How to Find Google Drive Files?

How to Find Google Drive Files?

By camilaforero

Many times you have problems finding a file or set of files in Google Drive, sometimes they are deleted, permissions expire, among other reasons that can make it difficult to find the files. Let’s see how you can get to track in your Google Drive the files you need to find.

Check Google Drive’s Trash

Usually the files that are deleted go directly to the area known as Trash, to access this folder select Trash in the Google Drive sidebar and there you will find the deleted files. Files deleted and in Trash will have 30 days before they are permanently deleted and for you to restore them, so a good option is to look here in case you don’t find a file and confirm if maybe it was accidentally deleted. Sometimes an option we used to have when the space in Drive is full is delete files, however, here you can find How to get more space on Google Drive. 

Another option to find the files more easily in the Trash is by selecting the option of date in the trash in the upper right part of the web application, in this way the files will be sorted by date. As soon as you find the file you were looking for in the Trash you can right-click on the file and select Restore, this way the file will return to its location, and in case you need to restore several files at the same time you can keep pressed the Ctrl or Cmd key while selecting them, to later follow the same steps, right click and restore so that all the selected files return to their place.

Search for the Missing Files

In case you remember the name of the file you can’t find you can type its name in Search Drive at the top of the Google Drive web app, or if you only remember part of the name you can do the same and Google Drive can filter the entries that are related to the name. Even using the advanced filtering tools you can improve your searches, for this you just have to click on the search options icon to the right of the Search in Drive field, after this you can filter the information by Type, Owner, Location, etc.

Check for Orphaned Files

Sometimes when a folder or file is shared in Drive it may belong to someone else, and in case the folder is deleted from the owner side and you need the file it may still be present but not visible for you to see. Also you can check how to share Google Drive folders with others. 

However, if you need the file, there is a way to find the file you are looking for, with a search parameter in the Search Drive field you can find it. In case you find the file, right click and select the Move option this way you can move the file to the root of My Drive or to a directory in Google Drive.

The search parameter:

is:unorganized owner:me

Check Activity Panel

Checking in the Activity panel in Google Drive you can also find the file that way, just go to My Drive in the Google Drive sidebar, select the Information icon in the upper right corner of the Google Drive web application and switch to the Activity tab.

Then you can find a long list of activities related to Google Drive, for example, when you opened, renamed, edited, moved or deleted files; in the same way you can find the activity of the collaborators who are in the file or folder, for this you just need to select the folder and then the Activity panel should refresh.

Contact the Owner

In case you need a shared file that was deleted or the owner has revoked the permissions, you should contact that owner, still you can confirm if a specific file or folder was shared with you just by looking in your previous email for invitations to share. Google Drive, there you will also find the details of the owner information.

Clear the Google Drive Cache

Sometimes due to the cache Google Drive can fail and stop showing files and folders, so one option is to clear the cache and check if this can help. To accomplish this you must select the View site information padlock icon in the address bar, then go to Site Settings and then select Clear data. After this procedure, you can reload Google Drive and check if the missing files appear, in case the issue continues, you can delete the browser cache.

Use Chrome or Update It

One of the best ways to access Drive is using a Google browser, in this case Chrome is the best option and use the most up-to-date versions of it, to check for updates you can select the Chrome menu and select Help > About Google Chrome.

Open Google Drive in Incognito Mode

Sometimes Google Drive doesn’t work properly because of browser extensions, if you use Chrome you can use an incognito window this way the browser will be used by default. To be able to open an incognito window, you just have to access the Chrome menu and select New incognito window.

If everything is displayed correctly you can go back and disable the browser extensions, you just need to select the Extensions icon at the top right of the window, followed by Manage extension and then enable one by one to find the extension that can cause the problem with Drive.

Malicious Extensions:

If you’re using Chrome on PC, you can use the browser’s built-in malware scanner to remove potentially malicious extensions by opening the Chrome menu and selecting Settings > Advanced > Reset and clean > Clean up computer > Scan.

Check Backup and Sync Preferences

You can check your sync preferences in case you have trouble finding lost files while syncing them locally to your PC through the Google Drive Backup and Sync client. To make sure the settings are correct you can right click on the Backup and Sync icon in the system tray and select Settings > Preferences, after this you need to go to the Google Drive tab to make sure you have selected the files and folders you want to sync successfully.

Submit a File Recovery Request

In case the above suggestions did not work correctly to find your Google Drive files most likely the file could be permanently deleted, at this point if that is the case you can send a file recovery request to  Google Support to request further assistance in recovering the file you need. 

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