Google finally allows copy and paste keyboard shortcuts for Drive

Jack Wallen shows you how easy it is to copy and paste files in Google Drive these days.

Paris, France - October 19, 2017: Close-up of personal folders on Google drive magnified with magnifying glass
Image: Goodpics / Adobe Stock

I am a proficient user of Google Drive and Google Docs. I depend on the service every day to be productive, and given that my mode of operation has been as productive as possible over the years, the lack of standard keyboard shortcuts in Drive is a real disappointment. disappointed.

Luckily, Google has finally brought us the standard keyboard shortcuts that we all love to use. Yes, I’m talking about CTRL + C and CTRL + V for copy and paste. My fingers are so used to hitting those two combinations that I often find myself cursing Google for not allowing them to work in Drive. Instead, I always have to fall back to the right-click copy and paste operation in the Google cloud storage platform.

Well: Not anymore.

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Google has finally enabled the keyboard copy and paste toggle for Google Drive. Now the shortcut CTRL + C / V works exactly like right click | Duplicate function. That means every time you paste a file into Drive, the filename will start with “Copy Of…”.

There are three caveats when using this new feature. The first is that it currently only works with the Chrome web browser. The second is that you have to give Chrome access to the clipboard, which isn’t in Drive documents. Luckily, I figured that out so you don’t have to. Finally, the feature only works with files, not folders.

Let’s make this feature work.

How to Enable Clipboard in Chrome

This is a step that Google forgot to mention in its documentation.

Open Chrome and go to Once the page loads, click the padlock icon to the left of the address bar. This will open a popup that now includes an ON/OFF slider for the Clipboard (Picture A).

Picture A

Image: Jack Wallen / TechRepublic. The Clipboard on switch must be set to ON.

Turn the ON/OFF slider to the ON position. You will then be prompted to reload the page (Figure BUT).

Figure BUT

Image: Jack Wallen / TechRepublic. You must reload the browser before the changes take effect.

How to use standard keyboard shortcuts with Google Drive

Now that you’ve given Chrome access to the clipboard, navigate to the file you want to copy and select it. Once selected, press the keyboard shortcut CTRL + C.

With the copied file, navigate to the folder you want to contain the new copy and press the keyboard shortcut CTRL + V to paste the file. You should now have a file starting with “Copy Of” in the folder.

And that’s all it takes to enable and use the standard copy and paste keyboard shortcuts in Google Drive. Hopefully the developers will make it so that users will have access to this feature, no matter what browser they use.

If you’re a proficient user of Google Drive and you use Chrome, your workflow just becomes a little more efficient.

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