Create Shortcut for a Google Drive File at Multiple Folders

Google Drive One File Multiple Folders

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38 Responses

  1. Branno R. says:

    Will the changes made in these shortcuts will be seen in other files?

    Also, it is only for documents or can I use for any media file too?

    • Yes, the changes made to one location will be reflected in another location. To verify, you can see the link of both the files are same, they are just shown in different folders.

      I suppose it works for all types of files.

  2. Tussanee Reedboon says:

    Thank you sooooo much this was exactly what I was looking for, what a sneaky lil trick!

    – Signed, a High school teacher happy to be able to organize her folders without duplicating files

  3. Dan says:

    Great feature! But my only complaint is after you do this there is nothing visually to indicate this folder is now duplicated elsewhere. In Windows, the shortcut itself and folder shortcutted to are marked to look slightly different than ‘regular’ folders. This would help for me as I have a lot of things going on in my Google Drive and may not remember in the future exactly how I created these folder duplications, which could cause confusion. Hope they add this feature at some point!

    • Your concern is valid Dan. However, in Windows we have one master file and other are shortcuts which are represented by small arrow icon. Here, in Google Drive, there is no master file or shortcut/duplicate files. If you notice, its the same URL of the file in different folders. So, no matter from where you open, its always master. And since, all files are master, visually it will have same icon in different folder.

      It could get little confusing, but that’s how Google Dive is.

  4. Esdras L. says:

    Thank you! Very helpful.

    The only way I’ve found to undo this is to drag the folder (haven’t tested it with individual files) to the original location.

  5. Jon Ochoa says:

    @Abhishek Mandloi

    To undo mirrored links (links accessing the same file using Google’s “Add to”/Shift+Z) for folders/files, drag any of the mirrored links to a folder containing any of the other mirrored links, and Google will rid of one of the mirrored links because it does not display duplicate mirrored links.

    Also, thanks to all ho shared their knowledge on Add to function! Very Helpful!

  6. Ryan says:

    As of 5 August 2016, it seems that ‘shift z’ only allows you to MOVE and not ‘ADD TO.’ Is this your finding as well? Or did I do something incorrectly?

  7. LLH says:

    Thank you for the sharing, it’s indeed very useful!! :)

  8. Per says:

    I understand that this method creates another file icon pointing to the same actual file as the first file icon. But is there any way to delete one of the file icons without deleting the actual file?

    This guide shows a great tool for increasing the number file icons pointing to the same actual file, but is there any similar command to decrease the number of file icons without deleting them all?

    Also, what happens if you delete a folder which contains one of multiple file icons?

  9. name says:

    Thanks! Exactly what I was looking for. :-)

  10. Bill says:

    How do you undo it? Since I can’t delete it cause both links will be removed

  11. Frederic Morin-Bordeleau says:

    Hey Guys I’ve figured out a way to “delete” one of the shortcuts if you don’t need it anymore. If you right click on the file or folder and then click “View Details”, the details bar will appear on the right. If it’s already open and you see the history of your action click on the “detail” tab on the tap of the bar.

    You’ll be able to see the “location” of your file and you’ll see it has multiple location. There will be an “x” just beside all of them. I’ll let you figure out the rest from here ;)

  12. Eli says:

    Thanks for the article! Is there a way to create a shortcut to a whole folder instead of a particular file?

  13. George says:

    This is a great tip but has anyone figured out how to reverse it? Say for example, I created three instances of a GDrive folder to three different folders and now I want to remove one but not the other two. Can this be done?

    • Abhishek Mandloi says:

      Just drag the shortcut file to the original location and it will automatically get deleted. I have updated the article.

  14. Saritah Helms says:

    Okay, now how do I remove the second instance?

    • Abhishek Mandloi says:

      You will have to put the second instance in the same folder as the first instance. It will remove the duplicate file and linking.

  15. Ian K131 says:

    Thanks very much for this post. It was very useful.

    One suggestion is to update the post is the way in which to “Properly delete these shortcuts”. By right clicking on the shortcut (original or otherwise), you will see in Details part of the sidebar that pops up all the locations (folders) in which the shortcut can be found. By simply clicking on the cross that appears next to the instances that you want removed will remove the shortcut from that folder but not delete the file.

    Thanks again.

  16. JD says:

    Do you know if/when this approach will be supported for Team Drives ?

    • I don’t have Team Drive to test but technically this should work.

    • JD says:

      It doesn’t — I was trying there initially and didn’t think this process worked at all. However, from what I can tell we can have documents from personal G Drive files with a location in Team Drive as well, but the original file cannot, itself, be in Team Drive. Again — at least from what I have experienced.

    • Thanks for clarifying.

  17. PR says:

    Does this also work for folders and uodate the folders when new files are added to both locations?

  18. Mike says:

    “Alternatively, it looks like Drive is using symbolic links of Unix to implement this feature.”

    You are wrong – it is not symlink (see below). In you can drog&drop file from one folder to another – it is ok – it moves file as user expects. But when during drag&drop you press CTRL you can see “plus icon” which means file will be copied instead of moved. Plus icon in most used operating system in the world Windows means that file will be really copied, but what does google… it creates something strange – you can see file in the two different locations, but file is not really duplicated and also:

    – it is not known “symlink” (because deletion of symlink deletes just symlink, not original file)

    – it is not known “hardlink” (because deletion of hardlinked file means that file(s) in another location(s) is not deleted until count of hardlinks is zero).

    So what is it? Surely nothing standard or expected. When you try to delete origin or “strangely copied” file – in both cases, file in another location will also disappear! Be careful of this! I do not understand how google drive developers could design this non standard not expected behavior for such simple operation as copying file. There is no warning during “copying” file that by deleting it from one location it will be deleted also from another locations! Google Drive has poor user interface which can lead to lost of your data.

    • Abhishek says:

      Hello Mike, thanks for the detailed reply. Agreed on the poor user interface of Google Drive with no warning and undocumented tricks. Also, this shortcut is not exactly same as Symbolic links but the functionality is very close to it.

    • Mike says:

      @Abhishek I do not think functionality is very close to symlink because of fundamental difference… deletion of normal symlink deletes just symlink, not original file

  19. Abi says:

    With the new update as of today, you can’t do this any longer :\ what do I do?

  20. Oz says:

    Hopefully, Google implements a regular symlinks/shortcuts, that will not delete the original file when it’s deleted. I really need such a feature for “safe” organization.

  21. Dinesh says:

    Worked. Thanks.

  22. NK says:

    Very helpful trick and discussion. thank you!

  23. Jirka says:

    thank you!

  24. Mark Simmons says:

    Anybody know if this has been or will be implemented in Shared drives? If so, at what levels? (files, folders, Share drives) and will it support references to items in other Shared drives in the organization?

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