G Suite: Organize Files in Drive

Google Docs Location by Type

  • Files that you create - automatically stored on “My Drive” (your Google Drive)
  • Files that have been shared with you - located in the “Shared with Me” Section of Google Drive but not located in “My Drive” unless you move or add it.
  • Files that you can view from a shared link (from an email or webpage)- these are not located in your Google Drive unless you save it to “My Drive”.  You click on the link, the doc opens up, you close the doc (window or tab).  If you want to view the file again, you will have to go to the link again unless you saved the doc to your drive.  If you save it to your drive you can search there.

Create New Doc - Default Location

The default location when creating any new (doc, slide, sheet, form, etc.) is in your Google Drive when you are viewing the main Drive directory, the Recent, or Starred view.  If you have any of your Drive folders selected and are viewing its contents, the new doc’s location will be that selected folder automatically.

If the folder is a shared folder then you will see a message letting you know that the new doc will have the same shared permissions of the folder.

Create a Shared Folder Prompt

Select and Add Multiple Files to a Folder

Click and Drag

  1. Click the little triangle icon on the left to show all your folders.  Make sure you can see the folder you want to move items to.  

Triangle and Folder Icon

  1. Click to select the item (or items) you want to move. 
  1. Do you want to move multiple items? Hold Ctrl or Command key and click all the items you want to select. 
  1. Now Click and drag to the desired folder.  All the selected items will move into that folder.

Using the “Organize” Dialog box

Click the Organize folder button in upper right - Organize Folder Buttonor right-click on a selected file.

Folders in Drive

3. In the Move To dialog menu, select the folder where you’d like to move your items, or create a new folder by clicking on the folder with the plus symbol.

Move to Dialog Menu

Save a single file to multiple folders

From the document

Currently this is only possible from the Drive home page (see next section), although you can still use the Organize feature to move your document from one folder to another.

From your Google Drive

Select a file in your google drive list by clicking once to highlight.

Highlighted file in google drive

Use the keyboard shortcut shift+z  to bring up the Add menu which looks similar to the Move To menu

Add Menu


Select the folder you want and click Add here.  Repeat this for each additional folder you want to add the file to.

View the Details (located in the upper right as shown) of the selected file to see the folders listed.     Details icon

The Details/Activity column will appear on the right.  Select Details tab to see the location(s). Click the X to remove the file from the folder.

Details and Activity Column

Remove File Folder


Organize from within the Document

Select the folder icon at the top or  go to File>Organize.

The Move menu will appear, showing you where the file is currently located.  You can then move it to a specific folder or, if it is already in a folder, move it to a different folder.

Move Menu      Folders in Move Menu

If you want to save it to multiple folders please refer to the instructions above - From your Google Drive

Move Files from Shared with Me to Google Drive

Wonder where those files that someone shared with you are?  They are located in the Shared with Me section.

Shared with me section

Files listed here have different options then you see for files listed in your My Drive.  Files in your Shared with me section will open with a single-click.  Hover your mouse on a file, without clicking, and you will see icons appear on the right.

Files in Shared with Me Section

Click on the folder icon Folder Iconto add to your drive and select from the folder list to choose a folder.

Folders in Drive List