Manage shared drives as an admin

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 change the members and their access level for any shared drive in your organization. You can also change the sharing settings for a shared drive, and the default sharing settings for all new shared drives. For example, if you’re concerned about a specific user having access to a shared drive, you can remove them or change their access level.

Add or remove members of a shared drive

If you manage a shared drive yourself, go here instead.

As an administrator, you might need to add members to a shared drive through the admin console if the shared drive has no members or no managers. Or, you might need to remove members from a shared drive if they shouldn’t have access to the contents.

Note: You can assign up to 100 groups to a shared drive and up to 600 members (between groups and individual users). A shared drive can have no more than 50,000 individual members through groups and individuals.

  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 update and click Manage members. If you have many shared drives, you can filter the list by shared drive name or other attributes.
    1. To find shared drives that have no members, click Add a filterand thenNo members.
    2. To find shared drives that have no managers, click Add a filterand thenNo managers.
  5. To add a person or group:
    1. Enter the email address.
    2. Select an access level.
    3. Select if you want to notify people, and if you do, optionally include a message.
    4. Click Send (if you chose to notify people) or Share (if you chose not to notify people).
  6. To remove a person or group:
    1. Next to the person or group name, click the access level.
    2. Click Remove access.
  7. Click Save.

Change the access level of a shared drive member

If you manage a shared drive yourself, go here instead.

As an administrator, you can change the access level for a member of a shared drive, even if you’re not a manager of the shared drive. For example, if you’re concerned about a specific user having Manager access to a shared drive, you can reduce their access level.

  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 with the member you want to update and click Manage members. If you have many shared drives, you can filter the list by shared drive name or other attributes.
  5. In the row for the member you want to update, click their current access level, then click the new access level.
  6. Click Done.

Set the default sharing settings for shared drives

As an administrator, you can set the default sharing settings for shared drives by the organizational unit they’re assigned to. You can also prevent members with Manager access from changing those settings. For example, if you don't want users in an organizational unit to share content outside your organization, you can block external sharing and prevent managers from changing that setting.

Important: The default sharing settings apply only to new shared drives. If you have existing shared drives that you want to change sharing settings for, go to the next section.

Before you begin: To apply the setting for certain users, put their accounts in an organizational unit.

  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. Select Sharing settings.
  4. To apply the setting to everyone, leave the top organizational unit selected. Otherwise, select a child organizational unit.
  5. Set the default sharing settings for new shared drives, and choose whether shared drive managers can override those settings.
    • To prevent external users from accessing files in shared drives, uncheck the second box. External users won't have access, even if you allow users to share files outside of your organization. This setting also blocks shared drive managers from adding external users as members. If users aren’t allowed to share any items in Drive outside of your organization, this setting has no effect because it can’t override the sharing setting.
    • To prevent shared drive members from giving non-members view, comment, or edit access to files in shared drives, or sharing these files with a link, uncheck the third box. You might do this for organizational units that handle sensitive data that shouldn’t be shared outside that organizational unit.
    • To prevent Content managers from sharing folders, uncheck Allow content managers to share folders. You might do this if you only want Managers to be able to share folders.
      Currently, only Managers can share folders in shared drives. Starting February 2023, users with the Content manager role can share folders by default. If you don’t want Content managers to share folders after February 2023, uncheck this setting now.
    • To prevent shared drive members who have viewer or commenter access from downloading, copying, or printing files in shared drives, uncheck the fourth box. You might do this for organizational units that work with confidential data or projects.
      Note: Files and folders in shared drives retain this setting when they're moved out of shared drives. In the case of folders, the setting can't be reverted after the file is in My Drive.
    • To prevent shared drive members with manager access from changing these default settings, uncheck the first box. In most cases, you might want to allow shared drive managers to change the access settings for a shared drive so that they aren’t prevented from collaborating with external users or other teams.
  6. Click Save. If you configured a child organizational unit, you might be able to Inherit or Override a parent organizational unit's settings.

Changes can take up to 24 hours but typically happen more quickly. Learn more

Change sharing settings for a shared drive

If you manage a shared drive yourself, go here instead.

Before you begin:

  • If you make sharing settings more restrictive, some users may lose access. If you make sharing settings less restrictive, some users may gain access. Make sure you review the contents of the shared drive to understand what should and shouldn’t be shared.
  • Shared drive sharing settings are overridden by Drive sharing settings if the Drive settings are more restrictive. For more information about sharing settings and shared drives, see Manage data policies for specific shared drives.
To update sharing settings for 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 update and click Settings. If you have many shared drives, you can filter the list by shared drive name or other attributes.
  5. Update the sharing settings. Your changes are automatically saved as you update.
  6. (Optional) To prevent shared drive managers from overriding your new settings, uncheck the first box.
  7. Click Done.

Changes can take up to 24 hours but typically happen more quickly. Learn more

Restrict who can move content to external shared drives

Supported editions for this feature: Business Standard and Business Plus; Enterprise; Education Fundamentals, Education Standard, Teaching and Learning Upgrade, and Education Plus; G Suite Business; Essentials.  Compare your edition

You can control who can move files and folders outside of your organization when moving content from:

  • A shared drive in your organization to: 
    • A shared drive owned by another organization
    • Someone’s My Drive in another organization
  • Someone’s My Drive in your organization to a shared drive owned by another organization 
  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 Sharing settingsand thenSharing options.
  4. Select the desired organizational unit or group
  5. In Distributing content outside of your organization, select an option:
    • Anyone
      • People with Manager access to a shared drive can move files from that shared drive to a Drive location in a different organization. Learn more
      • People in the selected organizational unit or group can move content from their My Drive to a shared drive owned by a different organization (for example, another business, group, or school). Learn more
    • Only users in your organization
      • People with Manager access to a shared drive can move files from that shared drive to a Drive location in a different organization.
      • Users in the selected organizational unit or group can move content from their My Drive to a shared drive owned by a different organization.
    • No one
      • Files on a shared drive cannot be moved to a Drive location in a different organization.
      • No one in the selected organizational unit or group can move content from My Drive to a shared drive owned by a different organization.
      • No one in the selected organizational unit or group can create files on a shared drive owned by another organization.
  6. Click Save.

Important: If you select a child organizational unit or group, this setting only controls moving content from someone’s My Drive to a shared drive in a different organization (for example, another business or school). If the top-level organizational unit permits the user to share files outside their organization, but the child organizational unit does not, the user can’t share files outside their organization.

It can take up to 24 hours to see changes. During this time, old and new settings might be intermittently enforced.

Review user activity in shared drives

To review when files, settings, or members of shared drives changed and who made the changes, you can use the Drive audit log.

Review and appeal disabled shared drives

If Google detects that a shared drive contains content that violates the Terms of Service, it may disable the shared drive. Your content isn’t deleted, but users can't access it until the shared drive is reinstated by Google upon your appeal.

If you believe that the shared drive was disabled in error, you can submit a request for a review. You have 29 days to appeal. If you don’t appeal, the disabled shared drive is automatically deleted.

  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. Click Add a filterand thenStatusand thenDisabled and then click Apply.
  5. Point to the disabled shared drive you want to appeal and click Moreand thenRequest review.

Your appeal for the shared drive is reviewed. If approved, the shared drive is reinstated.

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