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Shared Drive is not a replacement for a user’s My Drive, but another system for group data management.

Shared Drives are shared spaces where Shareds can store their files and guarantee that every member has the most up-to-date information, no matter the time or place.

In short, Shared Drive is a file-sharing platform centered around Shared objectives.  Shared Drives can be shared to Groups or Users with varying levels of access to give the highest level of visibility and security to shared resources.  It alleviates the need for files to be owned by a particular user, therefore eliminating the risk of deleting user accounts and losing the data.  What this means for schools is that no longer will one person own data within drive that could possibly be wiped if the user was to ever leave. Instead, the Shared structure owns the data and will exist for as long as the Shared exists regardless of users coming and going.


My Drive vs. Shared Drive

Shared drivesMy Drive
What types of files can you add?All file types except files from Google MapsAll file types
Who owns files and folders? Your organizationThe individual who created the file or folder
Can I move files and folders?

Users can only move files. 

Administrators can move files and folders.

Can I sync files to my computer? 

With Drive File Stream: Yes

With Backup and Sync: No

How does sharing work?All team members see the same file set.Different users might see different files in a folder, depending on their access to individual files.
How long do deleted files stay in Trash?
  • Each shared drive has its own trash. 
  • After 30 days, files and folders in Trash are deleted forever. 
  • Members can delete specific files sooner.
Files and folders in the Trash remain there until the user selects Delete Forever.
Can I restore files?Yes, if you have Manager, Content manager, or Contributor access.Yes, if you created it.

What can you do with Shared Drives?


To manage shared drives and their contents, users must have the appropriate access levels.


Content manager*

View shared drives and files
Comment on files in shared drives
Make, approve, and reject edits in files
Create and upload files and create folders in shared drives
Add people to specific files in shared drives
Move files and folders within a shared drive
Move files from one shared drive to another shared drive
Move shared drive files into the trash
Permanently delete files in the trash
Restore files from trash (up to 30 days)
Add or remove people to or from shared drives
Modify shared drive settings
Delete a shared drive

* Default role for new members.


  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 arrow_drop_down and choose a new permission.
  5. (Optional) Enter a message.
  6. (Optional) If you don’t want to send notifications, select Skip sending notifications.
  7. Choose an option:

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


Change member permissions