How To Copy a Folder in Google Drive

Google Drive might be one of the best cloud storage services, but it still lacks some notable options. Although you can copy files in Google Drive, there is no option in context menus to copy or duplicate folders. So how are you supposed to copy Google Drive folders? Here are the options.

How To Copy a Folder in Google Drive

1. Copy Multiple Files to a New Google Drive Folder

As mentioned, Google Drive does include a “Make a copy” option for folders. As such, you can still copy and paste all the files into a folder, one that you create or choose.

  1. Open “Google Drive” in a browser and choose (double-click) a folder to copy.
  2. Select all the files in the folder by pressing the “Ctrl + A” hotkey, then right-click on one and choose “Make a copy.”
  3. Now, new copies of the files appear in the same folder with “Copy of…” in the file titles. Next, right-click any one of the original files and select “Move to” on the context menu.
  4. Select an existing folder or click the gray “New Folder” icon to add a new one.
  5. If you chose to add a new folder, enter a name in the box, then click on the “blue checkmark.”
  6. Click on “Move Here” to finish the folder selection.
  7. A notification appears in the bottom-right section, showing that the files got moved successfully. You can click on “UNDO” if you made a mistake, but act fast before the notification disappears.
  8. To confirm successful file transfer to the new folder, navigate to it and verify that the files appear. The original files are now copied to a new folder, which replaces the nonexistent Google Drive folder copying option.

2. Copy Folders with the Backup and Sync App

Alternatively, you can copy Google Drive folders by adding the Drive to Desktop software to Windows, which adds a Google Drive folder to File Explorer. The software syncs that directory so that you can open your Google Drive files from File Explorer and save documents that sync directly to the cloud. Since File Explorer now includes the Google Drive folders, you can easily copy folders to a new one and Drive will sync them. Here’s how to do it.

  1. Install Drive for Desktop software.
  2. Open the software and select the Google account to use.
  3. Choose some folders to back up to Google Drive, and select the “Sync My Drive to this Computer” option.
  4. Open File Explorer after Windows has synced with My Drive. Click the “Google Drive” folder to open it.
  5. Next, “right-click” a folder to copy. Select the “Copy” option in the context menu.
  6. Press the “Copy to” button, then select to save the copied folder in “Google Drive.”
  7. Now, you can open that copied folder from the cloud storage’s browser tab to confirm the copied folder appears.

3. Copy Google Drive Folders With Web Apps

There are also options to copy Google Drive folders using web apps, such as Copy Folder.

Use the Copy Folder App to copy Google Drive Folders

Copy Folder uses a script to run. You don’t have to install anything. The program is 100% free and provides a step-by-step process to copy Google Drive folders. The script also creates a handy Google Sheets log for each session, displaying the progress of the copy function, and it provides a record for your reference in your Google sheets root folder.

Copy Folder does not store any data from your account or Google Drive, period. The permissions allow the script to run offline so that you can close the window while the copying process completes. The developer provides the Copy Folder source code on Github, and you can review the app there and launch your own copy if concerned about security and privacy.

By default, the new folder copies to the same location as the original folder, but you can copy it to the root directory by selecting “Root directory” under the “Copy folder to” section of the app.

The copied folder and its contents do not retain any original information regarding creation date and revision history. The user becomes the owner of the folder, subfolders, and files.

Here’s how to use Copy Folder in Google Drive.

  1. Go to Copy Folder in the Google Webstore, then click the “Visit Website” button to launch the script. You won’t see an install option because you don’t need one.
  2. Choose your Google Drive account and accept all permissions, which are required in order for the script to function.
  3. Select your folder with the “SEARCH YOUR DRIVE” button, or paste a folder URL.
  4. If you chose to browse Drive, double-click your way through folders and select the one you want copied, then click on the “Select” button.
  5. Confirm the folder by clicking on the “Select” button once more. This appears in case you chose to enter the folder URL in “Step 3” instead.
  6. Ensure the correct folder is selected. Click on “SELECT A DIFFERENT FOLDER” if needed, or hit “NEXT” to continue.
  7. Give your copied folder a name, then select “NEXT.”
  8. Choose your copying options, then click “NEXT” once more.
  9. Review the selected options, then click on “COPY FOLDER.”
  10. The copying process begins, as shown by a status window.
  11. The Success Screen appears, showing that the copy process started in the background.
  12. Optional: At the top of the Success Screen, you can select “PAUSE” and RESUME” if needed.
  13. Click on the “Copy Log” link to open the Google Sheet status report and log. The “Success Screen window” is now safe to close.
  14. Confirm the Drive folder and contents copied successfully by opening the folder in Google Drive.

Gsuitetips.com also has an alternative web app for copying Google Drive folders. Click here to open the app’s page on Gsuitetips.com. Then press the Sign in with Google button to select a Google Drive account and open the web app as shown in the snapshot directly below.

Press the Click to browse Source folder button to select a GD folder to copy. You can also press the Click to browse button for the destination folder to choose a Google Drive directory to save the duplicated folder in. Input a title in the New folder name text box. Select the Copy files check box, click Preview, and press the Go button. Thereafter, you can click a hyperlink to open the new folder copy in Google Drive.

So that’s how you can copy your Google Drive folders. Hopefully, Google might wake up someday and add a Copy Folder option to GD. Until then, you can copy GD folders by copying all the files in them or by utilizing the Backup and Sync software and folder copy web apps.

2 thoughts on “How To Copy a Folder in Google Drive”

Frank says:
I find it easiest to download the folder (as a zip file). Extract the zip file and rename the main folder. Then upload the renamed folder (and all it’s contents) to the Google Drive
Tim says:
Solution with very limited use: If you use Drive File Stream, and do not need google files to be included in the duplication process, i.e. a copy devoid of any goggle documents, open the google drive folder using file explorer, highlight the folder to duplicate, right click-> copy, right click-> paste, and you have a duplicate folder (again, everything except any google documents that were in the original folder). You will get a “Could not find this item” for any google file that may have been in the original folder, and can simply ‘click thru all’ to move past this notice. I have some folders I work with on google drive that have few or no google files; this works for that limited situation.

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