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Quick Tip: Star files on Google Drive

Star items on Google Drive to facilitate quicker access from your browser, or Android and iOS devices.

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If you use Google Drive, you may have noticed "Starred" in your document list on the left side of the screen. Starred items provide a way for you to access files quickly, without having to search.

Unlike "Recent" items, which are files opened or edited, um, recently, Starred items tend to be either active documents or reference files.

For example, my "Starred" items typically consist of three types of files:

  • Active documents: client files and articles in process
  • Reference documents: workshop descriptions, bio, and photo info for speaking engagements
  • Template documents: for clients to use to gather information and for me to use for tech recommendations

I tend to "un-Star" items when they're finished. When I complete an article or client document, I remove the Star.

I use Google Drive on three distinct platforms:

  • in a browser (on a Chromebook),
  • on iOS (on an iPad), and
  • on Android (on an LG Optimus G Pro smartphone).

By Starring items, I can quickly access these files on any of my devices. "Starring" and accessing Starred items works a little differently on each of the three platforms. (I recently struggled to figure out how to access "Star" items on my Android phone.) Here's how it works.

Starring in the Browser

To view Starred items in a browser, go to http://drive.google.com then click "Starred" in the left menu.

View Starred items in Google Drive.

There are two places to toggle Starred items in the browser:

1. While in the main Google Drive file list, click the Star to the left of a document's title in the list.

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Star or un-Star items from the Google Drive file list.

2. While viewing or working on a document, click the Star to the right of the document's title.

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Star or un-Star a opened file in the browser.

Starring in the Google Drive iOS (iPad) app

Viewing and starring items on the iPad is extremely easy:

  • Tap on "Starred" on the main screen to view starred items, and
  • Tap the Star to the left of a document's title in the file list to Star/un-Star items.

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Toggling Stars and Viewing Starred items is simple in the Google Drive iPad app.

Starring on the Google Drive Android app

To view Starred items in the Google Drive Android app:

  • Tap the menu icon in the upper left corner of the screen, then
  • Tap "Starred".

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View Starred items in two steps with Google Drive on Android devices

Toggling Starred items on Android is more difficult than on iOS devices. To Star or un-Star files in Google Drive on Android:

  • Tap the file information symbol to the right of the file name, then
  • Tap the Star to star or unstar.

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Tap the file information symbol to be able to star/unstar files on Android devices.

And, now that I've completed this article, I'll "un-Star" it. Let me know how you use Starred items on Google Drive in the comments below.

About

Andy Wolber helps people understand and leverage technology for social impact. He resides in Ann Arbor, MI with his wife, Liz, and daughter, Katie.

2 comments
MoarTestFoo
MoarTestFoo

Yea, I use stars when I'm constantly looking for the same results.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin moderator

Do you use Starred items on Google Drive? Or do you simply search for documents as needed? I use stars so that I can avoid searching.