I have a bunch of shared files on Google Drive with names like file-061, file-102, file-125 and so on. I'd like to have an alias, say, file-current, that points to the most recent instance of the numbered files. It would be no trouble to update the alias manually as these do not change often, and there are only four sets of them.

How can I accomplish this with Google Drive, other than by uploading two copies of the most current file?

NB: I know about "aliasing" files into multiple folders. I don't think that helps me, but maybe I've missed something.

  • do you use Backup & Sync ?
    – user0
    May 6 '19 at 21:02
  • @user0 No, only the vanilla web interface to Google Drive.
    – Bob Brown
    May 6 '19 at 21:36
  • @BobBrown please upvote answers you find useful, and accept the best answer if it answers your question.
    – ahorn
    Nov 12 '19 at 9:37
  • 1
    @ahorn There's only one answer, yours, and it doesn't answer the question asked.
    – Bob Brown
    Nov 12 '19 at 21:03
  • @BobBrown what you're saying is that you need the files to be displayed separately in the folder. I was suggesting that users find the older versions in the version history for the current file. The old versions can be saved there.
    – ahorn
    Nov 13 '19 at 7:20

Google recently launched a new feature that might be what you was looking for: files and folder shortcuts.

From Find files & folders with Google Drive shortcuts

Learn about shortcuts

  • A shortcut is a link that references another file or folder.
  • You can use shortcuts in your drive or a shared drive.
  • Shortcuts are visible to everyone with access to the folder or drive.
  • Shortcuts point back to the original file so you always have the latest info.

IMPORTANT: Shortcut titles are visible to everyone with access to the folder or drive that the shortcut is inside. Just because someone can see the shortcut doesn’t mean they can open it. The original file’s permissions don’t automatically update when you create a shortcut to it. Remember to give any new users access to the original file.


  • Are you saying that Bob Brown could re-name the shortcut to "file-current"?
    – ahorn
    Jun 2 '20 at 7:11

Google Drive has a version history feature built into it. Right-click on the file, click on "Manage versions", then click on "UPLOAD NEW VERSION".

You can then save the old versions by clicking on the three dots next to one in that dialogue box, then checking "Keep forever". Otherwise, if you don't do that, old versions will be deleted after 30 days.

Versions dialogue box

If these are shared files, you should educate the people you've shared them with about this feature, and how to right-click on a file to find the old versions.

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