Think of Team Drives as a shared space where teams can easily store, search, and access common files anywhere, from any device.
Unlike files in My Drive, files in a Team Drive belong to the team instead of an individual. Even if members leave, the files stay put so you—and the rest of the team—can continue to access information and get work done.
Get the most out of Team Drives with these best practices and tips.
Important: Team Drives is only available with the G Suite Enterprise, Business, or Education editions. If you don't see Team Drives in Google Drive, it might not be available for your organization. For details, contact your G Suite administrator.
First, decide if you should use a Team Drive instead of My Drive.
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Some key differences between My Drive and Team Drives are:
Who can add files?
The person who owns My Drive.
Any member with Contributor access or higher.
What types of files can I add?
All file types.
All file types (except Google Maps).
Who owns files and folders?
The individual who created the file or folder.
Can I move files and folders?
Yes, you can move files and folders around in My Drive.
For details on adding files to a Team Drive, see Get started with Team Drives.
Can I sync files to my computer?
Yes, using Drive File Stream or Backup and Sync.
It depends on which sync solution you use:
How does sharing work?
Different users might see different files in a folder, depending on their access to individual files.
All members of the Team Drive see all files.
How long do files I delete stay in Trash?
Files or folders in Trash remain there until the user selects Delete Forever.
Can I restore files?
Yes, if you’re an owner of the file.
Yes, if you have at least Contributor access.
Consider using a Team Drive in these situations:
Common uses for Team Drives include:
To migrate your files from My Drive to a Team Drive, move them instead of making copies. That way, links remain intact and existing collaborators keep access.
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First, note the following:
To move files from My Drive into a Team Drive or between Team Drives, drag the files into the destination Team Drive folder. To move folders, contact your G Suite admin.
Move files from My Drive to Team Drives:
You can move any file you own into a Team Drive, whether it’s from another Drive location or from your computer or mobile device.
If you’re not the owner of a file in My Drive, but you have at least Edit access to the file, you might be able to move that file into a Team Drive, if:
Otherwise, you need to ask the owner to move the file into the Team Drive.
Move files between Team Drives:
To move files between Team Drives, you need Manager access to the original Team Drive and at least Contributor access to the destination Team Drive.
Get tips for structuring a Team Drive, adding files, and searching for files.
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Whatever access level you give to someone for a Team Drive is the level they’ll have for all folders in that Team Drive. You can change access levels on individual files, but not on folders.
To avoid naming conflicts in Team Drives, folders, or files, agree on organization-wide naming conventions.
Classify content into folders. Then, nest folders for related topics.
If a Team Drive has a lot of members, you might have too many projects or departments represented. That can make it hard to find and manage content. Keep each Team Drive focused on a single project or department and then create folders for each topic or project.
Example: Create a Team Drive for Project X. Create a folder for each topic area within the project. This keeps files organized so members of Project X can easily find what they’re looking for.
Create files in My Drive if:
As a Team Drive grows, it can be tricky to find specific content. You can limit your search to a specific Team Drive.
Search in a Team Drive or folder:
Here's what to consider when sharing files with different collaborators.
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For any type of Team Drive, give people who need to manage the Team Drive Manager access so they can add or remove members, delete content, and so on.
For everyone else, if the Team Drive is:
If you want people to be able to:
Deleting a file removes it from the Team Drive for all members. The file goes into Trash and is permanently deleted after 30 days or sooner if a member with Manager access deletes it.
If your collaborators use Drive File Stream to access non-Google files (such as an Adobe® PDF® or Microsoft® Office® file), give them Content manager access.
Note: Members with Contributor access can still make edits offline on their desktop and then upload updated versions without Drive File Stream. See Keep all drafts in one Drive file, and revert versions anytime.
If your Team Drive is based around a project, once it’s complete, you can:
Now, the Team Drive is more like a repository than an active project folder.
It’s best to request access to a Team Drive from the person who shared a link to the Team Drive. If they have Manager access, they can add you directly. And, the request for access won’t be sent to all members of the Team Drive with Manager access.
You can share Team Drive files with non-members.
Note: Your G Suite admin or Managers of a Team Drive can disable this option for different Team Drives.
When you share a file with a non-member, it appears in their Shared with me folder in Drive. They can continue to access it there or in their Recent folder, but they won’t be able to add it to My Drive or another Team Drive.
If you’re sharing many files with the same group of non-members, create a separate Team Drive and add those people as members.
Example: Working on a project with an external agency? Create a Team Drive for internal team members and a separate Team Drive for internal and external collaborators. This way, you can prevent external members from accessing internal-only content.
For sensitive files in a Team Drive, members with Manager access can limit sharing (with non-members or people outside of your organization). They can specify if files can be:
Protect all files in a Team Drive:
Requires Manager access
Unless content is highly focused, don't share a Team Drive with your entire organization.
Create a group in Google Groups to add people to a Team Drive. Then, you can also send weekly email updates and other announcements to the group. See Add members and set permissions.
A Team Drive can include a large number of individual and group members:
Note: A group and an individual are counted as one member. If a person is added individually and as a member of a group, they still only count as one member.
Fore the latest updates in a Team Drive, go to the Activity stream to see:
See recent activity for a Team Drive:
Go to Drive and click Team Drives to get started.
Note: If you don't see Team Drives, it might not be enabled. Contact your G Suite administrator.
Get tips for using Team Drives, learn best practices, or reference a cheat sheet.