I have files in my computer (Mac OSX 10.10) that were originally created on Google Drive. For example, testing123.gdoc. The file is in my computer because I had it synced with Google Drive via the Google Drive app. It even has the appropriate icon for a Google Doc.

I've since uninstalled the app and deleted the file from Google Drive, but still have testing123.gdoc in my computer.

On my browser, I navigated to my Google Drive account and uploaded testing123.gdoc successfully.

I does upload, but shows a generic icon, and it will not open in Google Docs when double clicked. I'm offered some 3rd party apps to open the file.

Why is this happening? This issue also occurs with .gsheet files.

1 Answer 1


.gdoc and .gsheet files are actually Internet shortcuts (e.g. .url) pointing to the URLs of Google Docs and Google Sheets created in the Docs editors. They are not the actual documents and spreadsheets to which they are linked. So when you uploaded them to your Google Drive, you actually uploaded Internet shortcuts.

If you did, in fact, completely delete—sent to Trash then permanently deleted your Trash's contents—the corresponding Docs/Sheets in the Drive webapp, then they do not exist anymore, since the .gdoc/.gsheet files just point to URLs that no longer exist. If they are still in your Trash, you can restore them to your Drive.

tl;dr Basically, you don't have the actual testing123 Google Doc on your Mac; you have a shortcut to it.

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