I want to copy a file in my Google Drive using the web interface. Adding it to another folder seems to create a hard link rather than a file that can be changed independently of the original. There doesn't appear to be an action with a name like "copy," "duplicate," or "clone."


Yes. While editing the document open the File menu and select Make a copy...

Google Drive screen shot

You can optionally copy the collaborators from the original document. Comments are not copied.

Google Drive screen shot

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  • What about files that have been synced, like .mp4 files for instance? – Flimm Feb 7 '18 at 8:02

It appears Google have made this very difficult, I guess to stop the accidental creation of various versions of documents.

If the file is a Google format, you can open it and select FileMake a copy to duplicate it.

If it isn't, the only work around I've seen within the web interface is this cumbersome solution. (Only for files smaller than 25Mb.)

Right click file name in Google Drive > Share > Email as Attachment to yourself > open file in Email > Rename > save to Drive

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  • If it isn't, you can right-click on the file and choose "make a copy" – Flimm Feb 7 '18 at 8:03

Doesn't work for folders, but you can Right-Click each file and "Make a copy", which you can then drag-n-drop to your new destination. Although lots of clicking, I'm using this method.

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  • The Original Poster's question wasn't about folders. How does you answer differ to those already posted? – Jacob Jan Tuinstra Dec 29 '12 at 11:14
  • @JacobJanTuinstra This is the only answer to mention the "make a copy" solution for files that aren't a Doc or a Spreadsheet... – Flimm Feb 7 '18 at 8:04

If you select a file then hold control (CTRL) key and click "move to" google drive will create a hard-link of sort so the file will appear in both locations but if delete from either location it will delete the file i think.

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  • Yes, and what's the most confusing about it is when any of these "multihomed" files get synced to the hard drive. Once you delete a local copy of the synced multihomed file, and the file will disappear from all its locations. – Alex Fortuna Aug 23 '15 at 14:17

Open Google Drive in the browser and select one or more files or folders.

You can use the Ctrl key on Windows, or cmd key on Mac, to select non-consecutive files and folders. Now press Shift+Z and you'll see an Add to Folder pop-up.

Select the folder where you wish to place the selected files and click OK.

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  • I believe this is what the OP has tried. – Vidar S. Ramdal Feb 5 '15 at 8:58
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    WARNING! Guys, this operation will create a link, not a copy. This isn't a widely advertised feature of Google Drive, has its pluses and minuses. But Shift+Z, then "Add to..." will NOT make a separate copy. – Alex Fortuna Aug 23 '15 at 14:14

There is a workaround to this. If you have Microsoft SkyDrive, put your Google sync folder inside the SkyDrive and do your copying from within SkyDrive.

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