How To Copy Google Drive Folders to Other Locations

Copying folders in Google Drive allows you to duplicate important files and folders to other locations for backup or organization purposes. As an experienced Google Drive user, I often need to make copies of folders for various reasons.

Why Copy Google Drive Folders

There are several key reasons you may want to copy a Google Drive folder:

  • Backup Purposes: By making a copy of a folder, you have a redundant version in case something happens to the original. This serves as an additional backup.
  • Organization: You can copy a folder to rearrange your file structure or categorize information better. For example, copying project folders into client folders.
  • Sharing: Sometimes it’s easier to copy a folder and share the copy rather than share the original. This allows others to access the files without modifying the original.

Challenges With Copying Folders

Unfortunately, Google Drive does not have a simple “Copy Folder” option. This means you have to use workarounds. Here are some key challenges with copying Drive folders:

  • No native copy folder option: Google Drive can only directly copy files, not folders.
  • Folder structure is not preserved: Copying the contents of a folder individually does not retain the original folder structure.
  • Access and permissions issues: Shared folders and files may lose original access and permissions if copied incorrectly.

Best Practices for Copying Folders

Despite the challenges, it is possible to duplicate folders in Google Drive. Here are best practices I’ve learned over the years:

Use Google Drive Desktop App

The easiest way is to use the Google Drive desktop app. Once installed and synced to your Drive, you can copy folders directly like you would locally using your operating system tools.

To do this:

  1. Install Google Drive desktop app
  2. Right-click folder and select “Copy”
  3. Navigate to destination and select “Paste”

This maintains folder structure and files.

Sync Then Copy

If you don’t want to install the desktop app, you can:

  1. Select all contents of the folder and copy them
  2. Paste the files into a new folder in the destination location
  3. Recreate the folder structure manually

This takes more work but accomplishes the same result.

Use Add-Ons

Third-party Drive add-ons like Copy Folder allow you to duplicate folders. These tools automate the process of copying structure and files.

Tips for Copying Google Drive Folders

From experience, here are some additional tips:

  • Copy fewer large folders instead of many small ones to avoid folder structure issues.
  • When copying shared folders, check permissions and access in the copy to make sure they carry over.
  • If you don’t have edit access, request viewer access to copy content.
  • Create shortcuts to folders instead of copies if you want to reference the same content.


Copying folders in Google Drive takes a bit more work but is possible using the desktop app, manual sync and copy, or third-party add-ons. Following best practices helps avoid issues with permissions, structure, and accessibility in the copies. Use these tips and methods to seamlessly duplicate important Google Drive folders.