Shared drives are shared spaces where groups of people can easily store, search, and access files. Unlike files in My Drive, files in Shared drives belong to the team instead of a particular individual. Even as members of the Shared drive change, the files stay exactly where they are and are accessible to all current members of the drive.

My Drive or Shared drives?

If you are unsure whether to use a My Drive folder or Shared Drives folder, think about the following things:

  • Should the files be available to a specific group of people whose membership may change over time?
  • Do the files share a consistent theme such as files for a project or specific to a department?

If you answered yes to both questions, a Shared drive is probably the more appropriate solution.

Creating a new Shared Drive

  1. Open Google Drive in a browser
  2. On the left sidebar, click Shared drives
  3. At the top, click + New
  4. Enter a name and click Create

Add members and set access levels

When you add new members to your Shared drives, they are given Content Manager access by default. You can change a member’s access level at any time. Information on the different Shared drives membership roles and level of access can be viewed on the Membership Roles page.

  1. On the left sidebar, click the appropriate Shared drives
  2. At the top, under the Shared drives’ name, click Add members
  3. Add names, email addresses, or groups from Google Groups
    • Optional: To change the access level, next to the Content Manager, click the Down arrow and choose an access level you would like the members to have instead.
  4. A message can be added that will be sent to new members or you can click the Skip sending notifications box
  5. Click Send or Add

Manage members

  1. Click Manage Members on the top right of the Shared drives
  2. Next to the member’s name, click the Down arrow and set a new access level or select Remove member if you would like to remove them from the drive

Note: If you remove someone from a Shared drive, they may still have access to files within the drive that have been shared in other ways such as through a shareable link.

Adding content to your shared drives

Files and folders can be added to your drive in a variety of ways from different sources.

  • Google My Drive: For instructions on moving content from My Drive to Shared drives, see Moving Data from Google My Drive to Shared drives.
  • Your Computer: Files and folders can be dragged and dropped from your computer’s file browser or selected by clicking + New Folder upload or File upload in the upper left corner.
  • Drive for desktop: For instructions on moving content from Samba, your computer, or My Drive using Drive File Stream, see Getting Started with Drive for desktop.
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