Google Shared Drives (Team Drives) Overview

Google shared drives (formerly known as Team Drives) are a feature in Google's G Suite. They offer shared space in Google Drive where teams can create, store, search, collaborate on, and have access to all their team-owned files. The difference between a shared drive and My Drive is that all data (files, folders, spreadsheets, forms, and presentations) are owned by the team/group and not an individual.

More secure data for your team

Team membership changes for a variety of reasons, providing the potential for loss of team data. Because files are owned collectively by the team, no content within any shared drive folder is individually owned. This makes team data more secure and consistently available to all.

Shared drives membership

Any U-M Google account can create a shared drive. Select Shared drives from the left sidebar in Google Drive and then click New to get started. We recommend that each Google shared drive should be named with your department's Active Directory prefix or generally recognized prefix. (Example: ITS | Service Center)

When a shared drive is created, the individual who created the shared drive will be given the Manager role (see more about permission levels in shared drives in the chart below.) That individual will then have the ability to add other individuals or MCommunity groups as members to the shared drive.

When individuals join or leave an MCommunity group, access to the appropriate shared drives will also be given or taken away, making MCommunity an effective way to manage shared drives membership.

By default, the Content Manager role is given when an individual or MCommunity group is added to a shared drive. We recommend only giving a few people the Manager role as that is the highest possible and most access allowed in shared drives.

Action Manager Content Manager Contributor Commenter Viewer
View files and folders X X X X X
Comment on files X X X X  
Make/approve/reject edits X X X    

Create/upload files and folders

X X X    
Share files with others outside the team X X X    
Restore files/folders (up to 30 days) X X X    

Move files/folders within a shared drive

Note: Folders cannot be migrated from My Drive to a shared drive.

X X      
Delete files/folders X X      
Add/remove members X        
Move files/folders from one shared drive to another X        
Rename shared drives X        

Delete shared drives

Note: All files/folders must first be deleted from the shared drive.

Modify shared drives settings X        
Permanently delete files in the trash X        
Last Updated: 
Wednesday, December 11, 2019