Move content to a shared drive

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As an administrator, you can let file editors in your organization move content from My Drive or shared drives to other shared drives.

Note: If you move content between shared drives and other folders, be aware that moving them could give people access to information that they shouldn't have, such as privileged information. Be especially careful if you’re sharing items outside of your organization.

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Move files and folders to a shared drive

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

Access to files and folders

  • Moving files and folders to a shared drive changes ownership from the user to the shared drive. After the file is moved, the user's access levels to the file might change. For details, go to Shared drives access levels.
  • 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 and folders 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, go to Stop sharing a file.

Users outside of your organization

  • You and other admins can’t migrate folders or files owned by external users even if the external user is a member of the destination shared drive. Also, you can’t migrate internally owned subfolders that are part of an externally owned folder.
  • External users (including any users with personal Google Accounts) can’t move folders to shared drives in your organization even if they have Manager access. Note: External users can move individual files to shared drives.

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.

File and folder permissions

Let users move files to shared drives

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

Before you begin

Different access levels are required when moving files from My Drive to a shared drive, and when moving files and folders between shared drives.

When moving files from My Drive to a shared drive:

  • 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.
    Note: Exception to this rule is when the file owner's account is suspended by an admin (e.g. former employees). In that case, those with edit access to the file can move it into the shared drive, even if the file owner is not a member of that shared drive.
  • Users need Contributor, Content manager, or Manager access in the destination shared drive. For details, go to Shared drives access levels.
  • The permissions that your users need might conflict with other sharing settings you set up. For details, go to Set Drive user's sharing permissions.

When moving files or folders between shared drives:

  • To move files from one shared drive to another shared drive, you need to have Manager access in the shared drive you're moving content from, and Contributor, Content manager, or Manager access in the shared drive you're moving content to. Visit Shared drive access levels.
  • To move folders from one shared drive to another shared drive, you need to have Manager access in the source and target shared drives. Visit Shared drive access levels.

Let users move files from My drive or shared drives to other 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. 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 or Override a parent organizational unit, 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 folders to shared drives. You can only move folders that a user in your organization owns.

  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 manager of the shared drive that you're moving the folders to.
  3. Open drive.google.com and sign in with your admin account. 
  4. Open Shared with me to view the folders you want to move and expand the Shared drives folders to which you’re moving them.
  5. Drag the Shared with me folders to the Shared drives folders.
  6. Accept the confirmation request to begin the moving process.

Notes:

  • When an admin moves a folder to a shared drive, the users with access to that folder in the shared drive can access the files within it (even if they previously didn't have such access).
  • Shortcuts are created for any items that can’t be moved—Specifically, if there are any items that can’t be moved due to permission or access issues, moving folders from My Drive to a shared drive will create a shortcut in the shared drive to preserve the existing folder hierarchy. In order to do this, we enforce the following folder move limits:
    • 25 unmovable items
    • 1% of items that are unmovable items
    • In addition, the move can have no more than 100,000 items total.
  • If moving a large number of folders into a shared drive is going to exceed a limit, you will see a warning notice about this before attempting the move. Learn more about shared drive limits and known issues.
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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