Blog Article

How to Automatically Copy Shared Google Files

Samarpit Nasa
By Samarpit Nasa | Last Updated on March 19th, 2024 12:56 pm

In the digital age, sharing files has become an integral part of our daily workflows, especially when it comes to collaborative work environments. Google Drive stands out as a preferred choice for many, thanks to its seamless integration with other Google services and its user-friendly interface. However, sharing files with the intention that recipients should make their copies, rather than edit the original, can sometimes be a challenge. This is where a workflow automation tool Appy Pie Connect comes into play, offering a simple yet effective solution to ensure your files are copied, not edited.

Understanding Google Drive File Sharing Permissions

Google Drive allows you to share files - be it Docs, Sheets, Slides, or any other type - with varying levels of access: Viewer, Commenter, and Editor. While Viewer and Commenter permissions prevent users from making direct edits to the file, they do require the user to manually make a copy if they wish to edit or personalize the document. This manual step can sometimes be a hurdle, especially when you aim to streamline your sharing process.

Automate File Copying: The "/copy" Trick

The trick to simplifying the file-copying process lies in a small but powerful tweak to the file's URL. Traditionally, when you share a file via Google Drive, the shared link ends with "/edit". However, changing this to "/copy" in the link forces the recipient to make a copy of the file before accessing it. This method eliminates any confusion and ensures that your original file remains unchanged, without the need for you to worry about unauthorized edits.

Example of changing the URL for automation:

How to Automate the Process with Appy Pie Connect?

Appy Pie Connect, a leading workflow automation tool, enables you to automate the process of modifying the shared link to include "/copy" instead of "/edit". By using Appy Pie’s “Formatter by Connect,” you can automate workflows to change the link accordingly and share it via email, SMS, or direct message. This process not only saves time but also reduces the risk of human error, ensuring that every recipient receives a link that directs them to make a copy of the file.

Why People Still Might Request Edit Access?

Even with the "/copy" modification, you might still find some recipients requesting edit access to the file. This could be due to confusion or a misunderstanding of how the copy process works. It's important to provide clear instructions along with the shared link, emphasizing that the recipient will have full editing capabilities on their copy of the file.

Best Practices for Sharing Google Drive Files

To maximize efficiency and minimize confusion, here are some best practices for sharing Google Drive files:

  • Always use the "/copy" modification for shared links when you want recipients to have their editable version of the file.
  • Provide clear instructions to recipients on how to proceed after they receive the link.
  • Consider using workflow automation tools like Appy Pie Connect to automate the link modification process, especially if you share files frequently.
  • Monitor your sharing settings to ensure that your original files remain secure and unchanged.

Popular Google Integrations


Sharing Google Drive files with the intent for recipients to make their copies doesn't have to be a cumbersome process. By leveraging the "/copy" URL tweak and automating the link modification process with Appy Pie Connect, you can streamline file sharing, enhance productivity, and protect the integrity of your original files. As we continue to navigate the complexities of digital collaboration, tools and tricks like these become invaluable assets in our workflow optimization arsenal.

You can enhance your Google Experience with these simple guides: Create google docs template , how to insert a Google Sheet into a Google Doc , copy events from one google calendar to another

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Samarpit Nasa

Content Team Lead at Appy Pie