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Last year, Google announced improvements to the shortcut feature in Google Drive. Shortcuts simplify the file and folder structure in Drive by creating pointers to items, rather than creating items that exist in multiple locations.
At that point, Google will migrate existing files in multiple locations to shortcuts in 2021. This migration is currently due in 2022 — see below for more information on update progress. Japan:
- Starting in early 2022, admins will be notified via email a few weeks before the migration begins in their domain.
- Important Note: Before the migration begins, admins will be able to control when to create shortcuts in shared folders using the new admin settings. See below for more information.
- End users of Google Workspace will not receive this message.
- Google Drive end users will begin seeing a banner in Google Drive on web and mobile notifying them of the move. No further action is required, the migration will happen automatically.
- This applies to all Google Workspace users and users with personal Google accounts.
See below for more information on the migration process and additional improvements Google has rolled out to shortcuts in Drive.
Admins and end users
Why it’s important
New shortcut behavior for items stored in multiple locations
Google will replace files and folders stored in multiple folders in Google Drive with Shortcuts. This change simplifies your file and directory structure and helps reduce confusion between files with multiple parent directory locations.
When a file is replaced with a shortcut:
- One location is preserved for files or folders that are currently contained in multiple locations. All other instances of the item will be replaced with a shortcut.
- Ownership and sharing rights for files and folders are preserved.
- The admin can view a log of these events and changes in the Admin audit log.
Google Workspace admins will be notified via email several weeks before the process begins for their organization.
Before this process begins, administrators will be able to control when to create shortcuts in shared folders. This feature will be available in the next few weeks. In the Admin Console, go to Applications > Google Workspace > Drive and Documents > Upcoming Changes to My Drive and under “Manage Shortcuts” you will have can choose:
- Always create shortcuts: Everyone with access to a shared folder has shortcuts in that folder
- Create shortcuts only for shared content in your domain and trusted domains: Only users from your organization and trusted domains will have shortcuts in shared folders
- Create shortcuts only for shared content in your domain: Only users in your organization can have shortcuts in shared folders.
- Do not create shortcuts: Shortcuts will not be created for items in a shared folder where access is different.
Please note that in all situations, users who previously did not have access to an item will not be able to access the item even though the shortcut can be seen in Google Drive.
Weeks prior to migration within your organization, end users will see banners in Google Drive notifying them of the change. This process is automatic and requires no action from your end users. Once replaced, the user can move his file or folder to another location or add a shortcut in another location.
Create shortcuts with Drive for desktop
Previously, when using Backup and Sync to connect to a computer, you could add a folder to an additional location using the “Shift + Z” function. In the future, when all users have fully migrated to Drive for the desktop, the Shift + Z behavior will create shortcuts instead of a single folder located in multiple locations.
Recent improvements to shortcuts in Google Drive
As we continue to improve Google Drive, we've given users more options to store and organize their files.
To give our users more information about the file the shortcut points to, we've added more information to the details window. Depending on sharing permissions, you'll see information like:
- Who has access to the file and whether the file can be downloaded,
- The size of the file and the memory used,
- The location of the original file,
- Who created the file and when it was last modified, etc.
These updates are fully available on Google Drive for the web – we'll provide updates on the Workspace Update Blog as they become available for Google Drive on mobile.
Also, since the original file permissions don't automatically update when you create the shortcut, we'll be adding reminders for users over the next few weeks to make sure your permissions are set the way you want them to. Previously, when you added a shortcut to a folder, users with access to the folder were not automatically granted access to the file on the other end of the shortcut. Now, when you create the shortcut, you will be prompted to grant the affected user access.
- Admins: Admins will be notified via email a few weeks before the migration begins in their domain. Before the migration begins, Admins will be able to control keyboard shortcuts that replace items stored in multiple locations with the new admin settings.
- End users
- Starting in early 2022, you'll see a banner in Google Drive on web and mobile notifying you of the move. No further action is required, the migration will happen automatically.
- Visit the Help Center to learn more about finding files and folders with Google Drive shortcuts, organizing your files in Google Drive, and upcoming changes to the Google Drive sync client.
Improved Access Checker
- Rapid and scheduled release domains: Extended release (may take longer than 15 days for features to be visible) starting January 4, 2022
- Available to all Google Workspace customers, as well as G Suite Basic and Business customers
- Available to users with personal Google accounts