File management made easy

There are many methods to create and update file metadata and contents. With PyDrive, you don’t have to care about any of these different API methods. Manipulate file metadata and contents from GoogleDriveFile object and call Upload(). PyDrive will make the optimal API call for you.

Upload a new file

Here is a sample code to upload a file. gauth is an authenticated GoogleAuth object.

from import GoogleDrive

# Create GoogleDrive instance with authenticated GoogleAuth instance.
drive = GoogleDrive(gauth)

# Create GoogleDriveFile instance with title 'Hello.txt'.
file1 = drive.CreateFile({'title': 'Hello.txt'})
file1.Upload() # Upload the file.
print('title: %s, id: %s' % (file1['title'], file1['id']))
# title: Hello.txt, id: {{FILE_ID}}

Now, you will have a file ‘Hello.txt’ uploaded to your Google Drive. You can open it from web interface to check its content, ‘Hello World!’.

Note that CreateFile() will create GoogleDriveFile instance but not actually upload a file to Google Drive. You can initialize GoogleDriveFile object by itself. However, it is not recommended to do so in order to keep authentication consistent.

Delete, Trash and un-Trash files

You may want to delete, trash, or un-trash a file. To do this use Delete(), Trash() or UnTrash() on a GoogleDriveFile object.

Note: Trash() moves a file into the trash and can be recovered, Delete() deletes the file permanently and immediately.

# Create GoogleDriveFile instance and upload it.
file1 = drive.CreateFile()

file1.Trash()  # Move file to trash.
file1.UnTrash()  # Move file out of trash.
file1.Delete()  # Permanently delete the file.

Update file metadata

You can manipulate file metadata from a GoogleDriveFile object just as you manipulate a dict. The format of file metadata can be found in the Google Drive API documentation: Files resource.

Sample code continues from Upload a new file:

file1['title'] = 'HelloWorld.txt' # Change title of the file.
file1.Upload() # Update metadata.
print('title: %s' % file1['title']) # title: HelloWorld.txt.

Now, the title of your file has changed to ‘HelloWorld.txt’.

Download file metadata from file ID

You might want to get file metadata from file ID. In that case, just initialize GoogleDriveFile with file ID and access metadata from GoogleDriveFile just as you access dict.

Sample code continues from above:

# Create GoogleDriveFile instance with file id of file1.
file2 = drive.CreateFile({'id': file1['id']})
print('title: %s, mimeType: %s' % (file2['title'], file2['mimeType']))
# title: HelloWorld.txt, mimeType: text/plain

Handling special metadata

Not all metadata can be set with the methods described above. PyDrive gives you access to the metadata of an object through file_object.FetchMetadata(). This function has two optional parameters: fields and fetch_all.

file1 = drive.CreateFile({'id': '<some file ID here>'})

# Fetches all basic metadata fields, including file size, last modified etc.

# Fetches all metadata available.

# Fetches the 'permissions' metadata field.
# You can update a list of specific fields like this:

For more information on available metadata fields have a look at the official documentation.

Insert permissions

Insert, retrieving or deleting permissions is illustrated by making a file readable to all who have a link to the file.

file1 = drive.CreateFile()

# Insert the permission.
permission = file1.InsertPermission({
                        'type': 'anyone',
                        'value': 'anyone',
                        'role': 'reader'})

print(file1['alternateLink'])  # Display the sharable link.

Note: InsertPermission() calls GetPermissions() after successfully inserting the permission.

You can find more information on the permitted fields of a permission here. This file is now shared and anyone with the link can view it. But what if you want to check whether a file is already shared?

List permissions

Permissions can be fetched using the GetPermissions() function of a GoogleDriveFile, and can be used like so:

# Create a new file
file1 = drive.CreateFile()
# Fetch permissions.
permissions = file1.GetPermissions()

# The permissions are also available as file1['permissions']:

For the more advanced user: GetPermissions() is a shorthand for:

# Fetch Metadata, including the permissions field.

# The permissions array is now available for further use.

Remove a Permission

PyDrive allows you to remove a specific permission using the DeletePermission(permission_id) function. This function allows you to delete one permission at a time by providing the permission’s ID.

file1 = drive.CreateFile({'id': '<file ID here>'})
permissions = file1.GetPermissions()  # Download file permissions.

permission_id = permissions[1]['id']  # Get a permission ID.

file1.DeletePermission(permission_id)  # Delete the permission.

Upload and update file content

Managing file content is as easy as managing file metadata. You can set file content with either SetContentFile(filename) or SetContentString(content) and call Upload() just as you did to upload or update file metadata.

Sample code continues from Download file metadata from file ID:

file4 = drive.CreateFile({'title':'appdata.json', 'mimeType':'application/json'})
file4.SetContentString('{"firstname": "John", "lastname": "Smith"}')
file4.Upload() # Upload file.
file4.SetContentString('{"firstname": "Claudio", "lastname": "Afshar"}')
file4.Upload() # Update content of the file.

file5 = drive.CreateFile()
# Read file and set it as a content of this instance.
file5.Upload() # Upload the file.
print('title: %s, mimeType: %s' % (file5['title'], file5['mimeType']))
# title: cat.png, mimeType: image/png

Download file content

Just as you uploaded file content, you can download it using GetContentFile(filename) or GetContentString().

Sample code continues from above:

# Initialize GoogleDriveFile instance with file id.
file6 = drive.CreateFile({'id': file5['id']})
file6.GetContentFile('catlove.png') # Download file as 'catlove.png'.

# Initialize GoogleDriveFile instance with file id.
file7 = drive.CreateFile({'id': file4['id']})
content = file7.GetContentString()
# content: '{"firstname": "Claudio", "lastname": "Afshar"}'

file7.SetContentString(content.replace('lastname', 'familyname'))
# Uploaded content: '{"firstname": "Claudio", "familyname": "Afshar"}'