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New Google Drive Keyboard Shortcuts

Google Drive is changing their keyboard shortcuts! Get up to speed with Google Certified Innovator Alice Keeler.
New Google Drive Keyboard Shortcuts

Whatever you think about change, it comes. Google Drive is introducing a new set of keyboard shortcuts for you to learn. These new Google Drive keyboard shortcuts are sure to become muscle memory soon, however, it will take some time to make the switch. These shortcuts will be mandatory in Fall 2024 unless you opt into making the switch early. 

Hover to Preview

Previously, you could simply press P on a selected file in drive to preview. The new Google Drive keyboard shortcut has a couple of extra keys:

ctrl + alt + p

If you are a Mac user like me, you’ll use command + option + p. 

Toggle List View and Grid View

You can view your list of files in Google Drive as a text list or as a grid view with a preview of each file. Look in the upper right for the checkbox icon next to the 4 squares icon. Clicking on either side of this “pill” will switch the view. 

To manage this more quickly, the keyboard shortcut requires that you activate shortcuts with Alt V. Then press L. This is not completed at the same time. It is NOT Alt V L but rather Alt V. and then L. 

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Alt v for Viewing Options

Alt V enters your Google Drive into a “Viewing mode.” How do you want to VIEW your Google Drive?

It is important to enter this viewing mode because simply pressing a letter will jump you to the next file in your Google Drive that starts with that letter.

Pressing Alt V will appear to do NOTHING.

On a Mac, Option V, enables View mode. You must then press a key that indicates what you want to view.

As already shared, pressing L will toggle the list/grid view. 

Pressing the e key shows the approvals pane. 

Pressing the d key shows the details pane. 

Pressing the a key shows the activity pane. 


Alt g for Navigation

Like alt g, NOTHING will happen when you use alt g. (Option g on a Mac). This simply enters you into a navigation mode. 

  • t – Show the Google bar at the top in Drive. 
  • d – Show details pane. This is a duplicate shortcut since alt v + d also shows the details pane. 

There are several other shortcuts you can use with alt g but I did not think I would ever use them. Click here to see the full list. 

Shift Space to Deselect an Item

Hold down the shift key and the spacebar key at the same time (then release) to deselect a selected item in Google Drive. I’ll probably continue to use my mouse for this one, but it’s at least good to know the shortcut. 

Up and Down Arrows

Happily it is easy to move between files in Google Drive. Simply use the up and down keys. 

Shift Arrow

Hold down the shift key and use the down arrow to select multiple files at once. 

Enter to Open

It is easy to open your Drive file in a new tab. Simply press the enter key to launch the selected file 

Rename is F2

This is the shortcut I am crying the most over. It used to be so easy to simply press the n key to rename a file. Now you need to use F2 to easily rename your file. That will take some getting used to for me since it is clearly less intuitive. 

Share with Control Alt A

Please someone, help me make this make sense. I want to SHARE a file I will use Control Alt and A at the same time. Why A?? How am I supposed to remember this. Control A is select all… how does throwing an alt in there switch to share? Literally no one asked me… and we are stuck with this goofy shortcut. Note: This is Command Option A on a Mac. 


Control Alt M to Move

M for move? What a good idea. Control Alt M will move the file to another folder. Note that this is the exact same shortcut as add a comment in a Google Doc. Command Option M on a Mac. 

Control Alt S to Star

S stands for STAR not share. Use the control key, alt key, and s key at the same time to star the file. 

Control Alt R to Shortcut

If you do not want to move a file but rather to create a shortcut to the file use control alt r. I guess this is kinda “relocate” if that helps it make more sense. 

Delete a File with #

Want to quickly delete selected files? Use the #. This is not just the 3 key, but SHIFT 3 to get the # for deleting the file. 

Familiar Keyboard Shortcuts

Control c, and control V work in Google Drive. Copy a file and when you use control v it will make a copy of the file into the location you are pasting it. This is not a shortcut, but a copy of the file. 

Copy a File
Paste a File
Cut a File

In my Google Drive I selected a file and used Control C. Here in this blog post I am going to use Control V. 

What is DOK?

Notice that the link to the file is not only pasted into the text of my blog post, but it is pasted as a hyperlink with the title of the file. 

Add Some Shift

Using the shift key within keyboard shortcuts can provide some fun features. 

  • Control Shift C – copies the file title
  • Control Shift V – pastes as a shortcut

Learn More about Google Drive from Teacher Tech

New Google Drive Keyboard Shortcuts

As of May 2024 these shortcuts are not yet fully rolled out. Be ready for them in the fall of 2024 or enable them now if desired. 

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