I want to find out how to copy a native Google Sheets, Docs or Slides file, which is stored in a shared drive on the corporate Google Workspace environment, to my personal G-drive residing in the same corporate Google Workspace environment (a.k.a. the drive named "My Drive").

Consider the following:

  1. I can view the file, but I don't have full control over it, i.e. I don't have Manager (or even Content Manager) credentials on the file
  2. I need a solution that's only using the native Google apps (Drive or else) functionality, without using any of these:
    • no 3rd party web service: those are blocked in my corporate environment, but anyway I would not trust such services even for my own personal data
    • no 3rd party add-on : also blocked
    • no 3rd party app : also blocked
  3. I need a solution which maintains the content intact in its original Google format

Already tried :

  • from Drive, downloading the native Google format file as an MS Office file to then re-upload back to G-drive : not a viable option because a) the conversion to MS Office formats is not reliable, it can (and will) affect formatting and break some functions and logic, and b) it requires many manual steps
  • from Drive, right-clicking on the file and choosing "Make a copy" in the menu : it does not ask you where you want to create the copy. Instead it creates a copy named "Copy of [name of file]" right next to the original in the same folder, which I am then not able to move (or delete) because I don't have the Manager credentials.

In Google Drive, when I try to drag-and-drop from the shared G-drive to My Drive, the GUI displays a message saying that I am not allowed to move the file (which is understandable given I am not a Manager on the file, and only Managers can move files). However, I also tried holding Ctrl while drag-and-dropping and despite the little G-drive symbol appearing with the '+' indicator, suggesting a copy will be made, the GUI still displays the same message and no action is carried out upon releasing that drag-and-drop gesture (no copy, or even a shortcut, is made).

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1 Answer 1


The solution I found is to use the Make a copy function in the File menu of Sheets, Docs and Slides.

It asks you where you want to save it ; "My Drive" is one of the possible location.

The good :

  • no downloading of the file is needed
  • there is no MS Office format conversion involved so no messing with the file content
  • content-wise, the files are 1:1 native copies

The bad:

  • files have to be opened and copied one by one
  • existing sharing rights to other users are lost (not a big deal for my use case)

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