Collaborating with Google Team Drives

Google Team Drives has recently become available as an option for sharing files and folders. With Team Drives, documents are owned by a team instead of an individual. This means that when someone leaves the group, their files remain in the Team Drive without having to transfer ownership. Our Extension Technology team has moved to Team Drives which makes finding shared documents and folders so much easier! We also no longer need to transfer document ownership to a departmental account. We all have access to create folders and manage files within our Team Drive.

Team Drives Features

  • Can be shared to Google Groups and/or users with varying levels of access
  • All members of a Team Drive see the same content
  • Files are owned by the team, not by an individual
  • You can add external users to a Team Drive. The external user must have a Google account and be signed into Drive.
  • Individual files in a Team Drive can be shared with people outside of your team

Differences between My Drive and Team Drives

Team Drives

My Drive

Who owns files & folders?Members of the Team DriveThe individual who created the file or folder
How does sharing work?All members of the Team Drive see all filesDifferent users might see different files in a folder, depending on their access to individual files.
Can I move files and folders?

All members can move files into a Team Drive. Only G Suite Admins can move folders into Team Drive.Yes, you can move files and folders around in My Drive
Can I delete files?

Members with full access to the Team Drive can delete files.If you own the file you can delete it. If you delete a file that you don’t own or that’s been shared with you, other people can still access it until the owner deletes it.
What happens to deleted files?

  • Each Team Drive has its own Trash. 
  • Files and folders in the Trash are deleted permanently after 30 days 
  • If you have full access you can delete specific files sooner.
Deleted files or folders are moved to Trash. They remain there until you select Delete Forever
Can I restore files?

Yes if you have edit access or full accessYes if you own the file.

Getting started

Learn how to set up a Team Drive where you can:
  • add members and set permissions
  • add files and folders
  • organize files
  • share with people outside of your team
Google Drive Help is also an excellent resource to learn about Google Team Drives.