Move content to a shared drive

As an administrator, 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.

Note: Unless you need to, don't move content between shared drives and other folders or outside of your organization. Items in shared drives might have privileged information and moving them could give access to people who shouldn't have that information.

Move files and folders to a shared drive

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Before you begin
Before moving files or folders to a shared drive, consider the following points:

File and folder ownership

  • Moving files and folders to a shared drive changes ownership from the user to the shared drive. 
  • Moving files and folders owned by a user outside of your organization to a shared drive creates a copy of the item in the shared drive. The shared drive owns the copy while the external user keeps ownership of the original item.

Users outside of your organization

  • Admins can’t migrate folders or files owned by external users even if the external user is a member of the destination shared drive.
  • External users can’t move folders to shared drives in your organization even if they have Manager access.

Access to files

  • When you move a file to a shared drive, only members of the shared drive and people the file is directly shared with can access the file. 
  • If the original owner of a file is in your organization but not a member of the shared drive, they lose ownership but can still access the file as its creator.
  • Files moved to a shared drive don’t remain in other Drive locations, such as My Drive, but are still accessible from the user's Shared with me and Recent views.
  • If an admin moves a folder to a shared drive, all of its files are visible to all members of the shared drive, including hidden files. You create a hidden file when you share a folder with someone but remove access to a specific file in that folder. For details, see Stop sharing a file.

Google Sites files moved to shared drives

  • If the original owner of the site is in the same organization as the shared drive, the published site is still visible. And, the Sites file associated with the site is still accessible to users who it was previously shared with.
  • If the original owner of the site is in a different organization than the shared drive, the published site is still visible. The associated file is not accessible to people who are not members of the shared drive even if it was previously shared with them.

Links to folders

  • When you move a folder to a shared drive, the link to the folder changes to point to the new shared drive folder. You need to update any folder links that you move to shared drives.
  • A file’s direct link doesn’t change if you move the file to a shared drive.

File and folder permissions

  • Users who aren’t members of a shared drive keep permissions for files explicitly shared with them unless you select Prevent non-members of the shared drive from accessing files in the shared drive in the Google Admin console. For details, see Set the default access for all new shared drives.
  • File permissions inherited from folders aren’t copied.
  • Users who have access to a shared folder don’t keep access if you move the folder to a shared drive. To give them access, add the users as members to the shared drive.
Let users move files to shared drives

In the Admin console, you can let users move their own files and other users’ files to shared drives. 

Before you begin

  • The user moving files must have Edit access to the files that they want to move. 
  • The file owner must be a member of the destination shared drive. 
  • Users need Contributor, Content manager, or Manager access in the destination shared drive. For details, see Shared drives access levels.
  • The permissions that your users need might conflict with other sharing settings you set up. For details, review Set Drive user's sharing permissions.

Let users move files to 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 thenG Suiteand thenDrive and Docs.
  3. Click Migration settings.
  4. To apply the setting to everyone, leave the top organizational unit selected. Otherwise, select a child organizational unit or a configuration group.
  5. Next to User options, select Allow users to migrate files to shared drives.
  6. Click Save. If you configured an organizational unit or group, you might be able to Inherit/Override an organization or Unset a group.
Move Drive folders to shared drives as an admin
To help users adopt shared drives and to encourage collaboration, admins can move existing My Drive folders to shared drives. You can only move folders owned by a user in your organization.
To move folders to shared drives:
  1. For the existing folders, ask users to grant Viewer access or higher to your administrator account. 
  2. Ask your users to add you as a member to the shared drive where you're moving the folders.
  3. In a web browser, open drive.google.com and sign in with your G Suite admin account. 
  4. Expand the My Drive and Shared drives folders to show the My Drive folders that you want to move and the shared drive folders where you’re moving them. 
  5. Drag the My Drive folders to the shared drive folders.
  6. Accept the confirmation request to begin the moving process.
Give admin migration rights to a user

To give a user in your organization admin privileges to move entire folders from a My Drive location to shared drives, choose an option:

Important: Make sure that users you give admin rights to understand the consequences of their actions as described in the Before you begin section above.

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