Google Shared Drives (Team Drives) and My Drive Differences

Google shared drives (formerly known as Team Drives) are a feature in Google's Workspace for Education. Unlike files in My Drive, files in shared drives are owned by the team/group rather than an individual. Refer below for a table that outlines the key differences between U-M Google shared drives and My Drive.

  Google Shared Drives (Team Drives) My Drive
Who owns files and folders? The team/group. Individual who created the file or folder.

Can I restore files?

Yes, if you have the role of Manager, Content Manager, or Contributor in the shared drive.

Yes, if you created the file.

Can I move files/folders?

Within shared drives: Yes, if you have the Manager or Content Manager role in the shared drive.

From My Drive to shared drives: 

  • FILES: Yes, if you are the owner of the file and have the ManagerContent Manager, or Contributor role in the shared drive.
  • FOLDERS: No, this feature is not yet available.

From shared drive to shared drive: Yes, if you have the Manager role in both shared drives.

Sharing? All team members (at the shared drive level) see the same set of files/folders. It is possible to share at the file and folder levels with someone not in your shared drive for more granular permissions. Different people might see different files in a folder, depending on their access to individual files. It is also possible to share at the folder level inside My Drive.
How long do deleted files stay in trash? Each shared drive has its own trash. Only members with the role of Manager or Content Manager can delete files. After 30 days, all files/folders in the trash are deleted permanently. Members with the role of Manager, Content Manager, or Contributor can restore shared drive content from the trash. Files in the My Drive trash folder are permanently deleted after 30 days.
Inherited permissions

Permissions set on a specific file in My Drive will be transferred when migrated to a shared drive.

Example: If is not a member of the shared drive, but he is an Editor on a file migrated to the shared drive, will maintain his access to the file after it migrates to shared drives. Inherited permissions on a My Drive folder are not transferred to the shared drive folder.

Permissions at the folder level are passed down to files created in the folder.
Attaching a Google File to a Google Calendar invite Navigate to any shared drive file from within a Calendar invite. Navigate to any My Drive file from within a Calendar invite.
Mobile device support Shared drives are supported on mobile devices.

My Drive is supported on mobile devices.

Last Updated: 
Tuesday, April 19, 2022