How to Copy Files and Folders in Google Drive.
Google Drive has made life easier for many people, but it lacks an important feature – the ability to copy files and folders between different folders. This makes sense as Google doesn’t want you to waste precious cloud space. But there are times when you want to copy files to create a shared Google account to your personal one or make some changes to existing files.
Fortunately, there is a copy option hidden in the preferences. All you have to do is create a copy in the same folder and then manually move them to a different folder. Let’s see how to do this.
1. Copy files from one folder to another in Google Drive
To copy files from one folder to another folder in Google Drive, open Google Drive in a browser on your computer. Unfortunately, the Google Drive app for Android and iOS only lets you move files. There is no way to copy files. The only workaround is to open drive.google.com in a mobile browser and switch to Desktop View. From now on, the process is much the same for mobile and desktop.
From Google Drive, select the files you want to copy and then right-click to open the options menu. Select Make a Copy to create a copy of the file alongside the originals. If you are using a mobile browser, click on the 3 vertical dots in the upper right corner to get the “Make a copy” option.
Google Drive doesn’t let you copy a folder, you can only copy files inside a folder. To copy a folder, you need to open it, select all of its contents, and instead copy them to another directory.
Now you can copy these files to another folder on the disk. Select the copied version of the files, right-click and select Move To.
This will show you a dialog where you can go and find the specific folder where you want to move the copied files. Select a folder and click the MOVE button to move the files.
After moving files, you will see this message in the lower left corner of the screen.
2. Use Google Script to copy folders into Google Drive
Remember when I said you can’t copy folders in Google Drive? Well, it turns out you can get around these restrictions with third party apps and google scripts. I found the Copy Folder web application, created by Eric. This is an unofficial method of copying folders from one directory to another. This method works on Google servers and requires some permissions.
To get started, click the Copy Folder link, then click View Permissions.
The script needs access to your entire Drive, and to edit and delete your data. Click “Allow” to grant all permissions and you can now start copying folders in Drive.
The first step is to select the folder you want to copy. You can do this by entering the URL of a folder, or by selecting a folder by searching in Drive.
After selecting the folder, click Next to proceed to the next step. Now the next step is renaming. You can rename the folder here and click Next.
You can grant or revoke permissions on the copied folder. If you want the copied folder to remain accessible from shared accounts, check the box to copy permissions. Select the destination for the folder and click Next.
Before the application starts the process, you can double check all parameters. After checking all permissions, folders and destination, click Copy Folder to run the script.
Depending on the number and size of files, copying the content to the destination folder may take several minutes. The process runs in the background and does not notify you when the copy is complete. It creates a log file in Google Sheets that you can open to view the log of each copied file.
The log file is very informative and shows all the information you need such as link to file, link to parent folder, completion time and total number of copied files.
You can now access the folder in the new destination. This method is great if you want to copy folders in Drive using a web browser. This script copies folders not only on Disk, but also to shared folders on Disk. The only limitation on the use of this script is speed. This is a slow method if you are going to copy large files.
3. Use an application to copy files / folders to another folder
Google Drive Backup and Sync is a desktop application for Windows and macOS that allows you to download content directly from your desktop application. The best part is that you can use the built-in Windows Ctrl + C (CMD + C for macOS) and Ctrl + V (CMD + V for macOS) to copy files to a folder.
If your system doesn’t have Google Drive backup and sync installed, download it from the website. It’s available for Windows and macOS and will make organizing your files much easier.
After the download is complete, install the application on your system. The setup may take some time. After the background processes of installing and configuring basic firewall permissions and exceptions, we will proceed with the final configuration.
Click “Get Started” to get started. The first step is to log into your credentials in the app. Enter your username and password to proceed to the next step.
In the desktop application, you can specify a folder on your computer to upload all files directly to Google Drive. This feature is very handy as you don’t have to manually upload files to disk every time.
Select all folders on your system that you want to back up to Google Drive. Make sure you check the size of your folders before syncing them to Google Drive because you can run out of storage quickly. You can also choose image quality to save space.
The next step will create a folder on your desktop that stores all the data from your Drive account. You can drag and drop files to a folder to upload files to the cloud without opening an account.
You can select files and folders to back up on your local computer. Browse to the location of your Google Drive folder and select files and folders to sync with your desktop. Click Start.
Now you can see the Google Drive folder on your desktop. It looks just like any other folder, except that it has the Drive logo on it.
Now that your Google Drive is up and running on your local computer. you can just paste the files into the folder and they sync back to the cloud again. You get access to your entire drive, so you can move and copy folders just like in the Windows file system.
To move or copy files on Disk. Open your Google Drive folder and select files. Right click and select cut.
Navigate to the destination in your Google Drive folder and click Paste. This will move the files to Google Drive after the desktop app syncs the data back to the cloud.
This method works seamlessly and works well with system commands. You can integrate cloud storage into your local system using Backup and Sync and use it like a regular storage device.
Best way to backup files and folders in Google Drive
These three methods can be used to copy files and folders in Google Drive. Copying files manually is the intended and most reliable method. Although copying folders in Google Drive is not possible, you can use the Google Copy Folder script. This script works exceptionally well when copying folders from one location to another. The only problem with this script is that it is third party and requires access to the entire disk. If you are going to use the script, make sure you trust the script designer.
The latter method is the most convenient for me as it integrates the drive into my local system and I can just drag and drop files directly to the folder and the files are automatically synced to the cloud. Let us know which method you like the best for copying files and folders in Google Drive. Comment below.