In this post, I’ll briefly go through the options on the bar above the files and folders area.

Drive areas

The bar above the files and folders area, contains some more Drive options and also where you can find the location of a file of folder, via the breadcrumbs.


Without a file or folder selected, you’ll see four options on the right-hand side:

View / v2 - 1View: This toggles between ‘list view’ and ‘Grid view’.

ViewList view

‘List view’ shows your files as a list, plus the owner of the file, when it was last modified and the file size.

List view

v2 - 1Grid view

‘Grid view’ which shows your files as a grid and shows you a visual preview of the contents of the file.

Grid view

Personally, with lots of files I find list view better, especially if you know the filename but grid view can be useful for finding specific photos or even documents which you can’t remember the exact filename.

SortSort options: Clicking on this will open the sort menu. You can sort your files and folders in 4 ways: by name, by date the files were last modified, by the last time you modified the files, or by the last time you opened the files.

Sort menu

View detailsView details: Clicking on this brings up a menu with 2 options: Activity or Details


View details menu

This tells you all the activity that has happened with that particular file or folder.  It tells you when it was created, modified, uploaded, shared, etc and also tells you who did the action.



If you don’t have a file or folder selected, you’ll get the above message.


Clicking on a file brings up the details.  It shows a preview of the contents, tells you whether it’s shared with other people, the file type, file size, Drive storage used, Location: where it is on Drive, Owner: who is the owner of the file (usually the creator).


Scrolling down, you’ll also find info on when it was last modified, last opened and when it was created.  You can also add a description.  Finally, it tells you if others can edit or download it.

To close the Details/Activity window, click on the X to the right of the filename.

SettingsSettings: This gives you 4 options: opening the settings menu, download drive to your computer, a list of keyboard shortcuts, and the help menu.

Settings menu.png

Bar menu3

Clicking on a file or folder brings up a hidden menu on the same bar, next to the options discussed above.


Get link iconGet link: This gets the website address of the file or folder, which you can share via e.g. email.  Note: To access it, the person receiving the link will need to have access rights to the file or folder.  See a later post on sharing files and folders.

Share iconShare file or folder: This brings up the sharing options, to allow you to control who can access the file or folder.

Preview iconPreview: This opens a preview of the file, without actually opening it for editing.

Locate in Drive iconLocate on My Drive: This shows you where the file or folder highlighted lives in your “My Drive”.  This option isn’t always visible.

Bin iconBin: This removes the file and puts it in the bin.  It’s not permanently deleted until you empty the bin.

More options iconMore options: This opens more options, e.g. ‘starring’ the file for quick access, making a copy, and downloading the file.  More information in a future post.

v2 - 2

In part 3, I’ll finish this quick tour of the menus, by looking at the search bar and account options.

eBooks available on Drive, Forms, Sheets, Docs, Slides, and Sheet Functions:

Baz Roberts (Google+Flipboard / Twitter)