Required permissions: Google Workspace

Note: Combine different search operators to get more specific results.

Our clients often ask us how to search certain files within Google Drive service. To simplify finding shared files easier we would like to show you search operators which are now being rolled out. All clients will have these features available as of 7th May 2021 (some may have it up to 15 days sooner - gradual rollout to clients).

Here is how you can search files in Google Drive, which were shared:

 - “from:” will now return files shared with you by the specified email address. Previously, it would have returned files owned by that email address.

 - “to:” will now return files that you have shared with the specified email address. Previously, it would have returned all files that the email address had permissions to view, comment, or edit.

 - “sharedwith:” is a new search operator which will return files that the specified email address owns or has permission to view, comment or edit.

 - “owner:” returns files owned by the specified email address. There is no change to this operator, but you can use it to return the results you would previously have used the “from:” operator for.

Google Drive search options

There is more options how to find the files. Please see options below. You can immediately try (before May 7th) these search operators in your Google Drive .


 - Find documents that contain an exact word or phrase.

 - Example: "match this phrase exactly"

Minus sign

 - Find documents that exclude a particular word. If you want "salsa," but not "dancing"...

 - Example: salsa -dancing

 - Find documents in shared drives created by a specific person.

 - Example:

is: unorganized owner: me    
- Find files which lost their owner (orphan files)

- Find items that you starred.

- Find items that are moved to trash.

- Search by the type of document: folder, document, spreadsheet, presentation, PDF e.g.
- Example: type:document, type:forms, type:spreadsheet

before & after    
 - Find items that were modified before or after a certain day. 

 - Format the date as YYYY-MM-DD.


 - Search for items by title;
- Example: title:Conference 2014

- Find Apps Script files;
- Example: app:"Google Apps Script"

- Find files that have any action items or suggestion assigned to you;
 - Example:followup:any