Google is always tweaking its hugely-popular Chrome web browser to make it more useful and the latest change is no different. It centres around the Omnibox – the web address bar that runs along the top of every Chrome window that lets you launch searches in Google, enter URLs, and trawl through your web history.
It’s one of the trademark features of the Google-designed web browser and has been copied by almost every other rival browser out there.
And now Google is adding the ability to search through Google Drive folders directly from the Omnibox. So, instead of having to head to your Google Drive and then use the built-in search to find the document, photograph, or video that you need – you can just start typing the name into the address bar as if you were trying to search Google. It’s a brilliant new feature that will save you oodles of time every single day.
If you’re thinking “doesn’t Chrome already do that? I definitely found an old PDF that I had previously viewed by typing its name in the Omnibox before…” – you’re right. Chrome has allowed you to quickly launch Google Drive files and folders from the address bar if you’ve previously accessed them. In that sense, it was more like loading up the document from your internet history instead of searching Drive itself.
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With this latest update, you will be able to search for the names of documents, as well as the file types and the file owner.
So, if you start typing “type: spreadsheet” Google will immediately list all of the Microsoft Excel, Apple Numbers, or Google Sheets that you’ve got in your Google Drive repository, you can then use the arrow keys on your keyboard to scroll down through the list and select the one you need.
Likewise, entering in “owner: Philip” will display everything that Phil has written and is saved in a shared folder, or has collaborated with you on.
Unfortunately, this handy feature is only available to those who use G Suite Enterprise, Enterprise for Education, or Business editions. So, if your work, University or school isn’t all-in with Google’s suite of apps, then you’re out of luck. Of course, there’s a possibility that Google will bring the feature to all Chrome users who have files stored in Drive if the feature proves to be really popular. Fingers crossed.
If you’re part of a G Suite Enterprise, Enterprise for Education, or Business edition and running Chrome 69 or higher, you can enable the feature now.
Google says it will enable the feature by default for all users from December 16, 2019 but if you want to start using it today then open-up your Chrome browser, click on More > Settings. Under Under People, click Sync and then turn on or off Google Drive search selections.
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