Get started: Drive setup guide for admins

After you sign up for Google Workspace, you and your team can use Google Drive as a single place to store, access, and share files. Here's how to get started.

Step 1. Understand the basics of Google Drive

Google Drive is where your organization can move and keep all your files. By default, anyone in your organization with a license that includes Drive can use Drive. You don’t have to create a folder or drive for them.

  1. Learn about how storage, uploads, and file security work: Storage and upload limits for Google Workspace.
  2. Migrate files from other collaboration or file sharing tools in bulk. Learn how: About Google Workspace Migrate.

Step 2. Control content sharing with people outside your organization (external sharing)

You can control how much your users can share content with external people. Maybe only certain users can share externally or only with certain other organizations (trusted domains).

Learn how: Manage external sharing for your organization

Step 3. Set up shared drives for better collaboration

Shared drives are like special folders in Drive where teams can easily collaborate on a set of files and folders, or users can access a repository of information. Files in shared drives are owned by your organization, rather than an individual, helping you avoid accidentally deleting files when a user leaves.

By default, all users can create and manage shared drives for their project teams. For sensitive projects or teams, you might want to have more control over the members and content of the shared drives. Or, you might not want to let everyone create shared drives. For example, if you’re an educational institution, you might want to let teachers create shared drives, but not let students.

Learn how: Set up shared drives for your organization

Step 4. Set up desktop Drive access for your users

With Google Drive for desktop, users sync content between the cloud and their devices so they can:

  • Get started with Drive by syncing their existing local files to the cloud.
  • Open files stored in Google Drive, including files from shared drives, on their computer using software they’re used to.
  • View and organize Drive files using their computer’s file system without using much local disk space.
  • Save specific files and folders offline.

Learn how: Turn on Google Drive for desktop

Step 5. Train your users

To make sure your users get the most out of Drive, use it securely, and collaborate effectively, share the following resources with them.

Get started at our Learning Center for business users

Get help using Drive and Docs editors

Step 6. (Optional) Advanced and enterprise settings

If your organization has advanced data security or Drive access requirements, you can customize Drive to meet your needs.

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Control access and storage

Allow mobile access to Docs, Sheets, and Slides

If your organization uses a third-party Mobile Device Management (MDM), update your application allowlists with the Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides apps. Check with your MDM provider to learn how. Note: Google endpoint management already allows access to many Google Workspace apps.

If you don't allow the apps for your organization, your users can still upload and download files using Google Drive. But they can't edit documents, spreadsheets, or slides on mobile devices.

Set storage limits for users and shared drives

Your organization gets storage based on your Google Workspace edition and the number of users you have. If your organization has pooled storage, you might want to set how much storage each user and shared drive is allowed so some users don’t use more than their fair share.

Learn how: Set storage limits

Restrict offline access

You can control whether users can access their Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides when their computers aren't connected to the internet.

By default, offline access is allowed, and users can turn it on or off for their own accounts as needed. You might turn it off for users who work on sensitive or confidential files.

Learn how: Set up offline access to Docs editors

Manage who in your organization uses Drive and Google Docs editors

Most Google Workspace editions include Drive and collaboration services such as Google Docs, Google Sheets, and more. But some organizations might want to control who can create files, upload files, or use Drive.

Learn how: Turn Docs creation on or off

Control sharing

Set up trust rules for more granular sharing control

If your organization needs more options for restricting internal and external sharing, you can set up trust rules. Trust rules let you control file sharing between organizational units, groups, individual users, and domains.

Learn how: Create and manage trust rules for Drive sharing (beta)

Set general access options for file sharing with target audiences

You can help users share content with appropriate groups, such as their department or division within your organization, by creating target audiences. Target audiences help prevent over-sharing to your entire organization.

Learn how: Set general access options for file sharing in Drive

Restrict the access users can give to files

When a user sends an email or calendar invite with a file attachment, they’re prompted to give the recipients access if they don’t have it already. You can limit how much access the sender can give to prevent over-sharing or data leaks.

Learn how: Restrict the access users can give to files

Set up advanced Drive features

Set up Drive labels

You can help your users classify or label files to track file types and approvals, apply policies, and improve search by setting up Drive labels. These labels add metadata to files, such as file sensitivity, document status, or due date.

Learn how: Manage Drive labels

Allow custom Drive templates

Your organization’s brand is important, and one way to promote it is to set up custom templates for Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, and Sites. You can allow everyone in your organization or only certain users to create custom templates.

Learn how: Allow custom templates for your organization

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