It seems like the Make a Copy option only works for individual files (not for folders).

When somebody shares a folder with me on Google Drive, how can I make a copy of that folder in my own Google Drive account?

13 Answers 13


You can get all your data copy to your drive by using Google Colab.
Just follow the simple steps to get that.

  1. Create a shortcut of shared folder to your drive
  2. Open https://colab.research.google.com/
  3. Create new Notebook
  4. Mount your google drive
from google.colab import drive
  1. Type:
%cd /gdrive/My\ Drive/Name-of-shared-folder
  1. Type pwd to check the current path. It should start like this /gdrive/.shortcut-targets-by-id/yoursharedfoldernameetc.
    Copy this path.
  2. Run this:
!cp -r 'above-copy-path/.' '/gdrive/My Drive/destinantion-path'

And there you go. It will start copying all shared folder content to your destination folder.

| improve this answer | |
  • 2
    from the very beginning of copying I get a lot of cp: cannot open '/gdrive/.shortcut-targets-by-id/0B7r...Smc/Name-of-shared-folder/subfolder/subfile.gsheet' for reading: Operation not supported with gsheets and gdocs, that seems to defy any usability. – sukhmel Jun 11 at 15:56
  • Working for me, definitely gets an upvote! – leetbacoon Nov 20 at 4:40
  1. Create a new Google Colaboratory Notebook
  2. Mount your Google Drive
    from google.colab import drive
  3. Copy via shell
    !cp -r '/gdrive/My Drive/src/.' '/gdrive/My Drive/dest'
| improve this answer | |

Sounds like you want a deep copy without any previous reference to the original folders & documents. Under these circumstances:

  1. Download the folder.
  2. Extract content
  3. Upload to your drive.
| improve this answer | |
  • 3
    No... that's very expensive, especially if you are living on mobile internet or a slow connection... :-( – Ionică Bizău Nov 6 '18 at 10:41
  • True, but it will work. If you have a better solution, write it up. Working on a Cloud Drive already has certain expectations regarding connectivity and bandwidth. – StampedeXV Nov 6 '18 at 13:42
  • Looks like it's the only workable solution. I am curious why Google didn't create something more straightforward way of doing that and we have to invent a workaround. You may need that for 2 simple reason: 1. To be sure that this folder will be safe on your drive even if the owner deletes it. 2. You may want to rename the content of the folder. – Andrew Anderson Mar 17 '19 at 13:16
  • Beware of the native Google documents (i.e. Sheet, Drawings, Docs, Forms, etc.) for which no content is "accessible" to the users out of the Google editors (e.g. website or native mobile apps). Drive will have to convert them in "actual" formats which is quite OK for Office-like docs (e.g. Sheet->Excel, Doc->Word, etc.) but not great for drawings which are flatened into JPG files (I'd have expected and preferred SVG format). Forms are also turned into HTML forms along with their data in a CSV file. – Attila May 5 at 10:58

Here's another way to copy a folder with an external application:

  1. Add the folder to "My Drive".
  2. Open your account with a website: www.multcloud.com
  3. Find the folder - and create a copy into the account.

*The service is free up to 50 gigabytes per month.

| improve this answer | |
  • 2
    This solution has the advantage over some of the others that it will preserve the format of Google Docs and Sheets on your Google Drive. For example, if you download and then re-upload a Google Doc, it will be converted to a docx file. Sometimes the layout will have changed due to this conversion. – Moot Sep 23 '19 at 7:21
  • Good solution. The only thing, however, is that the documents' update history is lost. – cawecoy Jul 3 at 0:51

I just had exactly the same issue. And I copied everything successfully via this open-source service: https://github.com/ericyd/gdrive-copy

After you finish your copy, do remember to revoke your granted permission to this app.

| improve this answer | |

If your Google Account supports "Drive File Stream" https://www.google.com/drive/download/ - you can access the contents of the folder simply from Windows Explorer or the Command Prompt - and copy the files just as you would do on a local drive.

| improve this answer | |

The proper, updated answer as per today (2020-06-24) for activate the previous available now hidden functionality for saving a Shared with Me folder into your Google Drive as an active working link available at your computer or drive, is to press Shift+Z and then click on the Shared Folder (ref.).

| improve this answer | |
  • I think you're answering a different question. The OP is trying to make a separate copy of a folder. Shift + Z adds a folder to a second parent folder, without making a separate copy. – browly Jun 26 at 20:34

A Google Drive migration extension is available in Chrome extensions store, you can copy the entire folder with that.

Download extension from here. https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/drive-migrator/nakklajdcijlkfagghhcdofbgbhddoed?hl=en

Step1 : Install extension in chrome browser.
Step2 : Open your Google drive account (primary) where all your file exists.
Step3 : Share that particular holder to your secondary Gmail account.
Step4 : Open your secondary Gmail account, select the shared folder and copy all the files with the extension.
Step5 : Now go to Primary account folder and delete.

| improve this answer | |

I too had similar requirements. I wrote a script for duplicating the whole folder. You can use Google app scripts for drive operations (https://developers.google.com/apps-script/reference/drive/).

Following is a sample script you can expand upon. Change fromFolderID and toFolderID:

function DuplicateFolder() {
  var fromFolderID = '1pDOJWgzjpjRaJORDNdMqQXPnGTwvDhHE';
  var toFolderID = '1Ead3gxUKaXhOrCbCs4buQQgt0ZB52Wv7';
  var fromFolder = DriveApp.getFolderById(fromFolderID);
  var childFolders = fromFolder.getFolders();
  var toFolder = DriveApp.getFolderById(toFolderID);
  var time = new Date().toLocaleTimeString().replace(/:\d+ /, ' ');
  var toFolderParent = getOrCreateSubFolder(fromFolder.getName(),toFolder);
  var toFolderChild = toFolderParent .createFolder(Math.random().toString(36).substring(2, 15) + Math.random().toString(36).substring(2, 6) + '_' + time);
  while (childFolders.hasNext()){
    var childFolder = childFolders.next();
    var toCurrentFolder = toFolderChild.createFolder(childFolder.getName())
    var fromFiles = childFolder.getFiles();
      var file = fromFiles.next();
    Logger.log('Coppied: ' + childFolder)


function getOrCreateSubFolder(childFolderName, parentFolderName) {
  var newFdr =""

  try {
    newFdr = parentFolderName.getFoldersByName(childFolderName).next();
  catch(e) {
    newFdr = parentFolderName.createFolder(childFolderName);

  return newFdr

Also, check out https://www.hongkiat.com/blog/google-drive-google-apps-scripts/ for some other interesting scripts to understand how to work with Google App Scripts.

| improve this answer | |

What was Marikamitsos and Hamza Safdar said really works! Thank you so much, but I cannot both vote and comment on your post since I am a new member. I am here just to thanks Marikamitsos and Hamza Safdar and share with the others the details of the step.

Initially, tbh, as a common person that didn't know anything about Google Colab, I am very confused. I suffered trying many times. Eventually, I yell when it becomes a success. Hopefully, I can make it easy for someone who didn't know anything about Google Colab like me.

  1. Create a shortcut of the shared by right-clicking the folder => click "Add shortcut to Drive"

  1. Open the Google Colab website: https://colab.research.google.com/ => click Create a new Notebook

  1. Insert your drive by typing in that blank space :

from google.colab import drive


Click a play button / Ctrl + Enter

  1. Then, they will ask "Enter your authorization code"

Simply just open the given URL => choose the same google account that contains your destination drive => allow access => you will get the authorization code

Copy the authorization code to the column "Enter your authorization code"

Click a play button / Ctrl + Enter

  1. Know the shared folder's address by typing in that blank space :

%cd /gdrive/My\ Drive/Name of shared folder

You must change the "Name of shared folder" with the name of your shared folder For example: %cd /gdrive/My Drive/Mango

Click a play button / Ctrl + Enter

It should appear the shared folder's address in the bottom like this: For example: /gdrive/.shortcut-targets-by-id/blabalabla/Mango

  1. The final step, create a new folder using the shared folder address and the address of folder that you want, by typing :

cp -r 'shared folder address' 'the address of folder that you want'

For example: !cp -r '/gdrive/.shortcut-targets-by-id/blabalabla/Mango' '/gdrive/My Drive/Orange'

Click a play button / Ctrl + Enter

Wait until the process is done. Hupla! Your shortcut of the folder shared file already copied into the folder that you give the name.

| improve this answer | |

I solved this conundrum using Rclone with the copy command.

(Short explanation: Rclone is an open-source command line tool for managing files and folders in cloud storage — it lets you copy, move, sync, list, and whatever else you would want to do with files.)

What you'll need to do:

  1. Install Rclone
  2. Set up a Google Drive remote for your My Drive (or a Shared Drive if you're using G Suite) using rclone config. A "remote" is just a cloud storage location that you've added to rclone, so it has credentials to access it. This takes several steps — the instructions are easy to follow, but refer to the Google Drive remote docs for all the details. (NB: make sure you're setting up a Google Drive remote and not a Google Cloud Storage one!)
  3. Once you've added the remote, you can use rclone copy to copy the contents of one directory in the remote to another directory in the same remote (if you want to copy to a different Drive or Shared Drive, you'll need to add a second remote for that). The full command will be something like: rclone copy my-drive-remote:some/path/to/original-folder-I-dont-own my-drive-remote:some/path/to/new-folder-I-own.
  4. Confirm in the Drive web UI that the new folder contains everything, and that you're the owner of the newly-created files.

Refer to the rclone copy docs for additional parameters. Defaults should be fine unless you're moving lots of files or very large files.

Some extra notes:

  • This does copy Google docs, sheets, etc in their original format, although it may go through a conversion from gdoc > docx/xlsx/etc > back to gdoc. I haven't noticed any problems.
  • File permissions are inherited from the new folder. If the originals were shared specially with anyone, they won't have access to the new files.
  • Version history seems to be lost.
  • Creation date on all the files is set to now.
| improve this answer | |

| improve this answer | |
  • 2
    Add to My Drive doesn't really work as I was expecting. It only adds the link, but not the content itself. – Ionică Bizău Sep 6 '18 at 17:23
  • @IonicăBizău what do you mean by "only adds the link" ? – user0 Sep 6 '18 at 17:35
  • 1
    It does not copy the files in my drive. This was mentioned in the linked question. – Ionică Bizău Sep 7 '18 at 6:24

I find with "Google Drive" app on Android, there's an option "Move" for shared folder. And with this option, it is able to copy the folder to your own drive. But I don't understand why the option is not available on web and iOS...

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.