Finding Files that Someone Else Owns in Google Drive

You can use search in Google Drive to find content you have access to that someone else owns (a specific person or anyone else), and then make a copy so you don't lose access.

This KB Article References: Google Drive
This Information is Intended for: Instructors, Staff, Students
Created: 09/23/2022 Last Updated: 05/04/2023

If you have access to files in Google Drive that someone else owns you can use Search to find them and make a copy of them so you own i. If the file has been deleted, you would lose access to the file.

In this article, you will learn how to:

Use Google Drive Search To Find Files Owned by Someone Else

  1. In a web browser, go to Google Drive at
  2. Near the top center, in the search bar, click the search options button
    google drive search options
  3. For Owner,
    1. select Specific person... and then enter the email address for the person 
      google drive search for specific person
    2. OR select Not owned by me
      google drive search for not owned by me
  4. Click Search
    Note: If your results are too many, you can add more criteria items to narrow your search results like Type or Has the wordsLearn more about how to use the advanced search.
  5. Results will display
    Note: Results also include New Google Sites you have access to but don't own

Sort Search Results by Last Modified

To find files you worked on most recently, sort the search results:

  1. In the search results, click the Last modified column heading and select Last modified 
    sort by last modified 
  2. The results will now sort by the most recently modified item

Find Lost Files You Own

Only owners of a file can truly delete it. If a folder that contained your file is deleted or your file is removed from the folder, your file becomes unorganized not deleted. Learn how to find unorganized or lost files.


Supported By

Customer Engagement and Support