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IT Connect

Information technology tools and resources at the UW

Google Drive

Google Drive lets you create, store, share and collaborate on documents, spreadsheets and presentations online. Google Drive is one of the core UW Google Apps. Google Drive is FERPA compliant, but not approved for HIPAA (PHI) data.

Using Google Drive

File and Folder Ownership in Google Drive

File and folder Ownership is an important concept in Google Drive. The owner of a file or folder has full control over permissions and can delete it. By default, you are the owner of:

  • Files and folders that you upload into Google Drive
  • Folders that you create in Google Drive
  • Files that you create in Docs, Sheets, or Slides.

If you create a file or folder and then move it to someone else’s folder, you are still the owner.

When a UW Google Apps account expires, all files owned by that account are deleted, including files that were moved to other locations after creation. This feature can result in files unexpectedly disappearing from folders. Unfortunately, our ability to restore a fully expired account is very limited and often it is impossible to recover any files deleted in this way.

To change ownership

Google Team Drive: the best place for collaboration

If you are working on a departmental project or have institutional data that should not be tied to one user account, a Google Team Drive is the best option.

Unlike files owned by individual accounts, all files in a team drive are protected regardless of account status.  For more information, see our page on Google Team Drive.

Sharing Data with Other Users

Data in Google Drive can be shared with any Google users, even those using the consumer version of Google Drive. You can find extensive information on how to share using Google Drive at the Google Drive Help Center.

Use Groups to Make Sharing Easy

The UW Groups system is used extensively for UW Google Apps sharing.  For information on using Groups to manage your Google Drive shares, see UW Google Apps Group Sharing page.

Unlimited Storage

Google drive offers unlimited storage space, however transferring large amounts of data to and from Google Drive can take longer than most network drives.


For more information on account expiration and other policy related issues, see the following pages: