Google Drive update will force you to clean up your mess of files and folders

Google Drive
(Image credit: Google)

Google will soon roll out an update for its cloud storage service Drive that should help minimize clutter and confusion caused by files holsted in multiple locations.

In 2020, the company launched a shortcuts system designed to simplify file and folder structures, by “creating pointers to items, rather than having items which existed in multiple locations”.

Now, Google has confirmed that multi-location files will be automatically migrated to shortcuts, starting early next year.

Google Drive shortcuts

“Expanding the use of shortcuts will increase the consistency of behavior and make it easier for users to understand how their Drive is structured,” explained the firm.

As a result of the shift to remote working during the pandemic, employees are now far more reliant on cloud-based productivity software (like Google Workspace) to collaborate with co-workers and partner organizations.

However, this has caused an influx in the number of documents, spreadsheets, presentations and other assets hosted in Google Drive, creating various file management and navigation issues.

With the upcoming update, Google will hope to impose some measure of order on the chaos, which is only exacerbated by the opportunity for files to exist in multiple locations.

According to the blog post, administrators will be notified via email a number of weeks before the migration to shortcuts takes place. Before the process begins, admins will be able to specify whether shortcuts are introduced in all possible scenarios, or only for content shared within the company’s own domain.

Google Workspace users, meanwhile, will be served a banner warning of the changes, but will be required to take no further action. All existing file permissions will be preserved after the migration takes place, says Google.

Joel Khalili
News and Features Editor

Joel Khalili is the News and Features Editor at TechRadar Pro, covering cybersecurity, data privacy, cloud, AI, blockchain, internet infrastructure, 5G, data storage and computing. He's responsible for curating our news content, as well as commissioning and producing features on the technologies that are transforming the way the world does business.