How to find files in Google Drive with advanced search operators

How to find files in Google Drive with advanced search operators

Google Drive allows for file storage and sharing within traditional folder hierarchies and the ability to locate folders and files using traditional navigation methods (such as clicking down in a folder hierarchy).

However, it’s often faster to use the amazing search features built into Google Drive. Simply searching for a keyword or two often brings up the most relevant files immediately.

Advanced search operators they can be used when the search needs to be narrowed by more specific criteria (for example, when there are many files that can be returned by a simple keyword search).

Narrowing your search and / or typing in Boolean search operators can help you find your files and folders more efficiently.

To narrow your search results, click the arrow at the bottom right of the search box to open a drop-down menu that will allow you to narrow your search by File Type, Aperture With, and Properties.

Optionally, you can also check the Search domain name box to broaden the search to all items shared with you even if not added to My Drive.

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

Advanced search options for Google Drive




“Search term”

Exact words in quotes

“Marketing project” The name or contents of the document include the exact term marketing project


Files that include at least one of the words

project OR marketing The name or contents of the document include either project or marketing


Files that include both words

project AND marketing The name or contents of the document include both project and marketing

Does not include, can be used in front of any operator to look for the negative, that is, it is not a folder it would be -type: folder

-sales -type: folder The name or content of the document does not include the term sales and the search will ignore folders


Files shared by a person

from: Files shared by


Files shared with a person

to: Files shared with


File owned by a person

owner: File owned by

is: starred

Articles marked with a star

è: special Files that have been marked as special.


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

type: pdf Find all pdf files

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

Files modified before and / or after the entered date, i.e. search across a set of dates

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


Search by file or document title (combine it with “” to perform exact title search)

title: “google app suggestions” Title file that includes the exact phrase google app suggestions

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