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Google Drive Search Not Working? Here Are 5 Ways to Fix It


Marcel Deer

 on September 28, 2022. 
Reviewed by 

Michelle Meyer

Numbers in different coloured boxes with hands pointing to it

Losing something when you really need it sucks. A lot. But when you can’t find something because of something outside of your control, that just plain hurts. When it comes to digital files and organization, Google Drive is one of the best applications out there. But, it does have the occasional hiccup with its search function from time to time. If you're a Windows user, the issue is most likely caused by an indexing dilemma. This article offers 5 simple fixes to address Google Drive issues that fall outside of this.

1. Be Patient

Being inundated with short videos, quick load times, and crazy fast internet speeds has made us pretty comfortable moving at high speeds. If your documents don’t seem to be showing up when you search for them in your Google Drive, make sure to just give it some time. As long as you aren’t getting any other error messages such as “Temporary Error (502)” it might just take longer than usual to pull up a file, and that’s okay. If it does seem to be taking unusually long, quickly refresh your browser and even try closing and re-opening the application.

2. Check Your Internet Connection

We know that this is the tech equivalent of “beating a dead horse”, but this method is always suggested for good reason. It's the simplest fix to execute. Rather than dive in and use lots of your precious time trying elaborate fixes that would make Steve Jobs sweat, try the simple solutions first. If you're on a computer, ensure that your Wi-Fi is showing as on, and try loading other web pages and applications. If those seem to work, a good router reset will also do you some good. Make sure to have the router turned off for a good 10 seconds before starting it back up.

3. Check Your Browser Version

Although Google Drive does support many different browsers, from Chrome to Firefox, not using the correct version of those browsers can wreak havoc on your search function. To check that you're using the most compatible version of your preferred browser, head to Google’s support page and make sure that you're using the right browser as well as the two most recent iterations of it. It's also important to note that Google recommends using Chrome for all of its applications. Using outdated software is not recommended when it comes to maximizing your Google Drive potential.

4. Clear Your Cache and Cookies

Even though cookies and other temporary data files make our lives so much easier by automatically filling in information for us, they can also make our lives worse by messing with our browser’s functionalities. To make sure cookies aren’t adding undue weight to your Google Drive application and interfering with its search function, head to your browser’s settings tab (if you're using Chrome, click on the three vertical dots on the right corner of your browser) and head to "More Tools -> Clear Browsing Data". To delete all of your browsing data, select "All Time" as the option. Doing this will erase all of the useful—but unnecessary—data that very well could be clogging up your Google Drive.

5. Review Your Virus Scanning Software

Admittedly this is a more technical fix, but one that's definitely worth trying. Although virus scanners protect our systems from viruses and other potential threats, they also have a bad reputation for slowing down, interfering, and negatively affecting other applications—albeit inadvertently. To check that your virus scanning software isn't hindering your Google Drive application, simply open your software program and head to the "Settings" tab. Simply look over what programs your software is currently blocking or interfering with, and make sure that Google Workspace is not one of them. If it is, adjust your settings to permit Google Workspace to operate by enabling all permissions for it.


In conclusion, not being able to find what you're looking for in your digital files can be a massive headache. But, trying out these 5 common fixes for Google Drive search issues will hopefully make your day a little bit better. If for whatever reason, these fixes do not work, a good next step is to get in touch with the Google Help Forums or by submitting a feedback report through your Drive app by clicking the "Help" button. Stay organized out there!

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