Working with remote and in-office colleagues? Learn how to thrive in hybrid work environments.

Find files and folders with shortcuts



Shortcuts can make it easier for you and your team to find and organize files and folders in Google Drive. A shortcut is a link that references another file or folder. You can use them in My Drive or a shared drive. 

Anyone with access to the file, folder, or shared drive can see a shortcut, but it doesn’t mean they can open it. You need to give people access to the original file, not the shortcut.


  • If a file or folder that you use frequently is several levels down in a hierarchy, create a shortcut and put it at a top level in Drive to access it quickly.
  • If your team works in different folders and you want to access the same file from several folders, create a shortcut to the file in the folders.

Create shortcuts""

  1. Open Drive.
  2. Right-click a file or folder.
  3. Click Add shortcut to Drive.
  4. Select the location for the shortcut.
  5. Click Add Shortcut.


  • If you create a shortcut in a folder that’s owned by someone else, you can’t delete the shortcut.
  • You can't create a shortcut of a shortcut, but you can make a copy of it. 

Delete shortcuts""

  1. Open Drive.
  2. Right-click a shortcut. In Drive, shortcuts have an arrow on the file " " or folder " " image.
  3. Click Remove.
  4. (Optional) To permanently remove the shortcut, delete it from your trash:
    1. On the left, click Trash.
    2. Right-click a shortcutand then"" Delete forever.

Note: Deleting a shortcut does not delete the original file or folder the shortcut is based on. The original file or folder can only be deleted by the owner.

Fix broken shortcuts""

A shortcut will break if:

  • You don’t have permission to open the original file.
  • The original file is in the trash or permanently deleted.

To fix a broken shortcut, ask the owner for permission to open the file. Or, try to restore the original file.

Help with shortcuts synced across devices""

Shortcuts can sync across your devices, including computers and smartphones. But when you use Backup and Sync to connect with a computer, there are some differences. The shortcuts you made to individual files will sync up with the file as normal. But the shortcuts you made to shared folders will just link to the folder on the Google Drive website.

Try these alternatives:

  • Instead of a shortcut, add the folder to an additional location. On the Google Drive website, select the folder and press SHIFT + Z.
  • Add shortcuts to individual files within the shared folder (and not to the shared folder itself)
  • Use Google Drive for desktop instead of Backup & Sync, as it doesn't have this issue. For details, see What can you do with Drive for desktop.

When you try to include a folder into multiple locations and you get an error message that says "The server encountered an error. Please try again later," it’s likely:

  • You want to include a folder into multiple locations, including a shared drive, which isn't supported.
  • You don't have edit access to the folder you tried to include into multiple locations.
Was this helpful?
How can we improve it?
Clear search
Close search
Google apps
Main menu
Search Help Center