Manage shared drive users and activity

Supported editions for this feature: Business Standard and Business Plus; Enterprise; Education Fundamentals, Education Standard, Teaching and Learning Upgrade, and Education Plus; Nonprofits; G Suite Business; Essentials.  Compare your edition

As an administrator, you can manage the settings and members of shared drives in your organization. By default, shared drives inherit Google Drive sharing settings from the top-level organizational unit. For example, if external sharing is off for the user’s organizational unit but on at the top-level organizational unit, the user can still share documents in shared drives with people outside of your company or school.

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Before you begin: Turn on Drive

Make sure that for your organization, Google Drive is turned on.

Allow users to create shared drives

You can let users create shared drives for specific organizational units, such as a sales department or regional office. If shared drive creation is turned off for an organizational unit's users, people inside and outside of your company or school can still add these users to their shared drives.

  1. Sign in to your Google Admin console.

    Sign in using your administrator account (does not end in @gmail.com).

  2. From the Admin console Home page, go to Appsand thenGoogle Workspaceand thenDrive and Docs.
  3. Make sure that, for your organization, Drive is turned on.
  4. Click Sharing settings.
  5. To apply the setting to everyone, leave the top organizational unit selected. Otherwise, select a child organizational unit.
  6. Click Shared drive creation and choose an option:
    • To allow users to create shared drives, uncheck the Prevent users in your organization from creating new shared drives box.
    • To not allow users to create shared drives, check the Prevent users in your organization from creating new shared drives box.
  7. (Optional) If you allow users to create shared drives, choose which organizational unit the shared drives are created in by default. You can move shared drives to other organizational units later.
  8. Click Save. If you configured an organizational unit or group, you might be able to Inherit or Override a parent organizational unit, or Unset a group.

It might take 24 hours for changes to take effect.

Manage membership in shared drives

If you don’t allow users to create shared drives, they can still be added to shared drives by people inside and outside of your company or school.

Note: If you remove all members from a shared drive, the shared drive remains but is not accessible. To restore access to the files, add new members to the shared drive.

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Manage members & view amount of shared drive used
  1. Sign in to your Google Admin console.

    Sign in using your administrator account (does not end in @gmail.com).

  2. From the Admin console Home page, go to Appsand thenGoogle Workspaceand thenDrive and Docs.
  3. Make sure that, for your organization, Drive is turned on.
  4. Click Manage shared drives.
    In the Storage used column, find the amount of storage used. Learn more about Shared drive limits.
  5. (Optional) To select a filter option, click Add a filter.
  6. Point to a shared drive and click Manage members.
  7. (Optional) To change the access level of a user or remove them from the shared drive, next to the user, click the Down arrow "" and choose an option.
  8. (Optional) To add new members:
    1. At the top, click Add people and groups and enter the names or email addresses of the people or groups you want to add.

      Tip: When adding multiple members, use Google Groups to make sure you Avoid exceeding limits.

    2. Set access and enter a message:
      • Click the Down arrow "" and choose an access setting. By default, members can upload, edit, and delete files and invite other members.
      • In the Message field, enter a custom message for the email notification.
      • If you don’t want new members to get a welcome message with a link to open the shared drive, uncheck the Notify people box.
    3. Click Send.
Manage who can move content

You can let file editors in your organization move content to a shared drive. Admins can also move your organization’s existing Google Drive files and folders to shared drives. For details, see Move content to a shared drive.

Manage shared drives for your organization

As an administrator, you can review shared drive activity, delete shared drives, move shared drives between organizational units, and use admin tools to manage content and sharing.

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View activity in a shared drive

You can see actions users perform on files. You can also review when a setting or membership changes for a shared drive. For details, go to Drive audit log.

Delete a shared drive

You can delete shared drives when you no longer need them. With this method, you don't need to delete the contents of the shared drive first.

  1. Sign in to your Google Admin console.

    Sign in using your administrator account (does not end in @gmail.com).

  2. From the Admin console Home page, go to Appsand thenGoogle Workspaceand thenDrive and Docs.
  3. Click Manage shared drives.
  4. Find one or more shared drives you want to delete.
    • To sort by the amount of storage used and identify shared drives that use the most storage, click the Storage Used column header.
    • To filter the list, click Add a filter. You can filter by Shared drive name, Status, Date created, No members, and No managers.
    • To find shared drives in specific organizational units, at the left click Selected organizational units. Specify which organizational units' shared drives you want to see.
  5. To delete a single shared drive, point to the row, click Moreand thenDelete. To delete several shared drives at once, check the box next to each shared drive, then at the top click Delete.
  6. Check the box to confirm you want to delete the shared drives, then click Delete Shared Drives.

If you accidentally delete a shared drive and need to restore it, you may be able to restore the shared drives if they were deleted within the last 25 days. Learn how to restore deleted shared drives

Note: Deleted shared drives remain visible in the list for 30 days after you delete them.

Move shared drives to different organizational units (beta)

You can move shared drives between organizational units to organize them and to better track the storage used by different parts of your organization. Assigning shared drives to organizational units allows you to apply specific policies to a set of shared drives, such as data loss prevention rules. Note: This feature is currently in beta.

  1. Sign in to your Google Admin console.

    Sign in using your administrator account (does not end in @gmail.com).

  2. From the Admin console Home page, go to Appsand thenGoogle Workspaceand thenDrive and Docs.
  3. Click Manage shared drives.
  4. Find one or more shared drives you want to move.
    • To sort by the amount of storage used, click the Storage Used column header.
    • To filter the list, click Add a filter. You can filter by Shared drive name, Status, Date created, No members, and No managers.
    • To find shared drives in specific organizational units, at the left click Selected organizational units. Specify which organizational units' shared drives you want to see.
  5. To move a single shared drive, point to the row, click Moreand thenChange organizational unit. To move several shared drives at once, check the box next to each shared drive, then at the top click Change organizational unit.
  6. Select the organizational unit you want to move the shared drives to, then click Continue.
  7. Click Move.

If you accidentally delete a shared drive and need to restore it, you may be able to restore the shared drives if they were deleted within the last 25 days. Learn how to restore deleted shared drives

Note: Deleted shared drives remain visible in the list for 30 days after you delete them.

Manage shared drive files using Google Vault

If you have at least one active license for an edition that supports Google Vault, you can search, export, set retention policies, and place legal holds on files in your organization’s shared drives using Vault.

Data loss prevention with shared drives

If you have at least one active Enterprise or Essentials (domain-verified) license, you can assign data loss prevention (DLP) rules at the top-level organizational unit to protect all shared drives in your organization

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