Watchpoints for file shares

If you haven’t yet, review the Google Workspace Migrate best practices first.

Before you migrate content from file shares, review the following points.

Large single-user migrations
A migration of 400,000 files or more to one user's Google Drive account requires extra planning. Use a sharding users list to spread the migration load among many user accounts.

To determine the number of user accounts to add to the list, use the larger value of:

  • One account per 400,000 files that are being migrated to Drive
  • 10 accounts per node

We recommend you set up temporary Google Workspace users for your sharding users list. Then, delete the users after you complete the migration. For details, see Create a sharding users list.

Migration phases
  • Carefully plan your migration phases, taking into consideration the size and complexity of the data. 
  • Migrate fewer than 20 million files in one phase.
Content shared with users outside of your organization
If users or groups outside of your organization have a Google Account, you can add them to Drive files and folders and migrate sharing permissions. External users or groups without a Google Account can automatically receive an email with a custom access link at migration time.

To reduce the amount of time that users without a Google Account have access to shared files and folders:

  • Migrate shared content during the final incremental migration.
  • In your Google Admin console, turn on file sharing for people outside of your organization. For details, go to Set Drive users' sharing permissions.
  • In the settings template, turn on Allow email invitations to send an invitation with a link to the shared content. For details, go to About file share settings template options.

Tip: Use the Permissions by Object report to identify externally shared objects before a migration. For details, go to Understand file share scan reports.

Migrating to shared drives
  • You can't migrate content to a user's My Drive and any shared drives in one migration. You must run the migrations separately.
  • If you're migrating to shared drives, you must use a shared drives settings template. Learn more about settings templates.
Restricted permissions
Restricted permissions (where a child file or folder has fewer permissions than its parent) are not supported by shared drives. If the file or folder has restricted permissions on the source account, the restricted permissions are not migrated.
Access level in Drive
If you're migrating content to Drive, the target user must have the correct access level before you start the migration:
  • If you're migrating data to a shared drive, the user needs to be a Content manager or Manager of the shared drive. For details, go to Shared drives access levels.
  • If you're migrating data to a folder in a user’s My Drive, the user must be an owner of the folder.
Running test migrations to Drive
If you delete items in the target Drive account following a test migration, make sure to empty the trash before rerunning the migration. Google Workspace Migrate tracks items by ID and will restore items from the target account's trash if you run the migration again.

Emptying the trash avoids this issue and allows you to run a fresh migration.

Migrating files & folders to multiple locations in Drive
Google Workspace Migrate attempts to remigrate a file or folder to a new location in Drive if:
  • You're migrating from Drive and the source item has more than one parent.
  • The item is moved on the source or target account and then remigrated.
  • The item's target location is changed in a mapping, and the item is remigrated.

The outcome of the remigration depends on the item’s existing and new locations. If both locations are in My Drive or in the same shared drive, the item is moved to the new location. Otherwise, the item is not moved and the transaction fails with error code 1081344.

Access to shared drives on target account
If the original content authors don’t have access to the shared drives on the target account, files are transferred using the target GUser account specified in the mapping. This type of transfer can create bottlenecks and slow a migration.

We recommend that you:

  • Make sure that the Migrate folder permissions setting is turned on in the settings template. Go to Migrate file share to shared drives.
  • Add additional target GUser accounts to help distribute load. Use at least one target GUser account for each active node server.

Next step

Now it's time to set up a connection. To get started, see Add or edit a file share connection.


Google, Google Workspace, and related marks and logos are trademarks of Google LLC. All other company and product names are trademarks of the companies with which they are associated.

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