Move your organization's content to a shared drive

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 let file owners and editors move files from My Drive to shared drives in Google Drive. You can also move folders into shared drives, provided you have view access for the folder. Only admins can move folders, so if you want to let a specific set of users move folders into shared drives, you can assign them a limited admin role.

Allow file owners or editors to move files into shared drives

This setting controls who can move a file into a shared drive, either owners and editors or only the owner of a file. Because file ownership changes from the owner to the organization when a file is moved to a shared drive, this option controls who can change the ownership of a file.

  • When Allow users to migrate files to shared drives is checked:
    • The owner of a file can move it to a shared drive location to which they have Contributor, Content manager, or Manager access.
    • Editors can move a file to a shared drive location to which they have Contributor, Content manager, or Manager access, (provided the owner is either suspended or a member of the shared drive).
  • When Allow users to migrate files to shared drives is unchecked, only the owner of the file can move it to a shared drive to which they have the required access levels.

Before you begin: To apply the setting for certain users, put their accounts in an organizational unit (to set by department) or a configuration group (to set for users across or within departments).

  1. Sign in to your Google Admin console.

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

  2. In the Admin console, go to Menu ""and then"" 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. Check the Allow users to migrate files to shared drives box.
  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 folders into shared drives

Important considerations:

  • Moving folders requires admin privileges: Only accounts with the required Google Workspace admin role can move folders into shared drives. If you can’t move a folder, you can either ask a Google Workspace admin to give you permission, or you can create a folder in the shared drive (if you’re a Contributor, Content manager, or Manager) and move files into the folder.
  • External shared drives and content are excluded: You can move your users’ folders only to shared drives that your organization owns. You can’t move files or folders owned by external users, because that move would change ownership from their organization to your organization.
  • File access might change: When you move the folder to a shared drive, all members of the shared drive can view the contents of the folder. Users who the file was directly shared with before the move can still access the file. Users who the folder was shared with, but not the files, may lose access to the files in the folder because the indirect file permissions they inherited from their folder permissions aren’t copied. Learn more about moving files into shared drives
  • You might exceed shared drive limits: If the move involves many files or nested folders, you might get a warning notice. For example, a shared drive can contain no more than 400,000 items. For details, see Shared drive limits.
  • A folder move can move no more than 100,000 items: If the move involves more items than the limit, the move is rejected.

To move a folder to a shared drive:

  1. Sign in to your Google Admin console.

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

  2. In the Admin console, go to Menu ""and then"" Appsand thenGoogle Workspaceand thenDrive and Docs.
  3. Click Manage shared drives.
  4. Point to the shared drive you want to move folders to and click Manage members. If you have many shared drives, you can filter the list by shared drive name or other attributes.
  5. Add your admin account to the shared drive with Contributor, Content manager, or Manager permissions.
  6. For the files or folders you want to move into a shared drive, ask the owner to give your admin account Viewer access or more.
  7. Open drive.google.com with your admin account.
  8. At the left, click Shared with me, and locate the folder you want to move.
  9. At the left, expand Shared drives and locate the shared drive you want to move the folder to.
  10. Drag the folder you want to move to the shared drive.
  11. Accept the confirmation request to move the folder to the shared drive.

Unmovable files and folders

For any files or folders that can’t be moved due to permission or access issues, a shortcut to the item is created in the shared drive to preserve the existing folder structure and the item is moved to the root of the file owner’s My Drive. To avoid major reorganization of folder structure or contents due to unmovable items, a folder move is rejected in the following scenarios:

  • 25 or more items are unmovable
  • 1% or more of the items are unmovable

Give admin permissions to a user so they can move folders

To move folders into shared drives, an account must have admin privileges. Unless the user has other admin role requirements, we recommend you create a custom admin role to give the user the minimum privileges required.

You must be signed in as a super administrator for this task.

If you haven’t already, create the custom role:

  1. Sign in to your Google Admin console.

    Sign in using an account with super administrator privileges (does not end in @gmail.com).

  2. In the Admin console, go to Menu ""and then"" Accountand thenAdmin roles.
  3. Click Create new role.
  4. For a name, enter “Move files and folders to shared drives” and click Continue.
  5. In the search box at the top of the privileges list, enter “drive and docs”.
  6. Under Services, click Drive and Docs to expand the list of privileges. If needed, expand Settings.
  7. Check the box next to Move any file or folder into shared drives and click Continue.
  8. Click Create Role.
  9. At the top, click Assign users.
  10. Enter the users email address and click their name, then click Assign Role.

If the custom role already exists, add the user to the role:

  1. Sign in to your Google Admin console.

    Sign in using an account with super administrator privileges (does not end in @gmail.com).

  2. In the Admin console, go to Menu ""and then"" Accountand thenAdmin roles.
  3. Point to the admin role you want to assign to the user and click Assign admin.
  4. At the top, click Assign users.
  5. Enter the users email address and click their name, then click Assign Role.

Related topics

Was this helpful?
How can we improve it?

Need more help?

Sign in for additional support options to quickly solve your issue

Search
Clear search
Close search
Google apps
Main menu
Search Help Center
true
73010
false
false