How to Move Google Docs From One Drive to Another

Moving a file from one Google Drive to another Google Drive means making a copy

What to Know

  • Select the Google document (or folder) > Share > Send.
  • Open secondary Google Drive > Shared with me > Make a copy.
  • Alternatively, download and re-upload files and folders from one Drive to another. Or, use Google Takeout.

This article shows you how to move Google Docs from one Google Drive to another. Because Google has not yet built this feature into Google Drive, we've found some simple workarounds to get the job done.

How to Move Folders From One Drive to Another

Unfortunately, it's more than one step to move folders from one drive to another. Below are three ways you can get this done.

Share the Google Docs File or Folder With Another Drive

This option is only applicable to files. On Google Drive, you can share a folder but you cannot copy an entire folder and make it your own. As a workaround, copy individual files and then create a duplicate folder to organize them. Here are the steps.

  1. Starting in the Google Drive you want to share the files from, select the single file or open the folder for the multiple files you want to share. To select multiple files, press Ctrl when you select each file or folder.

  2. Right-click on the file or folder and select Share from the context menu.

    Share option highlighted in Google Drive
  3. Enter the secondary Google Drive account address or select it from the dropdown.

    Account name for sharing a Google Drive file
  4. Change permission to Editor.

  5. Select Send to share the file or folder with the secondary account.

    Editor and Send highlighted in Google Drive
  6. Log into the secondary Google Drive. Select Shared with me on the left sidebar.

  7. Right-click on the shared file and select Make a copy. Google Drive doesn't have a copy feature for folders, so copy individual files and organize them in a new folder.

    Shared with me view in Google Drive
  8. Return to the My Drive screen where the copy is saved. Rename the file.

    Rename file in Google Drive

Download and Re-Upload Google Docs to Another Drive

This obvious process is painstaking but quicker when you need to move many files and folders.


You can only download files when you are the owner. Also, Google Drive uses the common .docx format for the downloaded file. You can choose to download a Google Drive file in other supported formats from the File menu in the open Doc file.

  1. Select the individual file or folder. Alternatively, press Ctrl to select multiple files and folders.

  2. Right-click on any selected file or folder and select Download.

    Download folders in Google Drive
  3. Google Drive zips the file and downloads it to a location on your desktop.

  4. Unzip the file or folder.

  5. Open the secondary Google Drive account.

  6. Select New > File Upload or Folder Upload to move files or folders from the desktop to another drive.

    File upload and Folder upload in Google Drive

Use Google Takeout

Google Takeout is the default method to create a backup archive of your entire data under a Google account. But you can use Google Takeout to download folders and then move them to another computer or Drive account.

  1. Log into Google Takeout and select Deselect all. Google Takeout selects all possible data and file types to include in the Takeout archive, but you may want to download just a few folders on Google Drive.

  2. Go down the list of products and select Drive.

  3. Select All Drive data included.

    Google Takeout Select data to include
  4. With the Drive content options, you can choose to download all folders and files or pick specific folders. You cannot select specific files within folders here. Select OK.

    Content options in Google Takeout
  5. Select Next step by scrolling further down.

  6. Under Choose file type, frequency and destination, choose the delivery method, frequency, and destination. For moving Google Docs from one drive to another, you can choose:

    • Delivery method: Send download link via email
    • Frequency: Export once
    • File type & size: .zip

    Select Create export.

    Google Takeout Delivery Options with Create Export highlighted
  7. Wait while Google takes a few minutes to create the archive.

    Takeout files export in Google Drive
  8. Use the email link sent to Gmail to download the zipped folder. You can also download it directly from Google Takeout's Manage exports screen.

    Options to Download your files or Manage exports
  9. To move these files to your secondary Drive account, unzip the files and upload them as usual.

  • How do I move a Word doc to a Google Doc?

    In Google Docs, go to File > Open. Select the Upload tab, and then either drag the Word file into the window or select it. Google Docs will import it, and all of the formatting should still be fine.

  • How do I move a Google Doc to the desktop?

    Go to File > Download and choose the format you want to save your document as; some are editable, and some won't be. Options include Word, Rich Text Format, PDF, and Plain Text.

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