10 Google Drive Keyboard Shortcuts for Maximum Productivity

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Whether you're a casual user or a business professional, Google Drive is one of the most common Google services used by both groups. It's not just a simple cloud storage platform, but a full-fledged application tightly integrated with Google's office suite applications. And with the help of scripts and 3rd-party apps, the possibilities are unlimited. Today, we're going to learn about some of the most commonly used keyboard shortcuts of Google Drive. It'll help you perform common tasks much more quickly than the regular point-and-click process. Once you get hold of it, you'll always prefer these shortcuts.

Google Drive logo

Most of these shortcuts are easy to remember as they match the shortcuts used in our regular desktop operating system environment. Learn them in small batches of 2 to 4 shortcuts at a time.

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Remember, these shortcuts are aimed at Windows users. Mac users may have to use a different key combination for these shortcuts. So, let's get started and learn these Google Drive shortcuts.

1. Open Keyboard Shortcuts Help Dialogue Box

Whether you're a power user or a newbie, when it comes to using keyboard shortcuts, now and then, we want to look at the listing of all the available keyboard shortcuts.

Fortunately, Google Drive offers such a list through the Shift + ? keyboard shortcut.

Upon pressing this key combination, a dialogue box pops up with all the keyboard shortcuts enlisted along with their descriptions. A search box is also available. All the shortcuts are categorized.

2. Search Google Drive for Files and Folders

One of the most common activities on cloud storage is searching for documents. All of the popular cloud storage services offer powerful document-searching capabilities and Google Drive is no different.

Google Drive search box

No matter where you're in your Google Drive account, simply press the / key to instantly open the search box. Remember, it's not a key combination, but a single key.

You can either use custom search options to fine-tune your query or can press one of the icons to search for one of the most common file types.

3. Create New Folder/Document/Spreadsheet/Form

Heavy users of Google Drive frequently create new files and folders. Google Drive enables you to create different types of documents through keyboard shortcuts. Let's take a look at them—one by one.

Create New Folder - To create a blank new folder in the current directory, press the Shift + F key combination. Upon folder creation, you won't be switched to it. That needs to be done manually.

Create New Document - To create a new document that's compatible with Microsoft Word, use the Shift + T key combination. A blank file is created from all of these shortcuts.

Create New Spreadsheet - A blank spreadsheet can be created through the Shift + S key combination. These spreadsheets (downloaded files) can be opened in the Microsoft Excel application.

Create New Form - And last but not least, a blank form can be created through the Shift + O key combination. These forms can be used to collect information from your customers.

Use of these shortcuts opens a new tab and a blank new file is created and opened for editing.

4. Upload File/Folder

Another common activity among savvy Google Drive users is the upload of files and folders. If you're uploading lots of files and folders daily, shortcuts can be handy in speeding up the process.

Upload File - For uploading a file in the current folder/directory, use the Shift + U key combination.

Upload Folder - Some Google Drive users are not aware of the fact that you can upload entire folders to this cloud storage platform. Use the Shift + I key combination for the same.

Use the Ctrl key to select multiple files to speed up the uploading process.

5. Open the 'Create New' Menu

Whenever you want to create a new file or folder on Google drive, there's a New menu button on the top-left side. Clicking this button opens a menu as shown in the image below.

Create new menu for Google Drive

But, there's also a shortcut to open this menu. Just press the c key and this menu will instantly open. It's a very handy shortcut if you frequently create new items in your Google Drive account.

6. Open Options Menu for Selected File/Folder

Whenever you right-click on a file or folder in Google Drive, an options menu pops up (see image below) which includes several actions you can apply to the respective item.

Context menu for options available for a file or folder in Google Drive

But, instead of using a mouse, you can open this actions menu through the a keyboard shortcut. It's easy to remember and saves your time of mouse hover and clicking.

7. Open Settings Menu

The global settings menu for Google Drive is present on the top-right side in the form of a gear icon. Again, generally, we open it through a mouse hover and a click.

Global settings menu for Google Drive

But, this one too has a keyboard shortcut. Simply press the t key to open this menu.

8. Open File/Folder in a New Tab

By default, whenever you click a file or folder on Google Drive, it opens in the same tab. But, you can open it in a new tab too keeping the original tab intact in its current state.

To open a selected file or folder in a new tab, use the Ctrl + Enter keyboard shortcut.

9. Rename File/Folder

Renaming a file or folder is yet another common action frequently executed while working in Google Drive. Again, we do it by right-clicking on the item and then selecting the renaming option from the context menu.

But, if the item (file or folder) is already in a selected state, you can use the n key to quickly open the renaming dialogue box. It's much faster than the mouse action.

10. Delete File/Folder

And last but not least is the deletion of files and folders. Although most of us prefer to use the key press for completing this action, some do go for the deletion option present in the context menu.

There are two keys available for deleting items in Google Drive. You can either press the Delete key or you can press the # key.

Remember, deleting items in any way transfers them to the trash. For permanent deletion, you have to delete them in the trash as well.