I'm trying to find files in Google Drive that are:

  1. Owned by me
  2. Located in "My Files" (not shared folders or Team Drives)
  3. Not shared with anyone

The advanced search dropdown has options for 1 and 2, but I can't figure out the "Not shared with anyone" piece.

The Google Drive advanced search documentation has options like to: to find files that are shared with specific people, e.g. to: [email protected]. But, I need the opposite of this, something like -(is:shared).

As an experiment, I tried to search files that are "owned by me" and "not shared with a specific person" by using the - and to: options:

owner:me -to:[email protected]

This simply returned the message "None of your files or folders matched this search", which makes me think you can't use - and to: together.

Manual workaround

My current workaround is to use owner:me and search in "My Files" and manually scan the files that do not have the "shared" icon to the right of the filename, but I would love to find a way to filter all these files using advanced search.

  • It is a pain when the files are shared with someone and you are trying to find files not yet shared with a specific person! Commented Sep 10, 2017 at 3:50

1 Answer 1


I think I figured it out, put the email addy in parenthesis: owner:me -to:([email protected]) This works too: ((owner:me) AND (-to:([email protected]))

However, it did NOT work when I tried to add the "parent:" variable to search in a specific folder, in only worked in My Drive no matter where in the string that variable was, or if I used the AND configuration.

  • It seems that if I put the word "AND", it searchs only documents where the AND word is included. But putting everything between brackets is a nice hint.
    – jose
    Commented Jul 5, 2022 at 12:17

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