Jack Wallen shows you how easy it is now to copy and paste files within Google Drive.

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

I’m a Google Drive and Google Docs power user. I depend on the service daily to be productive, and given that my modus operandi has been to work as efficiently as possible over the years, not having the standard keyboard shortcuts available in Drive has been a frustration.

Fortunately, Google has finally brought to us those standard keyboard shortcuts we love to use so much. Yes, I’m talking about CTRL+C and CTRL+V for copy and paste. My fingers are so accustomed to hitting those two combinations that I’ve often found myself cursing at Google for not allowing them to work in Drive. Instead, I’ve always had to fall back to the right-click copying and pasting within Google’s cloud storage platform.

Well: No more.

SEE: iCloud vs. OneDrive: Which is best for Mac, iPad and iPhone users? (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Google has finally flipped the switch on copy and paste keyboard shortcuts for Google Drive. Now, the CTRL+C/V keyboard shortcuts function exactly like the right-click | Make A Copy function. That means, every time you paste a file in Drive, the filename will start with “Copy Of…”.

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

Let’s get this feature working.

How to enable the clipboard in Chrome

This is the one step Google has neglected to mention in its documentation.

Open Chrome and go to drive.google.com. Once the page loads, click the lock icon on the left side of the address bar. This will open a popup that now includes an ON/OFF slider for Clipboard (Figure A).

Figure A

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

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

Figure B

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

How to use standard keyboards shortcuts with Google Drive

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

With the file copied, navigate to the directory you want to house the new copy and hit the CTRL+V keyboard shortcut to paste the file. You should now have a file that starts with “Copy Of” in the folder.

And that’s all there is to enabling and using the standard copy and paste keyboard shortcuts in Google Drive. Hopefully, the developers will make it such that users will have access to the feature, regardless of which browser they use.

If you’re a Google Drive power user and you use Chrome, your workflow just became slightly more efficient.

Subscribe to TechRepublic’s How To Make Tech Work on YouTube for all the latest tech advice for business pros from Jack Wallen.