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How Do I.... (a Practical Guide to Administration tasks)

Find files and folders in Google Drive

Find files and folders in Google Drive? Magnifying glass image

Google Drive offers a number of ways to find and search for files. You can look in the different areas of the Task bar.or use the search options on the Search Dialogue Box.

Task bar in Google Drive

The Google Drive Task BarMy Drive Shared Folder iconCalendar and magnifying glass imageStar imageTrash can image Drive Task bar

In the left side bar of Google Drive is the Task bar. It contains the folders and files in My Drive and Shared drive as well as sections that assist you with finding and organising Google files and folders.

Shared with meMy Drive Shared Folder icon

If someone shares a file of folder with you it appears within the Shared with me section of the Task Bar in your Google Drive. From here you can add those files that you regularly use to My Drive and organise them there, even though you have added it to My Drive it will remain in the Shared with me section. If you don't want to add it to My Drive you could add a star to the item or at a later date use the Search facility to find it.

Depending on your role, Shared with me could be an exhaustive list of files and folders, it is not expected that you add every document in Shared with me to My drive or indeed that you need to remove those that you don't need from there. Shared with me is not an area that you need to organise, in fact there is no way to organise it, for example you cannot create folders in there, its real purpose is the place where you will find files and folders that are shared with you.

Can you delete files from shared with me?

You can by selecting "Remove", this will not delete or remove them for other people. However, it is not recommended as although you may not need the files now you may need them at a later date. If you delete them they will not appear in your search results. As already mentioned it would be a never ending task and it really is not a worthwhile use of your time.

The Recent Section of the Task BarCalendar and magnifying glass image

As the name suggests the recent section lists all the files and folders that you have worked on recently.

Task bar in Google Drive contd... & the Search Dialogue Box

Add a Star to a file or folderstar image

To quickly locate folders or files that you are currently working on or that are very important to your work you can label them with a star. This is easily achieved from My Drive by right clicking on the file or folder and selecting Add to starred or from within an open file by clicking on the star outline on the right hand side of the file or folder name which will colour the star yellow. Follow the same processes to remove stars from items, in turn they will be removed from the starred section of the drive.

Star your opened file

Adding stars to files and foldersr

The Google BinTrash can image

If you delete an item from My Drive then it will remain in the Bin until you delete it permanently. You can access the Bin via the Bin link in the left side panel. If you go into the Bin section you can restore or delete the items permanently from here, if you do click on the delete forever link a popup warning will always ask you to confirm this action.


Using the Search dialogue boxMagnifying glass image

The Search dialogue box provides you with advanced search option that can assist you in finding a file or folder using numerous search options, it is worth taking advantage of these options to prevent you from scrolling through lots of results.

Google Drive Search dialogue box

Google Drive Search

The Find files in Google Drive help page in the Google help centre includes all of the different search options you can use.

The search feature "includes the word" can be used to find individual words, a string of words in "Scrambled eggs" excluding certain words. For example to find all files containing scrambled eggs but not poached type "scrambled eggs" and add the term word you don't want preceded by a minus sign i.e - poached.