Google is updating Drive’s search functionality to allow for additional operators in an effort to make finding specific files much easier. For those unfamiliar, search operators allow you to specify parameters under which your search will be conducted while excluding results outside of those parameters. The company is also slightly modifying other existing parameters to be a bit more clear on how files are located. Here’s an example of the task of searching using operators in action as well as a list of those changes:
“from:” will now return files shared with you by the specified email address. Previously, it would have returned files owned by that email address.
“to:” will now return files that you have shared with the specified email address. Previously, it would have returned all files that the email address had permissions to view, comment, or edit.
“sharedwith:” is a new search operator which will return files that the specified email address owns or has permission to view, comment or edit.
“owner:” returns files owned by the specified email address. There is no change to this operator, but you can use it to return the results you would previously have used the “from:” operator for.
As you can see, these changes are dedicated to making searches more consistent with your intention rather than the server’s idea of what ought to be returned to you. Google has been on a rampage lately to eradicate any notion of complication from its software and services and truly transforming its approach to how it serves its users by humanizing how we interact with its offerings.
These updates to our search operators 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.
Neither end-users nor admins need to do anything to receive these benefits as they’re toggled on via Google’s server by default. All you’ll need to do is wait for a while. While many may already be able to access and use these new operators others will need to keep an eye out as they may show up at any point between now and the next week and a half. You should also be aware that ‘from:’ and ‘to:’ will not return files that were shared prior to February 2021.
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