Get started file sharing with Drive

As an administrator, you can use Google Drive to manage, organize, and share your organization’s files in a single, centralized repository. If you’re not an administrator, you can set up a similar Drive repository for your team. After you set up your Drive file share, team members will be able to find, store, and share documents efficiently in an organized folder structure.

Note: If you’re setting up a file share for your organization, you want to use an account you trust, such as your administrator account or a Google role account specifically for this purpose, for example: Because this account will own your company file system, you may want to use extra security measures such as 2-Step Verification. In this example, we use the administrator’s account for the fictional company Solarmora.

We recommend this setup for organizations with 200 people or less who are using simple sharing permissions. If your organization has more than 200 people, they may experience access delays, especially if the file share has a very large number of documents (in the tens of thousands) or a deeply nested folder structure.

Organizations with more than 200 people can still use the following setup for storing and searching documents. However, for large organizations, this setup works best if the file share is static or low-activity, has approximately 4 or less sub-folder levels, and uses simple sharing permissions.

What you’ll need:

G Suite account

20 minutes

Admin console (Optional) Administrator access, for setting up your entire organization’s file share


Create a central repository

Start by creating your folders.

In this section:


Create a top-level folder

Having a single, top-level folder in Drive is like having a “My Documents” folder for your entire organization. It simplifies the management and maintenance of your organization’s documents.

To create a top-level folder for your organization:

  1. Go to Drive.

  2. If you haven’t already, sign in with your email address ( and password.

  3. Click NEW and select Folder.

  4. Enter a name for the folder, such as Company Drive, and click Create. Your new folder appears in My Drive.

Create a top-level folder

Create sub-folders for each department

Now that you have a central repository for all your organization’s files, it’s time to set up folders for each team or department. In this example, we’ll create a sub-folder inside the top-level folder for the Marketing department.

  1. Open your top-level folder.

  2. Click NEW and select Folder.

  3. Enter a name for the folder, such as Marketing, and click Create.

The sub-folder appears inside the top-level folder.

Create more sub-folders for the rest of the departments or teams in your organization the same way, until you have a structure in place for your entire organization.

Create sub-folders for each department

How Groups works

Google Groups offers an easy way to share files with everyone on a team at the same time as well as manage access to the files. If you add 5 members to a group such as, you can instantly share a Drive folder with them just by sharing the folder with the group's address.

As you add new members to a group, they automatically have access to content you previously shared with the group.

Similarly, if you remove a member from a group, that person no longer has access to any content you shared with the group.

How Groups works

Create groups for departments or teams

To create a group for a team or department:

  1. Go to

  2. To create groups within your organization that are not public, click My Groups > Switch organization view to

    Note: If you don't see the option to switch organization views, contact your Administrator to enable Groups for Business for your organization.

  3. Click CREATE GROUP.

  4. Enter information for the group.

  5. For the group type, select Email list.

  6. For who can join the group, select Only invited users.

  7. Click CREATE.

Create groups for departments or teams

To add people to a group:

  1. Click Invite people to join the group.

  2. Enter an email address for each member of the group and include a message.

  3. Click Send invites.

  4. Click Done.

You can create more groups the same way. If you need additional help creating groups, see Get started with Groups.


Share the repository with your organization

To share the top-level folder with your entire organization as view-only:

  1. Go to Drive. In My Drive, select your top-level folder.
  2. Click Share Drive share.

  3. Click Advanced.

  4. Under Who has access, click Change.

  5. Select the On option that reads Anyone at your organization can find and access.

  6. For Access, select Can view.

  7. Click Save and then click Done.

Share the repository with your organization

Share sub-folders with groups

With the folder structure in place and groups created, you can now specify who has access to and can edit each sub-folder. For instance, you might want the Marketing group to manage the Marketing folder and its contents.

To share a sub-folder with a specific group:

  1. Select the sub-folder.

  2. Click Share Drive share.

  3. Click Advanced.

  4. Under Invite people, enter the group email address you want to grant access to and select Can edit.

  5. (Optional) To restrict access to sharing permissions:

    • Select Prevent editors from changing access and adding new people.
    • Click Save changes.
  6. Click Send and then click Done.

Share sub-folders with groups

How file share access works

In our example, members of the Solarmora Marketing group can make changes to the Marketing folder and its sub-folders, such as editing and adding files. However, they can’t make changes to higher-level folders, such as Company Drive.

If someone with edit access removes a file from the shared Marketing folder, the person who originally added the file and owners of higher-level folders such as Company Drive can still search for and find the file. However, the file is removed from everyone else's Drive folder.

You, the administrator, have the ability to edit and remove files and folders from all Company Drive sub-folders. Learn more about sharing settings.


Onboard your organization

Now that your file share and groups are ready, it’s time to get everyone in your organization set up. You can send them an email with instructions on how to get started. Here is a template you can adapt.

In this section:


Sample email announcement

Here’s a sample email that you can adapt for your organization:

Welcome to Google Drive. Name of top-level folder is set up as a file share system for your organization. This folder lets you find, store, and share documents easily and efficiently in a single, organized repository in Drive.

What to do

  1. Open Drive.
  2. Sign in with your full email address ( and password.
  3. Click Shared with me.
  4. Double-click name of top-level folder.
  5. Click the arrow next to name of top-level folder and select Add to My Drive.

You should now see name of top-level folder in My Drive. To find the folder for your team, double-click name of top-level folder, find your department, and navigate through the sub-folders. As a member of team name (, you should already be able to add and edit files in your team’s folders. If you’d like quick access to that folder, you can add it to My Drive the same way you added name of top-level folder.

Sample email announcement

How it works

After you add name of top-level folder and any team folders to Drive, you can edit and add files and folders to your team’s folder. And, the next time you create or store a file in a team folder, everyone else on your team will have immediate access to it.

Files you create in My Drive (outside of name of top-level folder) are private, unless you explicitly share them with others or move them to a shared team folder. To learn more about using Drive, visit the G Suite Learning Center.

Now you’re ready to start creating and storing files with your team in Drive. Please contact me if you have any questions.


Administrator’s name and contact information

Next steps

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