Google is updating search operators in Google Drive to make it easier to find shared files.
Finding some files on Google Drive can be a bit of a task sometimes, as it’s hard to think of the ways you should remember how to search for them. Are you going to search for a file with its title, who owns it, or its type?
To make it easier to find files that have been shared with you, Google is now changing the way in which some of its search operators work – and adding others. In its announcement of the new search features, Google notes that users will continue to be able to make the same searches but some operators will change.
For example, “from:” will now return any files that are shared with you by a specific email address. Up until now, “from:” would return only the files that are owned by that address.
Similarly, “to:” will now return any files that you have shared with a specific email address. Up until now, “to:” would return only the files that the address had permissions to. i.e. view, comment, or edit.
“sharedwith:” a new search operator that returns any files that a specific email address owns – or has permissions to.
“owner:” is unchanged, and it returns any files owned by a specific email address. However, it replaces the previous search function of “from:” which returned any files that are owned by a specific address.
It’s important to note that searches for “from:” and “to:” won’t return any files that were shared before February 2021. You can find out more about Google Drive’s search operators here.
Google has added several search features to help users find files. These include the intelligent search box for Google Drive on desktop, improvements to mobile search, file suggestions in Chrome, and others.
However, as Google explains, these new changes will “enable more specific searches to find files shared with you and by you, and will help you find those files more quickly using more memorable details about the file.”