How to copy a folder in Google Drive
A complete guide 2023

Did you ever need to copy a folder in your Google Drive, but didn't know how? We'll tell you how to copy your entire folder and its contents or just the structure, in this detailed guide.

Google Drive is a great place to store your files and make them accessible from any device. There are many reasons why you may want to copy your Google Drive folder and its content. Maybe it's backup, or you're switching accounts, or you're doing some project that requires your Drive folder and files to be duplicated. Whatever the reason for copying, no more old workarounds that required us to painstakingly “Make a copy” of each and every file and move it to a new folder.  However, Google recently added a way for Shared Drive's manager to copy folders, but it is quite limited and end-users still can not move folders. 

There are two ways you can copy a folder in Google Drive:

Copy folders and files using Folgo, a Google Drive add-on

Folgo is a powerful add-on for Google Drive, which makes it easy for you to do many file management tasks on Google Drive, including copy/duplicate folders. You can copy an entire folder hierarchy and optionally files within.  

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to copy your Google Drive folder, in just a few clicks:

Step 1: Install Folgo for Google Drive add-on from Google Workspace Marketplace

The first step is to install Folgo from Google Workspace Marketplace

It's a quick installation procedure. Once installed, you can access Folgo, right within the sidebar of your Google Drive. 

💡 You can also install Folgo from your Google Drive by clicking on the "+" button in the side panel.
Click on the Folgo icon in your Google Drive sidebar to launch the app.

Step 2: Select the source folder you want to copy and set your preferences 

On Folgo welcome page, out of the many file management options, click on Copy folder:

Select the source folder from the My Drive files/folders listing area, which you want to make a copy of.

⚠️ To select the source and destination folders, you must move from the Folgo sidebar back to your Drive files/folders list area. While this interaction between Folgo and Google Drive may be a little clunky, Folgo team brings you the best experience possible given the technical constraints of Google Drive.

Step 3: Select the destination folder, or choose to copy directly in the working folder

The next important step is to choose the destination folder where you want the copy to be made. By default, Folgo shows you the working folder i.e, the same location of the source folder as the destination. If you are looking to copy into an existing folder, you can click on the edit icon to select the target.

Folgo follows Google's standard for naming the copy. The name of the folder is Copy of [source folder name]. Later, you may want to rename the folder if you want to.

Folgo copies the content of your source folder and also the folder itself. Sometimes you'd just want to copy its contents, not the source folder. If this is your case, you may have to move the contents out to the location desired from the copied folder.

Step 4: Configure additional parameters to choose what you want to copy

Folgo’s copy folder tool has a few additional parameters which make it more powerful and flexible. There are two such options: 

Step 5: Click on COPY and let Folgo take over creating a copy in the destination folder

All your setup is done and you are now ready to initiate the copy process. Once you click the COPY button, Folgo takes up this job queued and starts making the copy. This will let you go ahead and continue using Google Drive, without waiting until the copy is done. 

Interestingly, Folgo records a time-based log in a spreadsheet, as it goes copying files and folders one-by-one. This will help you find if some files have been copied or not, especially when you have huge number of files to be copied.

Google Drive copy folder: Usage Examples

Now that you’re familiar with the FOLGO add-on, and the additional parameters to configure your copy operation, you may want to combine one or more of its options together to suit your needs. In this section, you’ll explore many different scenarios on how to use FOLGO to copy files and folders in your Google Drive.

How do I make a copy of a folder including the source folder, in Google Drive?

Sometimes copying just the contents of a folder may leave us with loose files spilled in the destination directory. In such cases, we may desire to copy the folder as a whole, meaning an exact clone to be created under the destination folder.

To copy all the files and subfolders (including the  source folder itself) from Folder A to Folder B in Google Drive:

Use Copy folder tool of Folgo add-on > Select source folder > Name/select destination folder > Tick the “Copy root folder” option in additional parameters

How to copy only the contents of a folder in Google Drive

Say, when someone shares a bunch of eBooks in a folder, you may simply want to get a copy of the contents into your existing collection in your Google Drive. 

To copy only the contents- the files and subfolders (including any empty subfolders) from Folder A to Folder B in Google Drive: 

How to copy folder structure without files

You may be saving your important files in Google Drive folder structure per financial year for better organizing your earnings and spending. To save time and keep your filing structure consistent for every new tax year, you can quickly copy the entire folder structure (including all subfolders) using this technique.

To copy only the folder structure - including its subfolders and any empty subfolders) from Folder A to Folder B in Google Drive: 

The copy is created inside a folder named "Copy of <source folder>”. You can rename the folder as you want.

How to copy shared google drive folder to another account

When you work in a team, you might need to share a folder and all its contents with your coworkers. If a team member needs a copy of the folder, he can use Folgo to make a copy of the shared folder into his Google Drive.

⚠️Please note that sharing folders are different from using “Shared Drives”.  Shared drives are available only with specific editions of Google Workspace.

Sharing folders are not generally safe, unless your team member is using Folgo to make a proper copy. If your team member is using Google Drive’s “Move to” option to move files from the shared folder into their drive, thinking that they are copying, you may lose the contents of the folder that you shared.

Can I copy folder with Google Drive app for Desktop?

No. It may seem easier to work on folder in Google Drive the same way you'd copy any other folder of files. But copying only works for the real files or the files with viable extensions like, PDF, csv, etc. So, this method doesn’t really help with copying Google docs with file extensions .gdoc, .gsheet, .gslides, .gform. If you attempt to copy and paste a folder with these file extensions, you will get this error:  

Could not find this item.
This is no longer located in [Path]. Verify the item’s location and try again.

Hence, Google Drive app doesn’t really help in making a copy of the Google Drive folders.

Bonus: Only for authorized G Suite for Education Accounts

A school that uses Google Workspace for education can let its graduating students, copy or transfer their documents and emails to their personal Google Account. The school administrator has to make special settings and data transfer permissions to enable it for their students. If you are a school senior, here is how you can copy content from your school account to another account.

Free trial & Pricing

Folgo is free to try. You can try copying folders and use it to transfer ownership or inspect folders in Google Drive for up to 48 hours. During the free trial, you can copy folders with up to 100 files. 

Beyond these limits, you may need to buy a suitable pricing plan depending on the folder size you want to copy. There are two public tiers: up to 10k files and up to 100k files. For heavy usage, please contact the Folgo team at directly.

⚠️Google Drive API has some technical limitations on how many requests can be done per day. Folgo will pause if you hit the limits, and continue the copy when new quota is available.


Google gives users limited options for copying folders, which requires lots of permissions. You may be trying hard ways and different workarounds so far. In this guide, you have seen a couple of options and how effective are they with cloning a Google Drive folder.

The biggest takeaway from this detailed guide is that, you can use Folgo, add-on for Google Drive, to take the pain out of manual and other ineffective workarounds. You have seen how to install and set up Folgo and how you can choose and control what you want to copy.  Don’t hesitate to install Folgo and give it a try! Before you know it, you'll be copying your Google Drive folders.