Search Google Drive from Chrome's address bar

Martin Brinkmann
Nov 19, 2012
Updated • Jan 3, 2014
Google Chrome

If you are a Google Drive user by heart, you are probably already using all the options available to you to synchronize data with your desktop and mobile devices.

That does not make searching the contents stored in the cloud any easier though, as you still need to go to the Google Drive website to do so, or use local search options to find files locally.

OmniDrive is an extension for the Google Chrome browser that adds searching capabilities right to the browser's address bar. To use it, you simply enter drive followed by a tap on the tab-key in the browser's address bar.

This switches to a search powered by the extension that looks on Google Drive to find files matching the string you enter

google drive search

The extension supports basic strings, e.g. the full or partial file name of a document you are looking for or file extensions, but also some of the advanced parameters that Google has made available, including:

  • type: to only search for specific types of files including: document, presentation, image, video or pdf
  • title: to find documents by title instead of file name
  • - to exclude items from the search results.

To install the extension simply head over to the Google Chrome Web Store to do so. Note that you may need to authorize the extension on first usage to access your Google Drive storage as it is required for the search functionality.

Once that is out of the way you can start to search your Google Drive files right from the Chrome browser address bar.

Note that a selection of results are displayed directly in a menu that opens up once you start typing. It lists the first matches for the search query and gives you the option to redirect the actual search query to Google Drive's search page instead. This is useful if the results displayed in the browser menu do not include the file you are looking for. Files are automatically opened on Google Drive if selected.

OmniDrive is a useful extension for Chrome users who regularly work with files on Google Drive. Note that it does not consume memory while not being used.


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  1. Steve R said on January 3, 2014 at 9:30 pm

    Type “drive” in address bar, then press Tab. No need to type the “omni” part as stated above. Maybe it’s updated since you wrote this?

    Great post.

    Wasn’t sure if it would be useful but it is great – rather than wait for G Drive to load (especially if it’s running slow or your connection is slow), just type “drive”, hit Tab and type your search term. Then you can go back to your other tabs if you need to while it’s processing your request – it gave me a preview of the file I needed so I could see the info I needed without clicking into the page at all. Lovely stuff.

    Keep wondering if you can search within the file – I seem to think it only searches out filenames not actual content (looking for a “grep” type search if talking in Linux terms I guess..)


    1. Martin Brinkmann said on January 3, 2014 at 10:32 pm

      The extension changes the drive that you type automatically into OmniDrive.

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