Project Description

📖 2 mins read

Last year, Google announced a beta for shortcuts in Google Drive. This feature is now generally available and has started rolling out to all Google Workspace customers and users with personal Google Accounts.

Shortcuts in Drive make it easier to organize content and point users to relevant information and files across various drives.

Create Pointers to Any File or Folder in Google Drive with Shortcuts 1

Who’s impacted

Admins, end users, and developers

Why you’d use it

Shortcuts are pointers to content that can be stored in another folder or drive, a shared drive, or an individual user’s “My Drive.”

For example, Paul, a marketing manager, creates a “Marketing Strategy” document and shares it with the sales team. Greta, the sales manager, can now create a shortcut to the document in the “Sales” shared drive, enabling everyone on the sales team to quickly and easily access the file.

Additional details

Shortcut visibility and sharing permissions 
Shortcuts are visible to anyone who has access to the folder or drive containing the shortcut. Even if someone can see the shortcut, however, they can only open it if they have the appropriate access to the original file or folder.

Simplifying how files and folders appear in multiple locations 
In order to create a consistent experience for managing and viewing reference files across Drive, Google changed the “Add to My Drive” option to “Add shortcut to Drive.”

Changes to Drive’s folder structure and sharing model starting September 30 
Starting September 30, 2020, it will no longer be possible to place a file in multiple folders in My Drive, including via the Drive API. Going forward, every file will live in a single location.

After September 30, 2020, all files already living in multiple locations in My Drive will gradually be migrated to shortcuts.

No admin or end user action is required. Google recommends developers read more about this and other Drive API changes on the Cloud blog.

Getting started

Rollout pace

Drive Web

Drive Android/iOS

  • Gradual rollout starting on March 26, 2020. Requires app version 2.20.10 and up for Android and 4.2020.08 and up for iOS

Drive File Stream

  • This feature is already available and requires app version 37.0 and up

Backup and Sync

  • This feature is already available and requires app version 3.46 and up


  • Available to all Google Workspace customers and users with personal Google Accounts
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