Mobility

How to add Google Drive folder shortcuts to your Android homescreen

If you'd like to have home shortcuts to various Google Drive folders on your Android homescreen, check out how to do it.

Image: Jack Wallen

Google Drive power users, you can get quite a bit of mileage out of having quick access shortcuts to various folders on your Google Drive account. With certain homescreen launchers, you could easily create shortcuts to various locations; however, with some newer launchers (especially the Google Now Launcher), that ability has vanished. So, what do you do?

Fortunately, Google had the foresight to include this feature in the latest releases of the Google Drive Android app. The feature isn't exactly obvious, but once you know how it's done, you'll be shaking your head at how easy it is to add these shortcuts to your homescreen. When you use the feature, you'll find it's a quick way to access your work folders while on the go—no more navigating through Google Drive's folder hierarchy.

SEE: Mobile Device Computing Policy (Tech Pro Research)

Adding those shortcuts

Believe it or not, the feature is hiding in plain sight. Here's what you have to do.

  1. Open the Google Drive app.
  2. Navigate to the parent directory housing the folder in question.
  3. Long press the folder you for which you want to create the shortcut.
  4. In the resulting popup toolbar, tap the three vertical dots (Figure A).
  5. Tap Add To Home Screen.

Figure A

Figure A
Image: Jack Wallen
Creating a home screen shortcut on a OnePlus 3.

Creating a folder of shortcuts

You don't want a homescreen crammed full of Google Drive shortcuts. To avoid such clutter, tap and drag one of the shortcuts onto another to create a folder. Once you've done that, you can drag all of your Drive shortcuts into that folder and then tap the name of the folder to give it an appropriate name (Figure B).

Figure B

Figure B
Image: Jack Wallen
You now have instant access to those folders you access on a regular basis.

You can always create multiple homescreen folders...each with a specific department, client, data center, etc. This way you have quick access to those Drive folders you use the most...without getting confused or cluttering up your homescreen.

SEE: Gallery: 10 Android apps every new mobile developer needs in their toolbox (TechRepublic)

Android makes it easy

One thing that draws me to Android is the combination of flexibility and ease of use. Every time you think you've spotted a challenge, there's a solution for that challenge.

If you happen to be a Google Drive power user, you'll appreciate the ease of use this solution adds. Give it a go, and see if you aren't creating homescreen folders for your related Google Drive folders.

Also see

About Jack Wallen

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.

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