Google Shared Drives (Team Drives) Comparison with Shared Accounts in Google My Drive and Box

U-M Google shared drives (formerly known as Team Drives), My Drive, and U-M Box are great for maintaining a shared document repository. However, there are important differences in how they each work. See below for tables that outline how the three compare.

Tip If you’re unsure of what account type(s) are best for you or your team, you can contact the ITS Service Center for guidance.  

Comparison Table

  Google Shared Drives Google My Drive with Shared Account Box with Shared Account
Who owns files and folders? The team (members in the shared drive).

New content: The shared account.

Other My Drive content: The author (individual who created the file or folder).

New content: The shared account.

Other Box content: The folder owner, usually the shared account.

Can I use a group as a collaborator/member?

Yes.

MCommunity groups sync, external email addresses do not.

Yes.

MCommunity groups sync, external email addresses do not.

Yes.

MCommunity groups sync at the root level, subgroups must be added separately. External email addresses do not sync.

Can I share my files with external collaborators/members?

Yes.

External members may be added to either the entire shared drive or specific files in the shared drive. Within the settings, the ability to share outside of the University of Michigan must be turned ON.

Yes.

External members may be added to files and folders in a shared account's My Drive.

Yes.

External collaborators may be added to files and folders as long as link sharing is enabled and you share to an individual (not a person as part of an MCommunity group).

Who can transfer ownership?

Members with the Manager or Content Manager role can move files and folders to their My Drive, making them the new owner. They can also move files to another shared drive, making that team the new owner. Only the shared account (if it is an owner) can transfer ownership by giving up ownership. Only the shared account (if it is an owner) can transfer ownership by giving up ownership.
Can I store Protected Health Data (PHI/HIPAA)?

No.

Guidelines for Google My Drive also apply to data stored in shared drives. 

No. Yes.
Can I add collaborators/members to folders?

No, roles and permissions are inherited by shared drive membership and cannot be set at the folder level.

Note: Everyone who has membership in the shared drive has at least view access to every folder/file within the drive.

Yes, if you have Edit access.

Collaborators might see different files in a folder, depending on their access to individual files.

Yes, if you have Editor or Co-Owner access.
Can I add collaborators/members to files? Yes, if you have the Manager, Content Manager, or Contributor role. Yes, if you have Edit access. Yes, if you have Editor or Co-Owner access.
Where do shared files and folders appear?

Members: The shared drive appears under Shared drives, sub-folders and files are found inside the shared drive.

Additional collaborators: Shared with me - the file cannot be moved into My Drive.

Shared account members: Under Shared with me and My Drive within folders.

Additional collaborators: Under Shared with me - the file/folder can be moved anywhere in My Drive without impacting the file or folder location for others.

Shared account members: Under All Files.

Additional collaborators: Under All Files.

Can I restore files?

Yes, if you have the Manager, Content Manager, or Contributor role.

Yes, if you created the file.

Yes, if you are the Owner or the user who deleted the file/folder.

How long are files/folders saved in the trash?

Each shared drive has its own trash. All files/folders in the trash are deleted permanently after 30 days.

Files/folders in the My Drive trash folder are not automatically deleted.

All files/folders in the trash are deleted permanently after 30 days.

Can I move files?

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

From My Drive to shared drives: Yes, if you are the owner of the file and have the Manager, Content Manager, or Contributor role in the shared drive. 

Note: Permissions individually assigned to the file pre-move are preserved, but not those which are inherited from a folder.

Yes, if you have Edit access. Yes, if you have Editor or Co-Owner access.
Are mobile devices supported? Yes. Yes. Yes.
How do I attach a file to a Google Calendar invite?

Navigate to any shared drive from within a Calendar invite. 

Navigate to any My Drive file from within a Calendar invite. Insert a link to the file in the event description or download the file to your computer and upload it as an attachment to the Calendar invite.
How do I set it up? Select Shared drives from the left sidebar in Google Drive and then click New to get started. We recommend that each Google shared drive be named with your department's Active Directory prefix or generally recognized prefix. (Example: ITS | Service Center). If you are unsure, contact the ITS Service Center. Submit a Shared Account request or contact the ITS Service Center. Submit a Shared Account request or contact the ITS Service Center.
Last Updated: 
Thursday, May 2, 2019