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Team Drives

Google Team Drive Overview

Google Team Drives has been enabled.  This feature allows users to create and manage shared file storage within the Google Drive platform. Folders and files in Team Drives are owned by the Team rather than an individual account.  That means that a document in a Team Drive will not be lost if an individual leaves the college, as can happen with shared documents that are saved in an individual’s account.

Team Drives also allow for permission levels to be set for each member at the Drive level. Those access levels then apply to any folder or document stored within the Team Drive for that person.


Here are some guidelines to keep in mind when using Google Team Drives.

  • Team Drive should be considered:
    • for offices and groups that want to make documents available easily to staff and members.

    • for group collaboration, especially if the resulting document will be viewed or updated by multiple people on an ongoing basis.

    • for storing documents that support an on-going office, formal group or operational function.

    • for documents that are currently stored on an individual user’s Google Drive, but would need to remain available to others at Smith if that person left the college.

  • As with Google Drive storage, Team Drives should not be used for documents that contain PII (Personally Identifiable Information).

  • When setting up a Team Drive for a particular group, name the drive in a way that will help identify its formal group affiliation and purpose.

  • The access level a team member is given on a Team Drive will become the default access level they are assigned on folders and documents within that Drive. A member’s access level can be increased on a specific folder or file within a Team Drive, but cannot be decreased.

Get Started

ITS recommends reviewing  “Getting Started with Team Drives” in the Google’s Learning Center prior to using Team Drives.

  1. Open Google Drive.
  2. Click Team Drives in the left navigation column.
  3. Click the blue NEW, and name your team drive.
  4. Click + Add members (above the blank screen)
  5. Type in names or email addresses and choose what type of access they should have using the pulldown menu. The default access is Full. Hint: You can repeat the "Add members" process to give people different access levels.

Files into Team Drive Folders

To move files from a Google Drive to Team Drive, there are a few things you should know first.

  1. You must have either full or edit rights to that Team Drive.
  2. You must own the Google Drive file(s).
  3. Are the Google Drive file(s) already shared with others.  People will lose access to those files once they are moved.

View your Access Rights:

  1. You will only see Team Drives you have created or been given some type of rights to access.
  2. Double-click to open a Team Drive.
  3. Above the column heading, click on the number of members.
  4. Find yourself in the list, across from your name your access rights are listed.


Move Google Drive Files to Team Drive

Before moving files it is recommended you create any desired folder structure within a Team Drive.

  1. Select the file(s) within a Google Drive folder.
  2. Right-mouse click on the selected file(s), select Move to from the dropdown menu or select Move to from the More actions menu (the three vertical dots in the upper right).
  3. Use the arrow back until you see Team Drives.
  4. Use the arrow forward to locate and select the folder in Team Drives.
  5. Click Move Here

Note:  If any of these files were shared with other users, a warning message will appear letting you know that some people may lose access.

Upload Files from your Computer

  1. Select a Team Drive folder.
  2. From your Windows File Explorer or the Mac Finder screen, select and drag an existing file or files to upload.  Or
  3. From the Team Drive folder click New, select File upload from the menu
  4. Navigate to and select the file(s) (they must be in the same folder)
  5. Click Open, the file(s) selected will be upload to the Team Drive folder.


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Copyright © 2015 Smith College Information Technology Services  |  Last updated February 16, 2018

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