Back in November 2021 Google announced a beta test for Search Chips: a new feature that makes it easier to drill down on your Google Drive search results by allowing you to filter by different criteria. The filters are presented once you’ve performed a search in the form of different drop-downs, as opposed to having you enter search operators in the search query. Google hoped that this new feature would help with both discovery and convenience for the end-users.
However, that was a beta and in order to try it, you had to first express your interest by filling out a Google Form and then wait to be accepted. Today Google announced that this feature is now generally available for all users and won’t require an opt-in, so we can all reap the benefits.
The search chips are broken down into the below options:
- Location in your Google Drive
- File type, such as images or PDFs
- People the file may be shared or owned by
- Last Modified, with different date options
- Title only
- To do, which is broken down into Approvals, Follow-Ups, or Ownership Transfers waiting on you to accept
Besides the functionality mentioned above, there have also been other improvements with the latest release, such as:
- Spelling suggestions along with search chips
- Ability to clear the search chips on their own, or together with the query
- More date options for the “Last modified” chip
Google states that this release is available to all Google Workspace customers, as well as legacy G Suite Basic and Business customers, with a gradual rollout of up to 15 days for feature visibility starting on February 15th. However, it is also available to consumer user accounts.
I can see myself using this feature quite often, as I have a very large Drive and do sometimes fall behind on organizing my stuff into folders. Being able to conveniently whittle down my search in real-time without having to plug in different criteria from the get-go is going to be a huge time saver.