Google Drive – Moving files around

With the latest version of Google Drive, it’s much easier to move files around and similar to what you may be used to on Windows or on OS. There are however, different ways to do it.  Below are the 3 main ways.

1) Drag and drop within the files and folder area

Just click on the file or folder, hold the button down and drag it to the folder you want, then let go of the mouse button.

Moving files - Select file

Moving files - Drag file

Double-clicking on the folder you just moved the file to, shows the file in its new location.

Moving files - New location of file

Use this technique if the folder you want to move the file to, is within the folder you’re currently in.


2) Drag and drop to the left-hand side menu

In this example, I’m going to put a file that’s currently in my My Drive and put it in a sub-folder called “Second level folder”.  Using the drag and drop technique one above won’t work here as the folder is within another folder, and I can’t see it in the files and folder area.  So, we can use the menu on the left-hand side.

On the menu on the left-hand side, you will see “My Drive”.  If you’ve already created another folder in My Drive (see my post on how to manage files and folders), then you will see a little triangle to the side of My Drive. (Note: if you’ve just created the folder, sometimes the triangle doesn’t appear straight away, if this happens, just refresh the webpage.)

Moving a file2 - left menu

Click on the triangle and the next level of folders will be shown.  In this case, I just have one called “First folder”.

Moving a file2 - First folder

This also has a triangle next to it, so I click on that and it opens the next level of folders.  In this case, I have one called “Second level folder”.

Moving a file2 - Second folder

That’s the one I want, so I just click on the file or folder, hold the button down and drag it to the folder I want, then let go of the mouse button.

Moving a file2 - Drag file

This is useful for when you want to move files and folders to other folders which are more than one level down.

You can also the left-hand menu to navigate to the folders you want.

Notice the breadcrumb trail on the bar at the top of the files and folders area, which shows you where you are on your drive and how the folder is connected back to My Drive.

Moving a file2 - Breadcrumbs


3) Right-click menu > “move to”

Right-click on the file or folder you want to move.

v2 - 6

This brings up a menu and then click on “Move to”.

Moving a file 3 - Move to box

This brings up the “Move to” box.  By default, it brings up the first level of folders linked to My Drive.  If you want to delve deeper, then double-click on a folder, in this case “First folder”.

Moving a file 3 - Sub folder

This brings up the folders linked to “First folder”, in this case “Second level folder”.  Click on it to highlight it.  Then click on “Move”.

Moving a file 3 - Select and move

This then moves the file to the new folder.

If you want to exit the “Move to” box without moving anything, just click on the X on the top right-hand corner of the box.

There is in fact a fourth way, but it’s very similar to the third.  The only difference is that the menu can be accessed via the bar at the top of the files & folders area and clicking on the “three dots”.  On the menu, you’ll see “Move to” like before.

v2 - 7


You can use the above techniques for moving folders too.

If you are moving shared files or folders, be careful as this may change the access rights to them.  I’ll explain this in a future post.


eBooks now available on Drive, Forms, Sheets, Docs, and Slides:

  • Join the Google Slides Tips Google Space (for now: personal accounts only)

Baz Roberts (Flipboard / Twitter / Google+)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s