6 techniques to find files and folders in SharePoint using the search bar

How to find files and folders in SharePoint

Searching techniques in SahrePoint are incredibly powerful. You will be able to find files in seconds without clicking on a plethora of folders. These techniques show you how to search the contents of files as well as the name of files. You can furhter filter your search results by file type and modify date

Where to start

Firstly log on to Microsoft 365 online. 

You will see the app launcher (aka the waffle) in the top left hand corner of your broswer once you have logged on. After the waffle you will see Microsoft 365 and then the search bar at the top of the page. You can start searching here, there is no need to got to a specifc SharePoint site, a spicific Sharepoint librabry nor SharePoint folder. Nor do you have to go to One Dirve. The results of the search will bring back files from all these location, instantly.

All these methods detailed here work with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Photos, Loop, One Note, Videos, Folders and PDF files



Search only the content of a Word, Excel, PowerPoint and PDF file

This first method allows you to search only the content of files be they Word documents, Excel workbooks or PowerPoint presentations

In the SharePoint saerch bar at the top of the page type the following:


This will find any file contain the work awaken

Here you can see the name of the Word document is Songs and is stored on One Drive. The word awaken is contained in this file

Method 2

Use quotations

Search for an exact phrase either in a document or in the title of the document

Here were searching for a PDF file that contains the following:

“microsoft 365, Office 365, Enterprise Mobility + Security, and Windows 11 Subscriptions”

The key to using this method is to enclose the phrase in quotations ” ” (SHIFT + 2) 

The name of the PDF is Modern Work plan Comparison Enterprise

Method 3

Use Boolean search techniques AND, OR and NOT

Using the boleean search techniques in SharePoint is amazing and possibly the most powerful one to learn.

The operators AND, OR and NOT must be in uppercase

This search string is asking for all files that contain all three words Power, bi and redwing.  You can add one or multiple AND to your search criteria

The search string here is asking to find files that cotain the word semiconductor or lease. You can use multiple OR criteria

This search string will find any file with sway but exclude those with 365

You can combine the boleean search operators and use them in any order as you see here

Method 4

Filter your search by file type

All your searches can be refined by filtering for file type

You have the option to filter for one or more of the following

  • PowerPoint
  • Word
  • Excel
  • OneNote
  • Loop
  • PDF
  • Videos
  • Photos
  • Web
  • Folders

Method 5

Filter your search for Folders

To search for folders and file types not listed in method 4 filter by other

Method 6

You can refine your search in SharePoint by defining when the file was last modified

You select the default options below or specifiy specific dates

19 different techniques you should learn to find files and folders in Microsoft 365

How to find files and folders in SharePoint, One Drive and Teams in seconds

If you are like most people, you probably spend a lot of time looking for files and folders in your computer or online. You might use the Windows File Explorer to navigate through a hierarchy of folders, or you might use the search function to type in keywords and hope for the best. But did you know that there are many other ways to search for files in Microsoft 365 and its associated applications? In fact, there are 19 different techniques that you can use to find files in seconds, not minutes or hours. And these techniques are not only faster, but also smarter, because they can search not only the names of files and folders, but also the contents of the files, such as text, images, or metadata. In this article, we will explain how to use these 19 techniques to search for files in Microsoft 365 and its associated applications, such as Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Teams, SharePoint, OneDrive, Windows, and Delve. We will also explain why using these techniques is a game changer for your productivity and efficiency.

Microsoft 365 is a cloud-based suite of applications and services that allows you to create, collaborate, and communicate with anyone, anywhere, and on any device. One of the benefits of Microsoft 365 is that it integrates all your files and data in one place, so you can access them from any application or device. But how do you find the files you need among the thousands or millions of files that you or your organization have stored in Microsoft 365? Here are 19 different techniques that you can use to search for files in Microsoft 365 and its associated applications.



When openng desktop apps

How to search for recent Microsoft Excel, Word or PowerPoint files when opening the desktop app

This method has been around for a long time now, as soon as you open Word, Excel, or PowerPoint in the desktop app you see the most recent files you’ve been working on, any you’ve pinned and any files that have been shared with you.

But if you scroll dop to theend of the list of recent files you’ll find more workbooks that will show you a much bigger list of recent files

Method 2:

When working in the desktop apps

This method is one that we’ve been using for many years.

To quickly search for files or open files whilst working in Excel, Word or PowerPoint on the desktop app go to the File tab on the ribbon and select Open. You will now see a long list of files from either SharePoint or One Drive.

You can also use this method to open folders

Method 3:

When working in the desktop apps, a new method

This one is a little different and relatively new.

To find files you have recently been working on you can use the search feature at the top of the applicaiton just above the ribbon

Method 4:

Search for recent files by using the windows Taskbar

In Windows you can right click on the taskbar to see the recent files you have been working on

Method 5:

Search for files from the quick launch pane on the left hand side of Teams

In Microsoft Teams go the left-hand quick launch pane and select an Excel, word or PowerPoint. There you will see recent files you have worked on

Method 6:

Use the App Launcher (aka the waffle) in Microsoft 365 to find recent files

In Microsoft 365 below the waffle select the "My Files" link

Method 7:

Use One Drive to find recent files

In One Drive go to
Home quick launch where you will see files you have recently worked on in either One Drive or SharePoint

Method 8:

Use the search feature in SharePoint to find folders and files in seconds

Go to SharePoint in Microsoft 365 but not to any specific SharePoint site. Type the name of the file in the search box at the top of the page. This is the most common method we use for searching for files

Method 9:

You can refine your search in Sharepoint by filtering the search results to show specific files

Refine your search in SharePoint by selecting the file type

Method 10:

You can refine your search in SharePoint by defining when the file was last modified

Refine your search in SharePoint by selecting the last modified date

Method 11:

Use the filter button in the top left hand corer of a Sharepoint page

When you are in a folder in SharePoint use the filter commands to filter by author or modified date

Method 12:

In SharePoint use Boolean search techniques

This search technique in SharePoint is amazing and possibly the most powerful one to learn. They will allow you to find anything in seconds and can be used to search for files and folders, and will also search the contents of files

This technique will search for all files and folders containing all three words. Power, BI and Multiple. Multiple AND can be used

This technique will search for all files and folders containing either of the words. Multiple OR can be used

Boolean techniques can be used together and, in any combination, and any order.

Method 13:

Use wild card search techniques

Searches for the exact phrase

Searches for the word semi but with other characters before or after it. The * can be place at the start or end of a word only.

Method 14:

Use the boolean search techniques above in One Drive

Method 15:

Use the search box in Teams, regardless of where you are in teams and select files

All files with the word marketing in the title content will be found

The search in Microsoft teams can then be filtered by Team

The search in Microsoft teams can then be filtered by File Type

The search in Microsoft teams can then be filtered by Moified and date

Method 16:

From the app launcher (aka waffle) and Microsoft 365

When you select the waffle and Microsoft 365 you will see a list of apps on the left hand launch pane

You will get a quick launch to each app in the left pane, when you select an app the most recent files appear.

Method 17:

You can search for Files in Team Channel by using CTRL + F shortcut

In a Team Channel use the shortcut CTRL + F to open the Teams and channel search pane there add the name of the file

Method 18:

Delve in Microsoft 365

Delve is an online service that helps you discover and organize information that is relevant to you. Delve is part of the Microsoft 365 suite of applications and uses artificial intelligence to analyze your activities and interactions across different services, such as Outlook, OneDrive, SharePoint, Teams, and Yammer. Delve then surfaces personalized content for you, such as documents, emails, conversations, and people, based on what you are working on and who you are working with. You can also use Delve to search for information across your organization, create boards to group related content, and view profiles of your colleagues and contacts. Delve is designed to help you find the information you need, when you need it, and to enhance your productivity and collaboration.

Method 19:

With Microsoft CoPilot AI

Launch CoPilot and type the name of the file you're searching for

Have I missed any 😊😊😊

What is SharePoint in Microsoft 365

A Microsoft 365 application

If you are looking for a versatile and powerful online tool to create, edit, and share documents, spreadsheets, and presentations, you might want to consider using SharePoint Online. SharePoint Online is a cloud-based service that is part of the Microsoft 365 suite, and it offers many features and benefits for individuals and organizations.

Create and edit Word, Excel and PowerPoint files

With SharePoint Online, you can easily create and edit Word, Excel and PowerPoint files using the web browser or the desktop apps. You can also use the Office Online apps, which are lightweight versions of the desktop apps that run in the browser. You can access these apps from the SharePoint site by clicking on the New button and choosing the type of file you want to create. You can also upload existing files from your computer or from other cloud storage services like OneDrive or Dropbox.

Share Word, Excel and PowerPoint files

One of the main advantages of SharePoint Online is that it allows you to share your files with others in a secure and efficient way. You can invite people to view or edit your files by sending them a link or an email. You can also control the level of access and permissions for each person or group. You can also collaborate with others in real time, see their changes as they make them, and communicate with them using chat or comments. You can also track the version history of your files, restore previous versions, and compare changes.

Securely retain all organisation data and documents

Another benefit of SharePoint Online is that it helps you keep your organization’s data and documents safe and compliant. SharePoint Online uses encryption to protect your data in transit and at rest. It also follows industry standards and regulations for data protection and privacy such as. You can also manage your retention policies, deletion policies, and audit logs to ensure that your data is preserved or disposed of according to your needs and legal obligations.

Data stored in the cloud

SharePoint Online stores your data in the cloud, which means that you don’t have to worry about maintaining servers, hardware, or software. You can access your data from anywhere, anytime, and from any device, as long as you have an internet connection and a web browser. You can also sync your files to your local device using the OneDrive app, which lets you work offline and automatically updates your changes when you reconnect. You can also use the SharePoint mobile app to access your sites and files on the go.

Used to publish organizational news

SharePoint Online is not only a document management system, but also a platform to publish and distribute organizational news and announcements. You can create news posts using rich media, such as images, videos, and web parts, to inform and engage your audience. You can also customize the layout, design, and branding of your news pages to suit your style and identity.> You can also target your news to specific audiences, such as departments, teams, or locations, to ensure that they receive relevant and timely information. You can also measure the impact of your news using analytics and feedback tools, such as likes, comments, and views.

Used for Intranets

SharePoint Online is also a great solution to build and manage your intranet, which is a private network that connects your employees and stakeholders. You can create intranet sites using templates or from scratch, and organize them into hubs, which are collections of related sites that share a common navigation, look, and feel. You can also use web parts, which are reusable components that display dynamic content, such as weather, events, forms, or videos. You can also use communication sites, which are designed to broadcast information to a broad audience, or team sites, which are designed to facilitate collaboration among a specific group of people.

7 reasons to use Microsoft 365

Reason 1 - Your files

Access your Excel workbooks, Word Documents, PowerPoint presentations files from anywhere on any device. You only need an Internet connection.

Reason 2 - Work and collaborate seamlessly

Work and collaborate seamlessly across apps like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Teams, which are fully integrated and work together seamlessly.

Reason 3 - Many applications

Use the many microsoft 365 applications to help your day-to-day productivity such as Planner, Bookings, Loop, and One Note at no extra cost.

Reason 4 - Secuirty and compliance

Stay secure and compliant. Microsoft 365 offers advanced security features and compliance tools that help you protect your data and meet your industry standards. You can encrypt your emails and files, set permissions and policies, monitor and audit activities, and recover from ransomware attacks.

Reason 5 - Microsoft CoPilot AI

Leverage the power of AI. Microsoft 365 uses artificial intelligence to enhance your productivity and creativity. You can get insights and suggestions from smart features like Editor, Ideas, Designer, and PowerPoint Presenter Coach. You can also use voice commands and dictation to control your apps and create content.

Reason 6 - Customise your experience

Customise your experience. Microsoft 365 allows you to tailor your apps and services to suit your needs and preferences. You can choose from different plans and subscriptions and can also use Microsoft Power Platform to build your own apps and workflows.

Reason 7 - Incredible value for money

Get more value for your money. Microsoft 365 gives you more than just apps and services. You also get cloud storage, online meetings, business email, social networking, and more.

7 reasons to use SharePoint in Microsoft 365

Search and filter pages to quickly locate any files you need.

SharePoint has a powerful search engine that lets you find documents by keywords, metadata, file type, author, date, and more. You can also use filters to narrow down your results and sort them by relevance, name, or size.

Move easily between sites and documents with smooth navigation.

SharePoint lets you create different sites for different purposes, such as teams, projects, departments, or clients. You can access all your sites from a single dashboard and switch between them with a few clicks. You can also use the navigation pane to browse through your folders and files or use the recent and frequent tabs to access your most used documents.

Work from any PC if you are online.

Since SharePoint is cloud-based, you can access your files and folders from any device that has an internet connection. You don’t need to install any software or sync any files to your local drive. You can also work offline and sync your changes when you are back online.

Save your documents constantly as you work.

SharePoint automatically saves your documents as you edit them, so you don’t have to worry about losing your work. You can also see the version history of your documents and restore previous versions if you need to. You can also co-author documents with other users and see their changes in real-time.

Recover deleted or previous versions of files and folders in seconds.

If you accidentally delete a file or folder, you can easily recover it from the recycle bin. You can also restore previous versions of your documents from the version history. SharePoint keeps track of all the changes made to your files and folders and lets you undo them if you need to.

Share documents with colleagues, suppliers or clients without emailing attachments.

SharePoint lets you share your files and folders with anyone you want, both inside and outside your organisation. You can control the level of access and permissions for each user and set expiration dates for shared links. You can also track the activity and feedback on your shared documents and communicate with your collaborators via comments, chat, or email.

Set up alerts and automate processes for files and folders.

SharePoint lets you create workflows and rules for your files and folders, such as sending notifications, approvals, reminders, or tasks. You can also use Power Automate to connect SharePoint with other apps and services and create custom solutions for>your business needs. And not to mention the time saving and improved efficiency from everyone.

As you can see, SharePoint in Microsoft 365 is a great tool for document management and collaboration. If you want to learn more about how to use SharePoint in your organisation, contact us today and we will be happy to help you.

#sharepoint #Microsoft365

What is Microsoft 365

Microsoft 365 is a suite of applications that you or your organisation pay Microsoft every month to use (or year).

You know some of the applications well: Excel, Outlook, PowerPoint, Word.

But there are also less familiar applications and new applications being added all the time – at no extra cost such as:

  • SharePoint
  • Teams
  • Planner
  • Lists
  • Bookings
  • To Do
  • Loop
  • Sway
  • Power Automate
  • And so many more.

These applications help you work smarter and be more effective and productive every day.

Contact us about Microsoft 365

It’s always easier to contact us via email rather than phone. We’re out training most days of the week

 You also have a lot of cloud storage for your files and data in Microsoft 365.

 We are asked this question often, and for different reasons as there is always confusion as to what exactly Microsoft 365 is.

 It is amazing what you get for the price you pay

The next step is undertanding what the do, when and why you would use them and how to implement them in your business to increase effectiveness and productivity and that’s where we come in.

Contact us to begin the journey