Windows Search Not Finding Google Drive Files and Folders

Google Drive client software allows you to automatically back up files from your computer, camera, or SD cards to the cloud. Google Drive sync client, as useful as it may be, but there is a small glitch in the setup process. After installing and using Google Drive sync, you may have noticed that Windows search returns no results from the Google Drive folder.

The Google Drive folder is located here:

C:\Users\{username}\Google Drive

For instance, I have a file named Get Rich Fast.rtf file in the Google Drive sync folder.

google drive folder contents

However, when I use Windows search to find the exact file name, it returns “No items match your search”.

google drive search results not found


This happens due to missing permission entries for the Google Drive folder. The SYSTEM account needs to have Read or Full Control permissions for this folder to index its contents successfully. By default, the Google Drive folder permissions are set such that access permissions is given to the current user account only, and inheritance is disabled for the folder. As a result, the indexer is unable to read the folder contents.

Resolution: Correct the Google Drive folder permissions

To fix the problem, use these steps to fix the Permission for Google Drive folder.

1. Open the Google Drive folder located at %userprofile%\Google Drive

2. Right-click an empty area on the folder, and click Properties

3. Click the Security tab.

google drive folder permissions

4. Click Advanced.

5. Click the Enable inheritance button, and click Apply.

google drive folder enable inheritance

You’ll now see additional Permission entries which are inherited from the parent, which is the %userprofile% folder.

google drive folder inherited permissions

6. Click OK, OK to close the dialog. Windows Search should now be able to index the folder contents successfully.

7. After a while, do a search and Windows Search should find the files from the Google Drive folder.

google drive search results indexed

See also: Google Drive sync client doesn’t Pin its special folder in the navigation pane. To do that, use the registry fix in article Google Drive – Pin to Navigation Pane in File Explorer

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About the author

Ramesh Srinivasan founded back in 2005. He is passionate about Microsoft technologies and he has been a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) for 10 consecutive years from 2003 to 2012.

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