G Suite: How to quickly filter files with Google Drive Search and Cloud Search

G Suite users can filter multiple Google Drive files with a few clicks (or taps) on desktop and mobile devices.

G Suite: What is it, and how can it benefit businesses?

G Suite users now have additional ways to find files quickly on Google Drive. In late February 2019, Google added access to filters that display when you click in the search box for Google Drive in a desktop browser.

With your cursor active in the Google Drive search box, wait a second or two--you should see several file filter options appear. Possible options include filtering of files by people, file type, edit date, or file status (e.g., "starred"). You might also see recent Google Drive search terms. Click--or if you have a touchscreen, tap--on an icon to display items that match your desired filter.

SEE: G Suite: Tips and tricks for business professionals (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Different people will see different options; the specific options will vary based on how you use Google Drive. The filters shown adapt to reflect your usage patterns (Figure A).

Figure A

Screenshots that show different icon sets for fast-filtering of Google Drive search on desktop.

G Suite users who search in Google Drive on a desktop will see different quick search options based on usage. Note that one account displays two date options, while the other shows only one. Access to Advanced Search features is always available.

In every case, an Advanced Search option remains available in the lower left area below the search box. Select that and you'll gain access to a variety of search options. The fields may look familiar: They're the same options you'll see when you select the Google Drive search box drop-down triangle. As of March 2019, the interface now gives you two ways to access Google Drive search selectors.

Google Drive search on iOS and Android apps

Similar one-tap search filters are also available in Google Drive apps on iOS and Android devices. In Google Drive on iOS, tap the magnifying glass in the upper right corner to access search. You may see options such as: People, File Types, Date Modified, or Owned By. Tap any of these options to see the selected set of files on your device (Figure B).

Figure B

Screenshot of search options (e.g., by file type, date modified, or owner) on iOS and Android devices.

Tapping the magnifying glass icon to search in Google Drive on iOS (left) or Android (right) allows access to one-tap search filter options.

Cloud Search

G Suite Business or Enterprise edition users may also search G Suite for files with the Cloud Search app, which is available for Android, iOS, or the web (cloudsearch.google.com) (Figure C).

Figure C

Screenshot of Cloud Search, which finds files in Mail, Drive, Calendar, and more

G Suite Business or Enterprise users might also try the Cloud Search app to search for files across several G Suite services.

Cloud Search can help you find files that might not necessarily be on Google Drive. For example, I've used Cloud Search to locate a file that I'd received in Gmail, but hadn't stored on Drive. The app lets you search for data across Gmail, Sites, Groups, and Calendar, as well as Drive. Cloud Search is a handy option when you can't quite recall where you encountered a file.

You can still type search terms and selectors into the search box on Google Drive to find files. Put quotes around words to search for the entire term (e.g., "Proposed Project Budget"), or type before: or after: followed by a date (e.g., before:2019-04-01). But many people will likely appreciate one tap/click access that quickly displays a few relevant files.

Your experience?

If you use these fast filters on Google Drive for work, what has your experience been? Are the files displayed the ones you seek? Let me know how these one tap/click Google Drive search features work for you. Either add a comment below, or let me know your thoughts on Twitter (@awolber).

Also see

Google Drive logo (left) with search box to right showing icons of documents, spreadsheets, PDF that allow for one-tap/click search of Google Drive
Illustration: TechRepublic/Andy Wolber