How to Find Lost Files in Google Drive

A lost or “orphaned” file is when a file is no screen-shot-2016-10-07-at-4-26-07-pmlonger organized inside of a particular folder. In Google Drive, this happens most often when you create a file inside of a shared folder and the owner of the folder (not you) deletes the folder. Since you own the file, the other person can’t delete it, but because the folder it was organized in no longer exists the file doesn’t have a place to live. However, there is a way to search for these orphaned files so that you can find them a new home.

  • In Google Drive, go to the ‘Search Drive’ box and use the following keyword operators: is:unorganized owner:me. This will filter your search for any file or folder that match this criteria.


  • screen-shot-2016-10-07-at-4-37-27-pmIf you find an orphaned file or folder that you would like to relocate, right+click on the item and from the pop-up window choose ‘Add to My Drive’
  • Once the item has been re-added to your My Drive, you can then click on the ‘Organize’ link to move the item to a location of your choosing.



NOTE: Orphaned files will still show up in a standard search inside of Google Drive if they match one or more of your keywords.

My thanks to BetterCloud MONITOR for introducing me to this handy search tool.


Google Drive – Advanced Searching

In my lesson, The Key to Keywords, one of my talking points with students was the importance of taking advantage of the keyword search tools that are provided to them inside of many of Google’s Apps. Specifically, we explored the advanced search tools available to us inside of Google Drive since this is the app they use the most in school.

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The OLD Advanced Search Tools

However, in true Google fashion, as soon as I wrapped up my lesson with students on this topic Google went ahead and changed it. Now, the advanced search tools inside of Google Drive have even more keyword presets for us to use including:

  • when the item was last modified
  • has the words
  • who it has been shared with
  • where it is located (e.g. is the item ★Starred or perhaps has been sent to the Trash)

Hopefully, now that my students know where to find these advanced search tools they will be able to take advantage of their powers to save them time and energy immediately.

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The NEW Advanced Search Tools

Technology Flashback: Research Projects

Recently in my Digital Citizenship class my fifth graders and I were working on research and citation skills and the 21st century tools that they have at their disposal. In order to ignite a discussion on these topics, I shared with them the following graphic:

This was my Google Research

I always get a kick out of student reactions when they begin to comprehend what people used to do before today’s technologies were invented.


Television Archive News Search Service (Gr. 5-12)

Television Archive News Search Service – 900,000 results and growing

Provided thanks to the non-profit group Internet Archive, the Television Archive contains over 909,000 video clips from news agencies in the United States and Great Britain. Search the database based on keyword and/or filter your results by number of views, title, date archived, or creator. Use the topic cloud down the right-side of the page to look up video clips from specific news agencies such as the BBC News, Mad Money, Frontline, Teen Kids News and more.

Once you make a selection, a film strip-like interface will load breaking down the video clip into 1-minute segments. Each segment will start out playing in a smaller window but can be expanded to play full screen. Many of the video clips also support closed captioning. Video segments can be shared via social media or embedded onto your website.

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Google Newspaper Archives (Gr. 6-12)

Google Newspaper Archives – Read newspapers from around the world!

From part of the Google News app, the newspaper archives contains digital versions of various newspaper editions from around the world from various points in time. Search the archive by keyword or alphabetically, or if you know the specific newspaper by name use the ‘Find’ command (Ctrl+F or Cmd+F) to quickly locate the newspaper in question. Each newspaper listing shows the number of issues contained within and the time span covered (note that there may be gaps within the timelines).

Clicking on a newspaper will take you to a new window with a horizontal timeline organized by year. You can adjust the display settings so that the timeline is organized by day, week, month, year, or decade. At the top of each column you will see the number of available issues. Clicking on an issue will bring up a page-by-page view with options to scroll, fit to height, and view fullscreen. Use the ‘Link to Article’ tool to generate a link to a specific article within a specific newspaper issue.


  • Compare and contrast news headlines from different newspapers from different places around the world.
  • Compare writing styles from different time periods.

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Information Literacy w/Google Apps (Hangout Archive)

This is an archived video from a Google Hangout ‘On-Air’ session, presented to an audience of middle school level educators.


This Google Hangout Archive introduces staff to Google’s Research Tool found in Google Docs/Slides. This video also covers how to use Google’s advanced ‘Search Tools’ for students in our 1-to-1 Chromebook environment (5/6th grade) and for students in our 1-to-1 iPad environment (7/8th grade).

Duration: 11:18

How Search Works

In my lesson on the use of keywords when conducting Internet searches, I found this video by Matt Cutts. Matt, an engineer at Google, explains what Google does when a user inputs a search query into their search engine. Students don’t realize the work that goes on behind the scenes of a search engine and what they do to get the results they are trying to looking for, or how fast they do it all.

The Monkey ‘Selfie’

While I was building a lesson on plagiarism and citations, I decided that I wanted to expand it and talk with my students in more detail about Copyright and Creative Commons licensing. And then our school librarian shared with me this story: “PETA suit claims monkey holds copyright to famous selfie.” I felt like I had just struck gold! This story is a great classroom discussion starter on the topic of ownership and how sticky this can sometimes be, especially when it comes to digital artifacts.

  • What is your take on this situation?
  • Who do you side with?

Is It Down Right Now?

Is It Down Right Now? – Check the online status of a website.

We’ve all been there: you try to access a website and watch as the progress bar stalls in place.

  • Did I type the website address in correctly?
  • Is my bookmark out-of-date?
  • Is the website down right now?
  • Is my ISP (Internet Service Provider) working and/or is my WiFi okay?

Once you’ve verified that you didn’t “fat-finger” the web address and before you call your ISP, try browsing to ( for short). This site lists 38 popular websites, their online status, and when their status was last verified. If your website isn’t listed, then copy-&-paste the site URL into the box at the top of the page. Once you have determined that a site is indeed down there’s not much you can do about it, but isn’t it nice to know that 1.) it’s not just you, and 2.) you’re not alone.

Is it down right now site screenshot

If you’d like a second opinion, copy-&-paste the website URL into Down For Everyone Or Just Me? ( for short).

Customizing Google Chrome (Hangout Archive)

This is an archived video from a Google Hangout ‘On-Air’ session at GAFE Peak in York, Maine.


In this hands-on session you will learn how to make Google Chrome work for you so that the apps, tools, and resources are easily accessible when you need them. Some of the topics we will cover include bookmark management, accessing tabs from other devices, managing extensions, omnibox shortcuts, and accessing the power of Google Search with your voice. Bring your laptop, mobile device, or Chromebook to the party!