Move files between Google Drive and Colaboratory.
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Utility functions for Google Colaboratory



  • Skim the "Working with Python" and "System Aliases" sections in Colab Overview.

Setup and Installation

  1. Open your Colab notebook. None of the following code will run in IPython or Jupyter notebook.
  2. Set the Runtime type for your notebook.
    • At the top of the page, click the Runtime tab.
    • Then, in the drop-down menu, click Change runtime type.
    • Set Runtime type to Python 3.
    • If you want GPU acceleration, which you probably do, set Hardware accelerator to GPU.
    • Click Save.
  3. Clone this package by running the following in a Colab notebook cell.
    !git clone  # Include the "!".


  1. Import this package and create your Google Drive object.
    import colab_utils
    drive = colab_utils.get_gdrive()
    • Running this should display something like the following.
      Go to the following link in your browser:
      Enter verification code: ___________________
  2. Authenticate your Google Drive object by clicking the link, supplying consent, copying the displayed code, and pasting it into the verification code field. Remember to press <enter> on your keyboard.
  3. Now, you can use this package to do the things you wish were easier to do.

Upload (i.e. "push") files from your Colaboratory to your Google Drive

colab_utils.push_to_gdrive(drive, colaboratory_path, google_drive_directory)

Download (i.e. "pull") files from your Google Drive to your Colaboratory

colab_utils.pull_from_gdrive(drive, google_drive_path, colaboratory_directory)

List contents of a directory in your Google Drive

  • The default behavior is to use the root directory of your Google Drive.
    In [1]: colab_utils.ls_gdrive(drive)
    Out[1]: {'a_sample_folder': 'WWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW',
             'Colab Notebooks': 'XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX',
             'Getting started': 'YYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY',
             'sample_nb.ipynb': 'ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ'}
  • The output is a dictionary, where keys are files in the directory and values are unique Google Drive IDs.
  • If you want to list contents of a specific directory, supply its Google Drive ID.
    In [1]: root_contents = colab_utils.ls_gdrive(drive)
    In [2]: colab_utils.ls_gdrive(drive, root_contents['a_sample_folder'])
    Out[2]: {'some_stuff': 'AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA',
             'more_stuff': 'BBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBB'}

Get the Google Drive ID of a directory or file path in your Google Drive

  • Default behavior assumes the given path is relative to the root directory.

    In [1]: colab_utils.get_gdrive_id(drive, 'a_sample_folder/some_stuff')
  • If you would like to use a relative path, supply the ID of its parent directory.

    In [1]: parent_id = colab_utils.get_gdrive_id(drive, 'a_sample_folder')
    In [2]: colab_utils.get_gdrive_id(drive, 'more_stuff', parent_id)