Migrate content to a shared drive

As an administrator, you can let file editors in your organization move content into a shared drive. Admins can also migrate your organization’s existing Drive folders to shared drives.

When choosing permissions for users to move files, consider how they might interact with other settings, such as those for organizational units. Unless you need to, don’t move content between shared drives and other folders or outside your organization. While it’s important to proceed carefully to avoid potential permission conflicts, moving files into shared drives can help teams collaborate. 

Note: In all cases, users need Contributor, Content manager, or Manager access in the destination drive to move files or folders.

External users

  • Super Admins and delegated admins cannot migrate folders or files owned by external users, even if the external user is a member of the destination shared drive.
  • External users cannot move folders to shared drives in your organization, even if they have Manager access.

Before you begin

Understand what it means to move files and folders to a shared drive:
  • Moving files changes ownership to the shared drive. 
  • Once moved, unless the file is directly shared with an individual, only members of the new shared drive can access the file. 
  • Migrating folders moves the folder structure to the destination shared drive. Update direct links to point to the new shared drive folders.
  • Permissions explicitly granted on individual files are preserved unless the setting Prevent non-members of the shared drive from accessing files in the shared drive is enabled. Permissions given on or inherited from folders are not copied.
  • Folder permissions aren't retained. People with permissions to a shared folder don’t retain access after you move the folder to a shared drive. If you want people to keep access, add them as members to the shared drive. If a user has been given permission directly to a file within a folder, they will retain access to the file in the new location.
  • Moved files are removed from other Drive locations, such as My Drive, but remain accessible from the user's Shared with me and Recent views.
  • If a super admin moves content to a shared drive, hidden files are also moved and visible to the shared drive members. 
    • Hidden files are created when you share a folder with someone, but stop sharing a specific file within that folder.
    • When the folder is moved to a shared drive, all files become visible, including hidden files.
  • A sharing setting in the Admin console allows you, as an admin, to control access to files in shared drives and move content outside shared drives.
  • Shared drive members can manage files based on their access level. For example, Managers and Content managers can move files and folders within a shared drive. Only Managers can move files from one shared drive to another.
Let users move other users’ files to shared drives
File owners and administrators can always move files to the shared drive. The file owner must be in your organization and a member of the destination shared drive.
  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. Next to User options, select Allow users to migrate files to shared drives.
  5. Click Save.
Migrate Drive folders to shared drives as an admin
To help users adopt shared drives, admins and delegated admins can migrate existing My Drive folders to shared drives. 
  1. For the existing folders, ask users to grant Viewer access or higher to your administrator account. Only folders owned by a user in your organization can be migrated.
  2. Ask your users to add you as a member of the shared drive where the folders will be moved.
  3. In a web browser, open drive.google.com and confirm that you’re signed in to your administrator account.
    1. In the top-right corner, click the account profile picture.
    2. Sign out and sign back in to your administrator account. 
  4. In the browser window, expand the My Drive and Shared drives folders to display the My Drive folders you want to move and the shared drive folders where you will move them. 
  5. Drag the My Drive folders to the shared drive folders.
  6. Accept the confirmation request to begin the migration process.​​

Delegate admin migration rights to a user

You can give a user  in your organization the ability to move entire folders from a My Drive location to shared drives.

Important: Make sure that delegated users understand the consequences of their actions, as described in the "Before you begin" section, above. For example, users might lose access to files if permissions to the files are granted from the My Drive folder structure. ​

  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 Users.
  3. Click a user's name to open their account page.
  4. Click Admin roles and privileges.
    • To see Admin roles, you might have to click View More at the bottom. 
    • To see the privileges granted by the user's current roles, click View Privileges.
  5. Click Create custom role.
    Tip: Learn how to create custom administrator roles.

  6. On the Privileges tab, select the Services and then Drive and Docs and then Move any file or folder into shared drives box.

  7. Click Save changes.

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