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 Google Drive File Type Filter 1
G-Suite Type Filter
Google Drive File Type Filter 2
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.

OneDrive File Type Filter

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.

Extension File Type
.doc Word Document
.docx Word Document
.pages Pages Document
.xls Excel Spreadsheet
.xlsx Excel Spreadsheet
.numbers Numbers Spreadsheet
.pdf Acrobat PDF
.ppt PowerPoint Presentation
.pptx PowerPoint Presentation
.key Keynote Presentation
.bmp Bitmap Image File
.gif Graphical Interchange Format File
.jpg JPEG Image
.png Portable Network Graphic

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