Searching Google Drive with an Alfred workflow

If you use Google Drive on macOS, chances are Spotlight isn't indexing your File Stream paths. This long-standing limitation is a problem because if Spotlight can't find those files, neither can Alfred.

Or can it?

Alfred uses Spotlight's indexing, so it sees what it sees. By default. With Alfred's Workflows you get greater flexibility of results and powerful combinations: if you'd care to do it, you could even use Workflows to build a mini private Spotlight targeting a specific set of files.

So that's what we did.

The Google Drive Workflow has gradually evolved with the help of our users on the forum. It relies on standard tools to create a database of your Google Drive's local structure without requiring futzing with API keys or complex configurations.

Using the Workflow

After you download and install the Workflow, invoke Alfred and run :gdlaunchd. This will create the initial cache and load a job to redo it every day. The build will take a while, depending on how many files you store in Google Drive.


When it's done, you will see a notification.


And that's it, you're ready to go!

Use gd and gdf to find your files and folders.


gd fran

The Workflow has sane defaults but does allow a degree of customisation. See the instructions for details on the options.

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