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Organizing Files and Folders in Drive - Move vs. Add


Organizing Files and Folders in Drive

Moving and adding files in Google Drive is different than making a copy of a file. A copy is static and does not update if the original file is modified. When you move or add a file to a new location, it is a live document that is always the latest version.

  • Copy a File: Create a static copy of the original. Changes made to the copy are not reflected in the original file.
  • Moving Files/Folders: Move a file or folder from one location in Drive to a different location. The file will no longer be viewable in the original location.
  • Adding Files/Folders: Add these items to multiple folders in your Drive. (Please note that deleting a file will remove it from all folders, not just the folder you’ve deleted it in.)

Learn more about moving and adding with these tips connected to Google Drive in the Chrome Browser and Chromebooks.

Moving Files and Folders


The fastest way to move a file is by right clicking on a file or folder in the Drive view. This opens up a menu. Click on “Move to…” and chose the new location for the file or folder and click “Move here.”

Mar 31 2017 10-13 AM - Edited.gif

You can also move an open file. Click on the “File” in the menu bar and then click on “Move to…”. Then click on “Move this item”  Chose the new location and click “Move here”.

Mar 31 2017 10-19 AM - Edited.gif

Adding a File or Folder to Multiple Locations




The quickest way to add a file to multiple locations is using a quick key combination. (You can add folders to multiple locations, but not with quick key combinations.

Highlight the file by clicking on it in the Google Drive view. Click on The Shift Key and the z Key on your keyboard at the same time. This will open the Add menu. Choose a location and click “ADD HERE”.

You can also choose to add a file or folder instead of moving a file in the ““Move to…” menu. Follow the steps to move the file or folder. When you’ve reached the location click on the Ctrl key on your keyboard. The “MOVE HERE” will change to “ADD HERE”.

Mar 31 2017 10-36 AM - Edited (1).gif

File or Folder Details


You can click on the View Details icon near the top right of the Google Drive in order to view activity in certain folders/files and get more information about specific folders/files.


If a folder or file is located in multiple folders, you will see this under location. You can click on the X in order to delete from a certain location without deleting the file from all locations.

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