Forcing Users to Make a Copy in Google Drive


If you’ve been using Google Drive for a while, you have probably come across a common task when sharing a template with others. Very often, a template is first shared as view only, and then users are expected to make a copy of their own. In a classroom setting, often students are trained to do the “make a copy dance” (especially if not using an LMS like Google Classroom), but if you need to share a document template with a group that isn’t as accustomed, it can become a little cumbersome.

This is process most folks follow.  Typically, you would share the document with others as a view only link, and then send that link on to others (email, short link, QR code, or other method).

Then, when the url is shared to others, they are expected to first to go to file and make a copy to make a copy of their own.

This works, but sometimes folks unfamiliar with the process can get a bit lost, especially after seeing the document but not being able to edit it

Here’s a better way!

Take the view only URL and change everything after the final forward slash “/” to “copy.

Now, share that link as you usually would, whether that be in an email when someone visits that link, they’ll be automatically forced to make a copy immediately:

I hope you find this helpful!