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In Google Drive, is there a way to search only the contents of files within a particular folder (instead of files within the entire drive, as is the default)?

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It doesn't look that way, no. You can filter by owner, date, sharing status; but not by folder. –  Al E. Feb 4 '13 at 18:01
Try the in:folder_name operator (e.g. in:folder_name search_term. Found here. –  Alex Feb 4 '13 at 18:02
@Alex yes, why not add that as an answer, it's what I would have suggested :) –  OnenOnlyWalter Feb 4 '13 at 18:05
@Alex Sorry, I just tried what you said, but apparently it doesn't work (no results even when I know the file is there). –  Hydra Feb 5 '13 at 11:00
What's funny is that if I search and Google Docs says "documents found in Trash" and I click "view" it shows me "<docname> in:Trash" but if I do that search....it returns NO RESULTS. Geesh... Google. WTF? –  Clay Nichols Oct 29 '13 at 18:45

7 Answers 7

I don't think there is such a feature available in Google Drive yet, but you can do a workaround.

If you do not intend to search for files recursively, simply just open the folder you want to search in and use the browser function (Ctrl+F) to search the name of your desired file.

Of course using this method you can't search within the file itself for text matches.

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Yes, unfortunately I want to search content within files, not just filenames. I'm also looking to be able to recursively search within a folder (including subfolders). Thanks for the suggestion, though! –  Jon Schneider Feb 11 '13 at 21:42

If you want to search for text inside the files, you could search your drive for the text, then use (Ctrl+F) to search for the folder name. A little messy, though, and again, not recursive!

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I wrote an app to search by folder (within file contents). It is a bit slow so be patient when it is loading.


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A time-consuming work around, which isn't so painful if there are just a few folders you want to search, is to share those folders with other Google accounts, and then include to: thatgoogleaccount@example.com in your search.

The script in user165768's answer also works. It asks you to share a scary bunch of permissions, so you may want to look at the code at https://github.com/ljv5555/drive-folder-search/tree/gh-pages/app to reassure yourself, and possibly make your own copy.

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I have had very inconsistent success with:


This is somewhat inconsistent though.

This is how Google lets you search your Trash: e.g. before:2013-06-01 in:Trash

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You can take a look to the following tool: www.evenbytes.com/metadrive.html

This tool will help you to search within Google Drive Folders. In addition to that, the tool provides additional features such as filters or custom metadata.

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It is possible to use the API to search all files and filter the results down to the desired folder / subfolders. Here is an open source implementation:


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