4] Find others’ files

Sometime, we share files with friends and friends share their files with us. No matter who shares the files, the owner of the file should be always one person. If your friends have shared a lot of files with you and now you are not getting the exact file that you are looking for, you can use owner and from search terms. They will help you to filter files by owner and the main person, who shared the file with you.


This will help you to find all those files those have “Microsoft” in the name and owned by “”.


This term will let you find all file those are having “Microsoft” in the title and shared by “”.

5] Find your shared files

This is the exact opposite of the aforementioned search terms. This time, you can use this filter to find file those are owned and share by you with someone else. Sometime, we need to find files those are shared by us with a particular person. At this time, you can use TO search term. It looks like this


This above-mentioned search term will help you to find files those have “Microsoft” in the title and you shared with “”.

6] Find star marked items

Like Gmail, we use a star to mark more important files in Google Drive. When you search for anything in Google Drive, it captured files from any location. Therefore, if you want to limit the search in Star folder only, you can use this search term. It will execute the search within Starred folder. It looks like this

Microsoft is:starred

It will help you to find all files those are starred and have “Microsoft” in the title. You can certainly use any term in the place of “Microsoft”.

7] Find files in Trash folder

As usual, the Trash folder holds all the deleted files of Google Drive. If you have deleted a lot of files recently, but you want to restore some of them, you can use search term. It will assist you to find files in trash folder right from the main Google Drive window. Like is:starred, you can use is:trashed term to execute the search within Trash folder. For example,

Microsoft is:trashed

Like the abovementioned term, it will filter all files those are in Trash folder and have “Microsoft” in the title.

8] Before & After command

As the names indicate, these commands will help you to find a file that was edited before or after a particular date. Suppose, you want to fin files those were edited before/after your birthday or any party or anything else. These commands look like this,

Microsoft before:2015-08-14

It will help you to filter your files those are edited before 14th August 2015 and have “Microsoft” in the title. The same thing can be used with after command.

Microsoft after:2015-08-08

Note: The date format is YYYY-MM-DD.

9] Search by title only

As of now, we have seen all the terms those can show results for a particular word in the title. For instance, if you have searched by “Microsoft”, “Microsoft Windows….”, “Microsoft News…..” etc. will be given in the search result. Sometime, Google Drive show results for a particular word that is placed inside the file. But, what if you want to search for the title only? This is possible with the help of title filter. You can use this to find out a file that is having a specific title. It looks like this,

Title:” Windows 10 restarts after selecting shutdown

10] Get files those can be opened by particular app

Generally, Google Drive shows results of all types of files like Word files, Excel, images and so on. But, suppose, you want to get files those can be opened by a particular app like Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slides etc. This time, you will have to use app filter. For instance, you want to search all the files those can be opened by Google Sheets and have “Microsoft” in the file. You have to enter this term,

Microsoft app:”Google Sheets”

There are many other complex search terms. You can create nested terms like this,

Microsoft before:2015-08-09

It will help you to find files those have Microsoft in the files, shared with and edited before 9th August 2015.

Hope these search terms for Google Drive will make life easier for you!

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Sudip is a student who loves to engage with the latest technology & gadgets. Apart from writing about all things technology, he is a Photoshop junkie and a football enthusiast.

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