Transfer file ownership

You’re the owner by default for files that you create in Docs, Sheets, and Slides, or upload into Drive. But, you can transfer ownership of your Google files (Docs, Sheets, and Slides) and folders to anyone you'd like, as long as that person has an email address.

If you're a Google Apps user, you can't transfer ownership to someone else who is outside of your domain.

How to change owners

You can change who owns a file or folder in Drive.

  1. Go to Drive or a Docs, Sheets, or Slides home screen.
  2. Open the sharing box:
    • In Drive: Select the file or folder and click the share icon at the top .
    • In a Docs, Sheets, or Slides home screen: Open the file and click Share in the top-right corner of the file
  3. If the new owner already has edit access, skip to Step 4. Otherwise, follow these steps:
    1. Type the email address of the new owner in the "Invite people" field
    2. Click Share & save.
  4. Click Advanced in the bottom-right corner of the sharing box.
  5. Click the drop-down menu next to the name of the person you want to own the file or folder.
  6. Select Is owner.
  7. Click Done.

You'll have access to the file as an editor after you transfer ownership.

Google Apps Customers: You can't make someone outside of your domain the owner of your Google Doc. Only Google Apps customers in Premier, Government, and Education domains can transfer ownership of a synced or uploaded file (like a PDF or image file).

Consumer Drive users: You can't transfer ownership of a synced or uploaded file (like a PDF or an image file).

Things to consider before you transfer ownership

  • The things you’ll no longer be able to do once you transfer file ownership include:
    • Remove others from the file
    • Share with as many people as you like
    • Change visibility options
    • Allow your collaborators to change access privileges for others
    • Permanently delete something from Google Drive. After it’s deleted, no one can access it, including those it was shared with.
  • When you transfer ownership of a folder from yourself to another person, the new owner of the folder becomes an editor of the files in that folder. The original owners of the files remain the owners, and if the original owner deletes a file, it'll be removed from the folder.
  • If your current Google Account is being deleted, transfer ownership of your files, folders, and Google files to another active account. Once the original account is deleted, you won’t be able to recover any of your files or folders from it.