Google Team Drives Best Practices

Google Team Drives is a new feature in Google’s G Suite offering shared space in Google Drive where teams can create, store, search, collaborate on and have access to all their team-owned files. Below is a list of best practices for using your Team Drives here at the University of Michigan.

Related: Also review Team Drives limits and observe these technical limitations when migrating data or organizing content.

Plan before you create a Team Drive

Take the time to plan out your Team Drive(s) structure before you create one. Some questions to ask yourself:

  • How many Team Drives do you need? There is no limit to how many Team Drives you can create.

Note: Everyone in a Team can at least see a document in that Team Drive and you cannot share at the sub-folder level. If you need a smaller group of people to have access to a particular set of documents, a new Team Drive is needed.

  • How should we manage Team Drive membership? Keep in mind that everyone at the top level folder will be able to see every file in the Team Drive.

Establish Naming Conventions

There are currently no barriers set up in Google Team Drives to prevent the same name for multiple Team Drives, files or folders. We recommend teams use the active directory prefix for your school, college or unit, or a generally recognized prefix for your school, college, unit or project.


  • ITS | All Staff
  • LSA | Leads
  • EAS | FIN | Upgrade
  • ITS | INF | Team Drive Rollout

Migrate Data from Google Drive to Team Drives

Migrate your files instead of making copies. Making copies could cause confusion and will change links that could be bookmarked or posted elsewhere. When a file is migrated, the link remains the same and the collaborators who currently have Edit/View/Comment rights to that file will continue to have access after the file is moved to a Team Drive.

Note: Google Team Drives can contain a maximum of 400,000 files and folders. For more information on limits, see Team Drives Limits.

Assign Permissions Accordingly

We recommend giving the Manager role to a few people only while giving MCommunity groups and other individuals the Content Manager or Contributor role. The Manager role permissions include the ability to delete files, manage team members, and change the name of the Team Drives. For more information on Team Drives membership and permissions, see Team Drives Overview.

Team Drives Membership and Management

Membership can be managed individually or with MCommunity groups. We recommend using MCommunity groups so when a change is made in MCommunity, the change is also made automatically within the Google Team Drive membership. When using an MCommunity group, we recommend giving the lowest appropriate permission level. Higher permission levels can be assigned to individuals in that group as needed.

Last Updated: 
Monday, October 2, 2017