Help Desk

Computing & Information Services

Shared Drive (formerly Team Drive)

General

Shared Drives are a new feature of Google Drive that allow a group of users to easily store and share files with each other. Unlike My Drive, files in a Shared Drive belong to the team instead of being owned by a specific person. When team members leave, the files remain in the Shared Drive and are still available to the team.

Is a Shared Drive right for you?

  • Shared Drives are great for a department, group, or project that has differing membership over time but consistent file storage needs.
  • Files and folders stored in a Shared Drive have no 'owner' and persist as membership of the Shared Drive changes.
  • Permissions are set at the Shared Drive top-level and are inherited by all files and subfolders. A team member cannot be excluded from accessing a file or folder within a Shared Drive. It is possible to share a sub-folder with non-team members.
  • Currently, users are unable to move an existing folder from My Drive to a Shared Drive. (Contact CUS if you need to do this.)
  • Only the owner can move a file from My Drive to a Shared Drive.
  • After files or folders are moved to the Shared Drive, it may be necessary to re-share them with non-team members .

Using a Shared Drive

Finding a Shared Drive:

All Shared Drives are stored under the Shared Drives section of Google Drive on the left taskbar.

Shared Drives Icon
From there, you'll interact with the file system just like a normal Google Drive folder. 

Creating Folders and Files:

Create a new folder:
  1. In the left navigation, click a Shared Drive or existing folder.
  2. Click   New  >   Folder.
  3. Enter a folder name.
  4. Click   Create
Add and open Files:

To add files to a Shared Drive, you need at least   edit access permission. Any files you add are owned by the team. If you leave the Shared Drive, your files remain.

  1. In the left navigation, click a Shared Drive folder.
  2. Drag an existing file to upload it from your computer. Or, click   New  and choose an option:

    • To create a file, select the file type you want to create, such as Google Docs.
    • To upload a file, select   File upload. Navigate to the file and open it.
  3. Double-click a file to open it.

Sharing Files:

There are a few ways to share files in Shared Drive and they work exactly the same as in your personal drive. Here's the most basic:

  1. Click a file to share.
  2. Click Share.
  3. Add names, email addresses, or Google Groups.
  4. (Optional) To change the permission from  edit, click the Down arrow and choose another permission.
  5. (Optional) Add a message.
  6. Click   Send.

Adding New Members: 

To add members and set permissions, you need   full access permission.

  1. In the left navigation, click a Shared Drive.
  2. At the top, under the Shared Drive name, click   +Add Members.
  3. Add names, email addresses, or Google Groups.
  4. (Optional) To change the permission from Full access, next to   Full, click the Down arrow  and choose a new permission.
  5. (Optional) Enter a message.
  6. Choose an option:

    • Click   Send  to send notifications.
    • Click   Add  if you don't want to send notifications.

Shared Drive Administration - File Permissions

A Shared Drive is set up with default permissions. These can be Full Acess, Edit Access, Comment Access, or View access. Whenever new members are added to the drive, they can be given one of these levels of permissions or else will have the default permissions. 

Permissions of members in a Google Group

* Default role for new members.

** Contributor access provides read-only access to files in  Drive File Stream or files in the Chrome OS Files app. Assign the Content manager access level for users who need to edit files in Drive File Stream or on Chrome OS.

To change member permissions, you need   full access permission.

  1. In the left navigation, click a Shared Drive.
  2. At the top, underneath to the Shared Drive name, click   # members.
  3. Next to a member’s name, click the Down arrow  and select a new permission.
  4. Click   Done.

Additional Resources

To store and access files on your desktop, use Drive File Stream. See  our File Stream Guide.

There are some limits to Shared Drive including maximum number of items (250,000 files and folders). For a list of these follow this link here.

For more complete documentation, see the G Suite Learning Center