Best practices for shared drives

1. When to use shared drives

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First, decide if you should use shared drives instead of My Drive.

In this section, you learn how to:

1.1 Differences between My Drive and shared drives
1.2 When to use shared drives
1.3 Common uses for shared drives

1.1 Differences between My Drive and shared drives

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Some key differences between My Drive and shared drives are:

 

My Drive

Shared drives

Who can add files?

The person who owns My Drive.

Any member with Contributor access or higher.

What types of files can I add?

All file types.

All file types (except Google Maps and Data Studio reports).

Who owns files and folders?

The individual who created the file or folder.

The team.

Can I move files and folders?

Yes, you can move files and folders around in My Drive.

  • If you have Contributor access or higher, you can move files from My Drive to a shared drive.
  • If you have Content manager access or higher, you can move files and folders within a shared drive.
  • If you have Manager access, you can move files out of a shared drive or between shared drives.
  • If you want to move folders from My Drive to a shared drive, contact your G Suite administrator.

For details on adding files to a shared drive, see Get started with shared drives.

Can I sync files to my computer?

Yes, using Drive File Stream or Backup and Sync.

It depends on which sync solution you use:

  • Drive File Stream: Yes
  • Backup and Sync: No

How does sharing work?

Different users might see different files in a folder, depending on their access to individual files.

All members of the shared drive see all files.

How long do files I delete stay in Trash?

Files or folders in Trash remain there until the user selects Delete Forever.

Each shared drive has its own Trash.

  • Members with Content manager access and above can move files to Trash.
  • Files and folders in Trash are deleted forever after 30 days.
  • Members with Manager access can permanently delete files before 30 days.

Can I restore files?

Yes, if you’re an owner of the file.

Yes, if you have at least Contributor access.

1.2 When to use shared drives

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Consider using a shared drive in these situations:

  • You’re working on a project or event with a group of people who all need access to the same files.
  • Most of your files are shared with the same group of people.
  • Your files share a consistent theme or topic.
  • The content you want to store isn’t personal and is of interest to a specific team or group.

Uses for shared drives

1.3 Common uses for shared drives

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Common uses for shared drives include:

  • Projects—For people involved in the same project.
  • Events—For people working for a defined period of time on a specific event or deliverable.
  • Templates—For files that people can copy and reuse.
  • Company-wide files—For files everyone needs access to, such as training files.
  • Sensitive files—For highly sensitive files, where you can add extra security to limit access.

Uses for shared drives

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