Get started with Google Drive for desktop

Manage your files

Want to get more out of Google apps at work or school?  Sign up for a free Google Workspace trial
""

" "
 

Get tips for structuring a shared drive and creating and finding files.

In this section, you learn how to:

3.1 Create folders
3.2 Move files to folders
3.3 Update Drive files on your computer
3.4 Delete your files
3.5 Restore deleted files

3.1 Create folders

""

Any new folders that you create in your computer’s Google Drive for desktop folders or in Drive on the web automatically appear on your devices so that you’re organized everywhere.

On the web

  1. Open Drive.
  2. Click Plus Newand thenFolder.

On your computer

Using Drive for desktop, create new folders in Drive (My Drive or shared drives) the same way you create other folders on your computer.

Create Drive folders

3.2 Move files to folders

""

On the web

Move a file to a folder in My Drive:

  1. Select the file.
  2. Click More ""and thenMove to Move to.
  3. Select the folder and click Move or Move here.

You can also drag files and folders to a folder in My Drive on the left.

Method to highlight file and select "Move to" appears on the right. Drive highlighted on the left.


Organize files in the Search results, Recent, Starred, or Shared with me views:

  1. Select the file.
  2. Do one of the following actions:
    • If the file isn't already in My Drive, click Add to My Drive ""and thenOrganize.
    • If the file is in My Drive, click Move to Move to.
  3. Select the folder and click Move or Move here.

    Note: If you move a file under Shared with me, it only moves your copy.

Selecting file and Add to My Drive at the top right opens the Organize window. Drive highlighted on left.


Make a copy of a shared file:

  1. In Shared with me, right-click a file and select Make a copy.
  2. (Optional) To move the file:
    1. In the pop-up window at the bottom, click Show file location.
    2. Right-click the file and select Move to.
Move files to folders

On your computer

Select the files you want to move and drag them to any folder in Drive, the same way you’d move any other file on your computer.

3.3 Update Drive files on your computer

""

On the web

To restore an earlier version of a file that wasn't created in Docs, Sheets, or Slides:

  1. Right-click the file and select Manage versions.
  2. Click Upload new version and select a file from your computer.
  3. When the new version is done uploading, click Close.

Versioning Drive files

On your computer

To update a file:

  1. Open Drive for desktop "" Open Google Drive "".
  2. In My Drive or Shared Drives, open a file.
  3. Make your changes.
    The changes automatically update to Drive for desktop.

It works the other way around, too. Changes you make in Drive on the web sync back to your computer. Your files and folders are now up to date everywhere.

3.4 Delete your files

""

Removing a file moves it to Trash:

  • If you own the file, moving it to Trash removes it from your My Drive view. The file is permanently deleted after 30 days in the Trash. If you shared the file, those people can still see the file until it's deleted.
  • If you don't own the file (for example, if it's been shared with you), moving it to Trash removes it from your My Drive view, but doesn't delete the file. Only the owner can delete the file.

Note: Removed files you own are moved to Trash in Drive and still count towards your total storage, until you permanently delete them on the web.

On the web

  1. Select the files or folders that you want to delete and click Remove "".
  2. (Optional) To delete one file, click Trash, select the file, and click Delete forever.
  3. (Optional) To permanently delete all your Trash files, click TrashEmpty trash.

Delete items from Drive

On your computer

Select the files or folders in Drive for desktop that you want to remove and delete them as you would any other file on your computer.

3.5 Restore deleted files

""

If you change your mind after deleting a file or folder, you can restore it to Drive. Whether you delete it from Drive on the web or from your computer in Drive for desktop, you restore it the same way.

On the web

  1. Open Drive.
  2. Click Trash "".
  3. Select the files you want to restore and click Restore "".

Restore deleted Drive items

Was this helpful?
How can we improve it?