How to Select Multiple Files in Google Drive

Moving or deleting a bunch of files one at a time would be a nightmare. Thankfully most file managing systems allow you to perform actions on multiple files at once. Google Drive is no exception to this. There are 3 main ways to select multiple files in Google Drive and we’ll show you to use them.

Select Multiple Files in Google Drive Using Your Mouse

The easiest way to select multiple files in Google Drive is to simply click and drag your mouse over the files you want to select. This is most similar to how you select files on your Windows desktop.

Step 1: Open drive.google.com in a web browser

Step 2: Click My Drive on the left hand side and locate the files you need to select

Google Drive My Drive

You might also want to change from the Grid view to the List view. Just click the view icon at the upper right of your files to do that.

Google Drive View Button

Step 3: Left click drag your mouse and draw a square over the files you want to select

Google Drive Multiple Files Selected With Mouse

You can now right click any of them and the action you choose in that menu will be applied to all that are selected. You can also drag and drop them to move or delete them.

Select Multiple Files in Google Drive Using the Ctrl Key

This one’s a bit special because it’s better for situations where you need to select multiple files that aren’t all together. You can use the Ctrl key method to pick and choose the files you need.

Step 1: Open drive.google.com in a web browser

Step 2: Click My Drive on the left hand side and locate the files you need to select

Google Drive My Drive

You might also want to change from the Grid view to the List view. Just click the view icon at the upper right of your files to do that.

Google Drive View Button

Step 3: Hold down the Ctrl key on your keyboard and click each file (they will turn blue when selected)

Google Drive Multiple Files Selected With Ctrl

You can now right click any of them and the action you choose in that menu will be applied to all that are selected. You can also drag and drop them to another folder or to the trash.

Select Multiple Files Using the Shift Key

The Shift key method is useful for selecting multiple files that are together. This method is similar to using your mouse to select the files you need.

Step 1: Open drive.google.com in a web browser

Step 2: Click My Drive on the left hand side and locate the files you need to select

Google Drive My Drive

You might also want to change from the Grid view to the List view. Just click the view icon at the upper right of your files to do that.

Google Drive View Button

Step 3: Click the first file you want selected then hold down the Shift key on your keyboard and finally click the last file you want selected

Google Drive Shift Click Select

You can now right click any of them and the action you choose in that menu will be applied to all that are selected. You can also drag and drop them to another folder or to the trash.

Select all Files at Once with a Shortcut Key

If you just want to select all files and folders in your Google Drive, you can do so with a simple keyboard combination.

Step 1: Open drive.google.com in your favorite browser and make sure that My Drive is selected (it will have a blue background)

Step 2: Click anywhere inside the list of files / folders and then hit Ctrl + A on your keyboard

Final Thoughts

Most file managing systems support this same functionality. Next time you need to select only some files in Windows, try using Shift or Ctrl to select only the files you need.

6 thoughts on “How to Select Multiple Files in Google Drive”

  1. This was working for me for the last 5 years I’ve been using Google Drive for my business. A couple of days ago it stopped working. Maybe it’s a Google error? Hoping it gets fixed soon because none of these methods work for me anymore.

    Reply
  2. I’ve never been able to use the CTRL button to select files in Google Drive, Using chrome…

    When I use the CTRL select, I get a Circle with up and down arrows inside…

    Reply
  3. doesn’t work. if I hold shift or control and click on a file it OPENS! tried using chrome on PC, firefox on PC, and safari on mac

    Reply

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