Migrate content to a Team Drive

As a G Suite administrator, you can let file editors move content into a Team Drive. Super admins and delegated admins can also migrate existing Drive folders to Team Drives. Users can publish final document versions by placing them in shared locations. 

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 Team Drives and other folders or domains. While it’s important to proceed carefully to avoid potential permissions conflicts, moving files into Team 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.

Before you begin

Understand what it means to move files and folders to a Team Drive:
  • Moving files changes ownership to the Team Drive. 
  • Once moved, unless the file is directly shared with an individual, only members of the new Team Drive can access the file. 
  • Migrating folders moves the folder structure to the destination Team Drive. Update direct links to point to the new Team Drive folders.
  • Permissions explicitly granted on individual files are preserved unless the setting Prevent non-members of the Team Drive from accessing files in the Team Drive is enabled. Permissions given on or inherited from folders are not copied.
  • Since folder permissions are not retained, people with permissions to a shared folder don’t retain access to the files after you move the folder to a Team Drive. If you want people to keep access, add them as members to the Team 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 locations.
  • If a super admin moves content to a Team Drive, hidden files are also moved and visible to all Team 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 Team Drive, all files, including hidden files become visible.
  • A sharing setting in the Admin console allows you, as a G Suite admin, to control sharing in Team Drives and outside Team Drives.
  • Team Drive members can manage files based on their access level. For example, Managers and Content managers can move files and folders within a Team Drive. Only Managers can move files from one Team Drive to another Team Drive.
Let users move other users’ files to Team Drives
File owners and domain administrators can always move files to the Team Drive. The file owner must be a member of the destination Team 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 Team Drives.
  5. Click Save.
Super admins and delegated users: Migrate Drive folders to Team Drives
If needed to help users adopt Team Drives, G Suite administrators and delegated administrators can migrate existing My Drive folders to Team 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 of the Team 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 Team Drives folders to display the My Drive folders you want to move and the Team Drive folders where you will move them. 
  5. Drag the My Drive folders to the Team Drive folder.
  6. Accept the confirmation message to begin the migration process.​​

Delegate admin migration rights to a user

You can give a user the ability to move entire folders from a My Drive location to Team Drives.

Important: When using this option, make sure that users understand the consequences of their actions. The user has the same access as a super administrator. Files and folders are also removed from any other Drive location, and ownership is changed from the original owner to the Team Drive. Users might lose access to files, for example, 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 Team Drives box.

  7. Click Save changes.

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