Manually upload files and folders to Google Drive

If you have important files that you want to be able to access anywhere and anytime you sign in (including images and videos), you can manually upload them to Google Drive. You can also save time by uploading a folder, which will keep the original folder structure and upload all of the individual files within it.

How to manually upload files

There are two ways to manually upload files to Google Drive:

  • Drag-and-drop files. If you are using the latest versions of Chrome or Firefox, you can simply drag-and-drop your files directly from your computer into Google Drive at drive.google.com.  You can even drag-and-drop files directly into folders or sub-folders. For all other browsers, follow option two.
  • Upload files through Google Drive. From the Google Drive web interface, you can follow these steps to manually select files to upload:
    1. Open drive.google.com.
    2. Click the upload button and select Files... from the drop-down menu.
    3. Select the file you'd like to upload. To select multiple files, press Shift or Ctrl and click all the files to upload.
    4. Your file will appear in “My Drive.”

How to manually upload folders

There are three ways to upload folders to Google Drive:

  • Drag-and-drop folders. If you are using the latest version of either Chrome or Firefox, you can drag a folder from your desktop into Google Drive at drive.google.com. The folder will then begin uploading immediately along with its individual files and original sub-folder structure. You can upload folders directly into other folders or sub-folders as well.

  • Upload folders through Google Drive (using Chrome). From Google Drive in Chrome, you can follow these steps to manually upload a folder:
    1. Open drive.google.com.
    2. Click the upload button and select Folder.... If you see "Enable folder upload" and you're in Chrome, then you'll need to update Chrome to the latest version.
    3. Select one or more folders to upload. All files and sub-folders within that folder will also be uploaded.
    4. A box that indicates the progress of your folder upload, as well as a list of the files being uploaded, appears in the bottom right of your Google Drive.
    5. When you're done with your upload, you can click the link to open the uploaded folder in Google Drive or close the box by clicking the x in the upper right corner of the box.
  • Upload folders through Google Drive (in a browser other than Chrome). From Google Drive in browsers other than Chrome, you can use the following steps to manually upload a folder. You will need to enable folder upload in these browsers each time you visit your Google Drive:
    1. Enable Java in your browser.
    2. Confirm that Java is enabled by visiting the Java test page.
    3. Install the Java applet.
      • Click the Upload button in Google Drive and install the Java Applet when prompted.
      • A security dialog will open asking if you want to allow an applet to run. Install this applet. Note: The applet will be signed by Google Inc.
    4. Complete steps to upload a folder as you would in Chrome (outlined in the steps above).

Relevant Links

To allow others to access the files you uploaded, change your sharing settings.

To learn about size limits for files you upload, go to Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides size limits.

Customize your manual upload settings.