Google Drive - Search for Files/Folders - search all subfolders

Hi there,

I have a quick question about using the Google Drive module “Search for Files/Folders”.

When searching for a file in Google Drive, we are allowed to specify a folder to search within.

However, it seems like Google Drive will only search for files that are sitting DIRECTLY within the folder that we specified, but it won’t search for files that are sitting in any “subfolders” within the folder that we specified.

Is there a way to get the Google Drive module to search through all subfolders as well?

Thank you!

Google disabled multi-parents so we can’t do this in a single search query (module) any longer.

Either way we have to perform recursion of the child folders.

For more information, see How do I search sub-folders and sub-sub-folders in Google Drive? - Stack Overflow for the current two methods.

samliewrequest private consultation


Thank you so much for confirming that this isn’t possible, @samliew! :smiley:

Coincidentally, I actually stumbled upon that Stack Overflow page earlier today, but unfortunately, I don’t know JavaScript so I wasn’t able to implement that. And Make doesn’t offer any sort of recursive loops to handle that, either.

However, since the time that I created this thread, I was able to figure out a much better solution that requires no code at all and requires almost no time to setup.

Fortunately, I am an expert Airtable consultant, so I figured out an incredibly easy & quick solution that doesn’t require any coding at all, and only takes about 30 seconds to setup.

The solution is to simply use Airtable’s native Google Drive sync, which automatically lists all the files from all the subfolders in Google Drive. It lists them all in a single Airtable table.

In other words, Airtable handles all the recursive looping automatically. You just “turn on” Google Drive syncing, and boom — all your files are listed in Airtable with all of their metadata.

And then, after all the Google Drive files are listed in Airtable, I can just use Make to search Airtable’s Google Drive sync table for the appropriate file! :slight_smile:

It’s a great way to workaround Google’s limitations! :slight_smile:

— ScottWorld, Expert Airtable Consultant

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I was going to suggest some kind of recursion like this (third workaround - “Folders first”)

Could you share a bit more on how you set up Airtable with some screenshots if possible?


Yes, I can share screenshots tomorrow when I am back at my computer! :slight_smile: I’m writing this on my mobile device. Although your screenshot is very interesting… how can you set the repeater to loop through an unknown number of files? Doesn’t the repeater require a known number to be typed in there?


Oh, just set a high value to repeat 9999 times, then force an error when there are no pages left to repeat.

You still can “continue” the rest of the scenario in the “error handling” route, with the list of all the folders available.

Another repeater-error use-case is for polling, e.g.: Why is Polling at is so damn hard? - #4 by samliew


Hi @samliew,

That’s a brilliant usage of the repeater module! Thank you! I wouldn’t have thought of that on my own! :smiley:

Also, as promised, below is a screenshot of how Airtable displays all the files from any Google Drive folder that you specify — including all subfolders within the folder!

So, in other words, Airtable will automatically handle all of the recursive folder looping on our behalf! It just does it all automatically! :smiley:

Then, you can just create a Make scenario to search through this Airtable table to find the file that you’re looking for! :smiley:

Super easy solution, because Airtable does all the hard work for us! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

— ScottWorld, Expert Airtable Consultant