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Find Files

How to Find Files in Google Drive

Find Files

If your Google Drive is full of folders and files, you can use the search feature to find just what you need. All files stored in shared locations or My Drive are searchable. You can search for a file title, file contents, items featured in pictures, and PDFs.

Search for Files

  1. Click in the Search field.
  2. Type a search term. Find Files

    A menu appears displaying files that match the term you entered. If you see what you need, you can select it from the menu.

  3. Click Search. Find Files

Any matches appear below the search field. Double-click a file in the search results to open it.

Toggle List and Grid View

Google Drive allows you to view your files in either a grid view, as thumbnail images, or a list view. The grid view is generally helpful when the folder contains images, whereas the list view is particularly helpful when working with documents, spreadsheets, and presentations.

When there are several folders and files displayed, switching the view from thumbnails to a list may make it easier to scan.

  1. Click the List view or Grid view button. Find Files

    Press the V key.

Sort Files

Using the Sort feature makes it easier to locate information and keep related information together. Files are sorted from newest to oldest by default. There are four ways to sort your files in Google Drive:

  • Name: Orders files alphabetically by the file name.
  • Last modified: Orders files by the last time someone made a change to a file.
  • Last modified by me: Orders files by the last time you made a change to a file.
  • Last opened by me: Orders files by the last time you opened a file.

  1. Click a column heading.
  2. Select an option to sort by. Find Files

    The files are now sorted as you specified. An arrow icon also appears by the column header showing that the column is being used to sort the view.

  3. Click the Reverse sort direction arrow to flip the sort order. Find Files

You aren’t able to sort your files on the Recent tab.

Filter Results

When you’re viewing a lot of items, you can quickly find what you need by filtering. This hides files you aren’t interested in, leaving just the important ones in view.

  1. Click the Search options arrow.

    From here, you can specify things you know about the file, like the file type, the owner, or when it was last edited.

  2. Set additional search criteria.
  3. Click Search. Find Files

Your files are filtered to show only those meeting the search criteria.

You can clear a filter by clicking the Clear search button on the right side of the search field.

Show File Location

Once you pinpoint a file using search methods, it may be helpful to know where it lives in the folder structure so you can easily locate it in the future.

  1. Select a file.
  2. View the file path at the bottom of the screen. Find Files

    The file path shows the breadcrumb trail of the file’s current location. Click any of the folders in the path to jump directly to it and view its contents.

Or:

  1. Right-click a file.
  2. Select Show file location. Find Files

The folder where the file is stored opens.

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