Make requests in the Google Drive Activity API

This guide explains how to make requests in the Google Drive Activity API using the activity.query method.

Query key

There are 2 ways to request activity: by Google Drive item, or for everything underneath a folder hierarchy.

  • itemName: The format for this key is "items/ITEM_ID". Typically this is a file in Drive. If you specify a folder for this key, it shows activity for the folder such as when it was created or renamed.

  • ancestorName: The format for this key is "items/ITEM_ID", and the response includes activity on all items in the subtree below this folder.

When no key is set, it defaults to using the ancestorName of "items/root" and shows activity for all items in your Drive.


The pageSize field allows you to request an approximate number of activities to return in each response. The actual count of returned activities will vary, so your app should handle arbitrary quantities in the response.

Page sizes are limited. If your app needs many activities, make multiple requests using pagination instead of setting a large value for pageSize. Specifically, if there might be more activity to fetch than what's included in the response, then the response will also contain a nextPageToken. To retrieve more results, repeat the same request but add a pageToken field with the value of nextPageToken from the prior response.


Action objects are often grouped and returned within a single DriveActivity resource. Some Action groupings occur spontaneously, such as moving an item into a shared folder triggering a permission change.

You can also specify a ConsolidationStrategy (sometimes called aggregation or batching) in the request. This enables other groupings of related Action objects, such as several actors editing one item, or one Actor moving multiple files into a new Drive folder.

While an individual Action has one Actor and one Target, after grouping, the resulting DriveActivity can have multiple actors and multiple targets. Even after grouping, however, there's always a "primary" action that's either representative, or the most important, of all actions in the DriveActivity resource, depending on the requested consolidation strategy.

As a result, whether or not consolidation is turned on, it might be sufficient for many clients to view only the top-level contents of a DriveActivity resource (such as the collective actors and targets within the primaryActionDetail) and ignore the detailed actions in the response.


You can restrict the actions that might be returned in the DriveActivity resource by constructing a filter string in the activity.query request. There's 2 supported fields: time and detail.action_detail_case.

Filter by time

To restrict actions by time range, specify the field name time with numerical operators on date values, joined by an optional "AND". Use milliseconds since Jan 1, 1970 or the RFC 3339 format, such as:

  • time > 1452409200000 AND time <= 1492812924310
  • time >= "2016-01-10T01:02:03-05:00"

Filter by type

To restrict by action type, apply the field name detail.action_detail_case with the "has" operator (:). Use either a singular value or a list of allowed action types enclosed in parentheses, separated by a space. To find a list of action types, review the ActionDetail objects.

To exclude an action type from the response, prepend a hyphen (-) to the beginning of the filter string.

Here's some action type examples:

  • detail.action_detail_case:RENAME
  • detail.action_detail_case:(CREATE RESTORE)
  • -detail.action_detail_case:MOVE


These filtering conditions can be combined within a single filter string, such as:

  • detail.action_detail_case:(CREATE EDIT RESTORE) time > 1452409200000

Example requests

Request the 10 most recent activities for a Drive item:

  "itemName": "items/ITEM_ID",
  "pageSize": 10

Request consolidated activities for every Drive item below an ancestor folder:

  "ancestorName": "items/ITEM_ID",
  "consolidationStrategy": {
    "legacy": {}

Request all MOVE and RENAME actions on a Drive item:

  "itemName": "items/ITEM_ID",
  "filter": "detail.action_detail_case:(MOVE RENAME)"

Request all activity since January 1, 2018 EST:

  "ancestorName": "items/root",
  "filter": "time >= \"2018-01-01T00:00:00-05:00\""

Request all activity, except EDIT actions, during June 2017 UTC:

  "ancestorName": "items/root",
  "filter": "time >= \"2018-06-01T00:00:00Z\" time < \"2018-07-01T00:00:00Z\" -detail.action_detail_case:EDIT"