Shortcuts in Google Drive make it easier to organize content and point collaborators to relevant information and files across various drives. Shortcuts are pointers to content that can be stored in another folder or drive, a shared drive, or an individual user's “My Drive.”
Shortcut visibility and sharing permissions
Shortcuts are visible to anyone who has access to the folder or drive containing the shortcut. However, even if someone can see the shortcut, they can only open it if they have the appropriate access and permissions to the original file/folder.
Simplifying the appearance of files/folders in multiple locations
In order to create a consistent experience for managing and viewing reference files across Google Drive, Google has changed the “Add to My Drive” icon option to “Add shortcut to Drive”.
Changes to Drive’s folder structure and sharing model
Starting September 30, 2020, it will no longer be possible to place a file in multiple folders in My Drive. From then on, every file will live in a single location. In addition, all files already living in multiple locations in My Drive will gradually be changed to shortcuts. There is no action needed on your part nor should you expect to run into issues during Google’s migration.
Visit the Google Drive Help Center for more information on how to use Google Drive shortcuts.
According to Google, this feature began showing up in the web version of U-M Google Drive on April 15 and could take 15 days or longer to become fully visible. The feature should already be available for use in the Google Drive iOS/Android mobile app, Google Drive File Stream, and Google Backup and Sync.