Transfer file ownership

Step-by-step instructions for how to give file ownership to another person.

By default, you're the owner of every document you create and of every file that you sync or upload. However, you can transfer ownership of Google documents and folders to anyone you'd like, as long as that person has an email address.

Google Apps Customers: You can't make someone outside of your domain the owner of your Google document. 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).

How to change owners

  1. Go to drive.google.com.
  2. Check the box next to the file or folder you want to transfer to another owner.
  3. Click the Share icon share icon.

    OR

    Click the More menu and select "Share..."

  4. If the new owner already has access, skip to Step 5. Otherwise, follow these steps:
    1. Type the email address of the new owner in the "Invite people" field.
    2. Click Share & save.
  5. Click the drop-down menu to the right of the new owner's name; choose "Is owner."
  6. Click Save changes.

After you transfer ownership, you'll have access to the doc as an editor.

Things to consider before you transfer ownership

Being the owner of a file gives you a lot of control over it, and once you change owners, you give up those controls. So before you transfer ownership, here are the things you’ll no longer be able to do:

  • Remove collaborators
  • 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.

Transfer ownership of your files, folders, and Google documents to another active account if your current account is being deleted. Once the account is deleted, you won’t be able to recover anything from your deleted Google Drive account.