Common Problems with Google Drive

My Zap doesn't create a text file and doesn't copy over the folder.

Likely you aren't selecting a file field from the trigger service. On Set Up Template, you must make sure to select a file field for the file if you want anything other than a text file to be created. In the absence of a file, Zapier creates a text file with the contents of the file being the field you put under the Template. The correct way to do this is select a file field which are seen in grey as demonstrated below.

Drive File Object

Why am I getting a ZIP file in Google Drive

If you are putting multiple files in an action for the file field, Zapier zips the files into one file. If you select the zipped file in Google Drive, all of the contents will be found there.

Zipped files help us handle larger file sizes since they can be compressed.

I setup my drive Zap, why didn't my files copy over?

Zapier triggers only on new items, not existing items. Your existing files won't be able to be exported using Zapier. For more information on this check out import/export.

Unable to get a value when looking for "file". Is it missing?

If you see this error, you likely had a Zap trigger without a "real file". Google Drive differentiates between what is actually a file and what isn't.

Any Google Docs items will trigger, but aren't considered "real files" by Google Drive (docs, spreadsheets, presentations, etc). The below items aren't "real files" and will cause this error.

Not Real Google Drive Files

These are considered "real files" and will trigger your Zap correctly.

Real Google Drive Files

Not all my files are triggering my new file in folder Zap.

The New File in Folder trigger has some nuance about what it will trigger on:

Google Files (e.g. Google Doc, Google Sheets etc)

  • If a file was created within the folder, the Zap will trigger
  • If a file was modified fewer than 4 days ago and moved to the folder, the Zap will trigger
  • If a file was modified greater than 4 days ago and moved to the folder, the Zap won't trigger
  • If a file was created greater than 4 days ago and modified less than 4 days ago and moved to the folder, the Zap won't trigger

Non-Google files (e.g. pdf or jpg):

  • If a file is directly added to the folder, the Zap will trigger
  • If a file is directly added to the folder but was modified/created greater than 4 days ago, the Zap won't trigger
  • If a file is moved to the folder (even if it was added to Google Drive in the last 4 days), the Zap won't trigger

Also, you can't trigger or act upon a folder shared with you, so files added to folders you don't own will not trigger the Zap. The connected account must be the owner.

How do I get a download file URL from Google Drive?

If you need a publicly-accessible download link for a Google Drive file to hardcode into an action step in your Zap—for instance, to use as an attachment on an email—you can locate the file ID in the Share menu. It will appear as part of the shareable URL of the file:

The shareable URL of a file uploaded to Google Drive

Once you have the ID, you can add it using the following URL format:

Note: This will only work for files that you upload to Google Drive. It will not work for documents, presentations, etc. created inside Google Drive.

Why can't I see my desired folder in the dropdown menu?

Google Drive requires you to be the owner of a given folder in order for you to be able to interact with this folder in Zapier, such as by uploading a file to the folder or triggering on a new file added to that folder.

Was this article helpful?
5 out of 72 found this helpful