Quickly Filter Files in Google Drive, OneDrive, & Dropbox
10 years ago, a small number of people were aware cloud storage services even existed. Today, nearly everyone uses cloud storage from either Microsoft, Google, or Dropbox. Creating a Microsoft or Google account automatically grants you access to cloud storage space. Anyone using a computer on a regular basis is likely familiar with saving and sharing files through the cloud.
Typically, you can find a stored file quickly using the search box with each service. But what do you do when you can’t remember the filename or you have thousands of files? You’ve likely moved from folder to folder hoping to find that file from a few months or even years ago. As you use cloud storage, more files stack up within the space making the search even harder.
Filter By File Type
You could save time if you know what type of file you’re looking for. Each service offers different options for filtering files by type. Google Drive simplifies the process the most, but OneDrive and Dropbox aren’t far behind.
Filtering File Types on Google Drive
If you use Google Drive, filtering by type makes itself readily available as soon as you click within the search box. Click in the search box, and you’re greeted by a list of filter types: PDFs, Documents, Spreadsheets, Presentations, PDFs, Images, and Videos. How it appears varies depends on whether you’re a G-Suite user or a standard Google user (see the images below). However, both function the same.
Select the filter you want, and your list is reduced to only those types of files. The operator looks like “type:
G-Suite Type Filter
Standard Google Drive Type Filter
Filtering Files on OneDrive
OneDrive works a little differently depending on whether you’re an Office 365 subscriber or just own a Microsoft account. Office 365 subscribers are offered a file type list once you start searching for a name. Alternatively, you can just search for the file extension (if you know it) regardless of your service type.
Filtering Files on Dropbox
Dropbox, like the free version of OneDrive, requires you to know the extension used by the file type. Simply typing an extension like “.doc” will return every Word document within your Dropbox account. It may not be as simple as Google Drive, but it works. Here are a few of the most common file extensions used today. You can view a more extensive list at fileinfo.com.
Bitmap Image File
Graphical Interchange Format File
Portable Network Graphic
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