Changing linked Google Drive file names

We have a substantial amount of Google Drive files linked (not attached) in our grids and have encountered a situation where we honestly need to rename them, rename some folders, and move others around - what's the best way to handle a situation like this without fouling up the links?

Best Answer

  • Bassam Khalil
    Bassam Khalil ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Answer ✓

    Hi @Tiffany L,

    When you're managing a significant number of Google Drive files linked in your Smartsheet grids and you need to rename these files, rename some folders, and move others around, it's crucial to approach this process carefully to avoid breaking the links. Here's a strategy to handle this situation effectively:

    1. Understand How Links in Smartsheet Work

    Firstly, it's important to understand that when you link a Google Drive file in Smartsheet, Smartsheet stores a URL that points to that file or folder on Google Drive. If you move or rename the files or folders in Google Drive, the links in Smartsheet should not break, as Google Drive uses unique IDs for each file and folder that do not change with renaming or moving. This means the URL stored in Smartsheet should still point to the correct file or folder.

    2. Verify Linked Files and Folders

    Before making any changes in Google Drive, it's a good idea to ensure all your links in Smartsheet are up-to-date and correctly pointing to the intended files and folders. This can help you identify any existing issues before you start the renaming and moving process.

    3. Plan Your Changes

    • Rename Files and Folders: Since renaming doesn't affect the unique ID of the files/folders in Google Drive, you can rename them as needed. The links in Smartsheet should automatically reflect the new names without additional action required on your part.
    • Move Files and Folders: When moving files or folders within Google Drive, the unique ID remains the same. Therefore, the links in Smartsheet should continue to work as expected. However, it's a good practice to move items cautiously and verify the links afterwards.

    4. Execute Changes in Google Drive

    After planning, start renaming and moving your files and folders in Google Drive. Do this in a systematic manner to keep track of all changes.

    5. Verify Links in Smartsheet

    After making the changes in Google Drive, go back to your Smartsheet grids and verify that all links are still functional. You can do this by clicking on a few links to ensure they still open the correct files or folders in Google Drive.

    6. Use Smartsheet's Update Request Feature

    If any links need updating or if you wish to confirm with your team members that the correct files are being accessed, consider using Smartsheet's "Update Request" feature to ask collaborators to verify or update the links as necessary.

    7. Regular Maintenance

    Regularly review and maintain your linked files and folders in both Smartsheet and Google Drive. This proactive approach can help prevent issues related to outdated or broken links.

    PMP Certified

    [email protected]

    ☑️ Are you satisfied with my answer to your question? Please help the Community by marking it as an ( Accepted Answer), and I will be grateful for your "Vote Up" or "Insightful"

Answers

  • Bassam Khalil
    Bassam Khalil ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Answer ✓

    Hi @Tiffany L,

    When you're managing a significant number of Google Drive files linked in your Smartsheet grids and you need to rename these files, rename some folders, and move others around, it's crucial to approach this process carefully to avoid breaking the links. Here's a strategy to handle this situation effectively:

    1. Understand How Links in Smartsheet Work

    Firstly, it's important to understand that when you link a Google Drive file in Smartsheet, Smartsheet stores a URL that points to that file or folder on Google Drive. If you move or rename the files or folders in Google Drive, the links in Smartsheet should not break, as Google Drive uses unique IDs for each file and folder that do not change with renaming or moving. This means the URL stored in Smartsheet should still point to the correct file or folder.

    2. Verify Linked Files and Folders

    Before making any changes in Google Drive, it's a good idea to ensure all your links in Smartsheet are up-to-date and correctly pointing to the intended files and folders. This can help you identify any existing issues before you start the renaming and moving process.

    3. Plan Your Changes

    • Rename Files and Folders: Since renaming doesn't affect the unique ID of the files/folders in Google Drive, you can rename them as needed. The links in Smartsheet should automatically reflect the new names without additional action required on your part.
    • Move Files and Folders: When moving files or folders within Google Drive, the unique ID remains the same. Therefore, the links in Smartsheet should continue to work as expected. However, it's a good practice to move items cautiously and verify the links afterwards.

    4. Execute Changes in Google Drive

    After planning, start renaming and moving your files and folders in Google Drive. Do this in a systematic manner to keep track of all changes.

    5. Verify Links in Smartsheet

    After making the changes in Google Drive, go back to your Smartsheet grids and verify that all links are still functional. You can do this by clicking on a few links to ensure they still open the correct files or folders in Google Drive.

    6. Use Smartsheet's Update Request Feature

    If any links need updating or if you wish to confirm with your team members that the correct files are being accessed, consider using Smartsheet's "Update Request" feature to ask collaborators to verify or update the links as necessary.

    7. Regular Maintenance

    Regularly review and maintain your linked files and folders in both Smartsheet and Google Drive. This proactive approach can help prevent issues related to outdated or broken links.

    PMP Certified

    [email protected]

    ☑️ Are you satisfied with my answer to your question? Please help the Community by marking it as an ( Accepted Answer), and I will be grateful for your "Vote Up" or "Insightful"

  • Tiffany L
    Tiffany L ✭✭✭

    We have nearly 200 grids with thousands of linked Google files. My understanding of/what I thought I had observed when I tried a test file, is that regardless of where in the drive or what filename changes the file may experience, the link keeps working just fine.

    I was surprised when my supervisor came to me reporting that changing the file names broke the link for her, as that was not my experience. I need to make sure that changing the name of our shared Google Drive won't result in having to relink every single doc.