Using from the Google Drive

This is the fastest among the two methods available. It's a five step process.

  1. Select one or more files/folders in your Google Drive dashboard.
  2. Right-click, select Open with → Drive Explorer.
  3. On the webpage opened, select Fetch files (Apply filters when needed).
  4. On the popup opened, select your acccount & continue to authorize Drive Explorer.
  5. Your files are listed on the browser (Refer to the image below).
  6. Alternatively, you can also list the files in a Google Sheet of your choice.

To multi-select files/folders, you can press Ctrl (Cmd on Mac) or Shift and select. Drive Explorer lists all the sub-folders and their files when you list files from a parent folder. It goes on till there are files to list.

This is the recommended way when you want to list more than 10,000 files.
drive explorer in a browser tab

List data in a Google Sheet

After opening the folders/files with Drive Explorer as explained above, check Export file details to a Google Sheet, input the URL of the Google Sheet and select Fetch files.

Before listing, you can also select more fields in the Fields dropdown. Now, the Google Sheet will be updated with the file details.

In some cases, this is better than listing files within the browser. For instance, let's say you are listing 5000 files. If you export the data to a Google Sheet, the data is updated in batches.

In other words, as soon as Drive Explorer fetches the first 1000 files, it pushes the data to the Google Sheet. But, when you list it directly in the browser, you only get to see something on the browser once all files are fetched.

If you need, you can also set up server-side scheduled auto-refresh.

drive explorer exporting file details to a google sheet

Filters

By default, when you select Fetch files on the webpage opened, Drive Explorer will try to list all the files it can find. Alternatively, you can apply special filters to ONLY fetch the files you need. For now, following filters are supported,

Name

Only list the files that contains specific set of words. For example, within a folder you could list the files that contains the word "Report".

Created time

This is to fetch the files created before or after a specific date. If you want to list the files that are created after 11 May, 2023, you can select 11 May, 2023 in the Start date field before fetching files.

You can use End date field to list the files created before a specific date.

File type

You can filter files by type as well. Select one or more types from the dropdown. You can even input a custom mimetype. For example, to fetch only the gzip files from a folder, input application/gzip, choose Create "application/gzip" from the dropdown and select Fetch files.

After fetching the files with filter, you can alter the filter to fetch different set of files or remove all filter values to fetch all files.

drive explorer in a browser tab with filters

Motivation

Though you can fetch files directly inside a Google Sheet, there are some limitations (check issue #7). This method eliminates those limitations and lists every file it is supposed to. Also, you might not want to go to the Google Sheets to fetch one-off links of files. You can also export the listing as CSV simply by clicking a button.

You can see how many files you can list how fast in the below email screenshot. (Steve is okay with me sharing the screenshot here 😉)

drive explorer social proof

Running from the root level

You might want to list all the files from a particular Shared Drive or My Drive. It is possible. But, only do it when it's necessary. Because it can take a considerable amount of time, based on the number of files you have on the drive. From the root level of the Drive, select New (top left corner) → More → Drive Explorer.