Importing .py files in Google Colab

You can save it first, then import it.

from google.colab import files
src = list(files.upload().values())[0]
open('mylib.py','wb').write(src)
import mylib

Update (nov 2018): Now you can upload easily by

  • click at [>] to open the left pane
  • choose file tab
  • click [upload] and choose your [mylib.py]
  • import mylib

Update (oct 2019): If you don't want to upload every time, you can store it in S3 and mount it to Colab, as shown in this gist

Update (apr 2020): Now that you can mount your Google Drive automatically. It is easier to just copy it from Drive than upload it.

  • Store mylib.py in your Drive
  • Open a new Colab
  • Open the (left)side pane, select Files view
  • Click Mount Drive then Connect to Google Drive
  • Copy it by !cp drive/MyDrive/mylib.py .
  • import mylib

In case anyone else is interested to know how to import files/packages from gdrive inside a google colab. The following procedure worked for me:

1) Mount your google drive in google colab:

from google.colab import drive
drive.mount('/content/gdrive/')

2) Append the directory to your python path using sys:

import sys
sys.path.append('/content/gdrive/mypythondirectory')

Now you should be able to import stuff from that directory!


  1. You can upload local files to google colab by using upload() function in google.colab.files
  2. If you have files on github, then clone the repo using !git clone https://github.com/username/repo_name.git. Then just like in jupyter notebook load it using the magic function %load %load filename.py.