How to Copy a File in Google Drive (A Quick 3 Step Guide)

One useful habit to get into when you are working with different types of files is to make a copy before any large edits.

If one of the main applications that you use is Google Drive, then you may be wondering how to copy a file in Google Drive if you are planning to either let others have access to the file, or if you are planning to make a lot of edits to one of your files.

How to Make a Copy of a File in Google Drive

  1. Open Google Drive.
  2. Select the file.
  3. Click More actions, then Make a copy.

Our guide continues below with additional information on how to copy a file in Google Drive, including pictures of these steps.

You can interact with Google Drive files in a number of ways. You can open them in Google Apps, share them with other people, you can insert PDF into Google Doc files, or move them to folders. You can also learn how to copy a file in Google Drive if you need to edit a file and keep a copy of the original.

Have you created a document or a spreadsheet in Google Drive, and you would like to use it for a purpose other than why it was originally created? While you could simply use the original file then restore an older version of the file, it may be beneficial to simply make a copy of the original file, then make changes to the copy.

Fortunately, Google Drive has an option where you can create copies of your files. The copy will be an exact duplicate of the original, allowing you to make changes without affecting the information on that original. Our tutorial below will show you how to do this.

Our Google Drive sign in tutorial can provide you with some tips if you are having difficulty getting into your Google drive storage.

Copying a File in Google Drive (Guide with Pictures)

The steps in this article were performed in the desktop version of the Google Chrome Web browser, but will work in other browsers as well. Note that you will be able to rename the copied file after you create it so that it is easier to identify in your Google Drive.

Step 1: Sign in to your Google Drive at

Step 2: Select the file that you wish to copy.

choose the google drive file to copy

Step 3: Click the More actions button at the top-right of the window, then choose the Make a copy option.

how to make a copy of a file in google drive

You can then right-click the copy and choose the Rename option to give it a different filename. Note that there is also an option on this right-click menu to make a copy of the selected file as well.

how to rename a file in google drive

Now that you know how to make a copy of a file in Google Drive you might also want to start keeping those original files in their own separate folder, or editing their names to indicate that they shouldn’t be touched.

You can create a new folder by clicking the My Drive dropdown menu at the top of the window, then choosing the New folder option.

You can rename a file by right-clicking on it, then selecting the Rename option.

Have you created a file in Google Drive and you would like to put it on a Web page? Find out how to get the embed code for a Google Drive file so that it can be pasted into a Web page.

If you have an entire folder full of files that you would like to save or back up on your computer, then you can accomplish this directly from your Google Drive account.

Related: How to Create a Folder in Google Docs

How to Download a Folder from Google Drive

While the earlier steps in this article discussed ways that you could copy files, you might like to create a copy of an entire folder and save it to a different location.

You can read our guide about how to download a folder in Google Drive for more information about this topic.

Fortunately, Google Drive has an option that allows you to do this, and it requires the following steps:

  1. Sign into Google Drive.
  2. Click the folder to select it.
  3. Choose the three dots at the top-right of the file list.
  4. Select Download.
  5. Choose a location on your computer and click OK.

You should now have a zip file containing the folder and all of its contents. You can extract these files in Windows, if you want to, by right-clicking on the zip file, choosing Extract All, then following the steps in the wizard.

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