Manage shared drive users and activity

Supported editions for this feature: Business Standard and Plus; Enterprise; Education Fundamentals, Standard, Teaching and Learning Upgrade, and 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. You can decide to let users create shared drives for specific organizational units, such as a sales department or regional office.

Before you begin: Turn on Drive

Before you manage the creation, membership, or content of shared drives, make sure that Google Drive is turned on for your organization.

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 share documents in shared drives with people outside of your company or school.

Allow users to create shared drives

By turning on 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. 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 affect.

Manage membership and content in shared drives

If you turn off shared drive creation for users, 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.

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.

    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.

  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.

View activity in a shared drive

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

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. 

Related topics

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

Related topics

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