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UW Google Team Drive for UW G Suite

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UW Google Team Drive offers the best collaboration space for UW Google Drive.  With UW Google Team Drive, files are “owned” by the Team Drive and the members of the Team Drive, instead of an individual.  Storing files in a Team Drive ensures that the team is responsible for the data rather than each individual being responsible for their own documents, and helps to ensure files critical to team work and collaboration are not deleted when an individual separates from the UW.

Why use UW Google Team Drive?

  • Collaboration – UW Google Team Drive offers a familiar space for file storage with a folder structure specific to your team or project
  • Reliability – Files stored in a UW Google Team Drive are owned by the Team Drive, not an individual
  • Unlimited Storage – UW Google Team Drives have unlimited storage space
  • Privacy – UW Google Team Drives are FERPA compatible (but not HIPAA compatible and should not be used for PHI)

Creating a UW Google Team Drive

UW Google Team Drive creation is self-service

You can create a Team Drive yourself using Google’s excellent guide on creating and managing a Team Drive.  Google Drive Help also includes a detailed guide.  For a comprehensive guide written for a more technical audience, check out G Suite Administrator Help’s article on how to manage a Team Drive.

UW Google Team Drive Deletion

A UW Google Team Drive and all data contained within will be deleted when the last UW member is removed from the Team Drive or the last UW member separates from the UW.

Restoring Deleted Files

If any files are accidentally deleted from a UW Google Team Drive, you have 30 days to restore it from the Team Drive trash before they are automatically deleted.  If a file is already gone from trash for any reason, UW G Suite administrators may be able to restore it up to 20 days later.  Contact help@uw.edu to request a file restore.

Google Drive File Stream

Google Drive File Stream is a file syncing tool designed for G Suite Google Drive and Team Drive that allows you to view UW Google Drive and UW Google Team Drive files on your local device, analogous to a disk drive.  Click here to download.

Moving Files to a UW Google Team Drive

Uploading files and folders from a device

When using UW Google Team Drive, you can upload files and folders from your local device to a Team Drive in the same way that you upload files to your UW Google My Drive.  See instructions at Upload Files and Folders to Google Drive.

Migrating files from a UW Google Drive to UW Google Team Drive

You can also move files from your personal UW Google Drive, also known as My Drive, to a UW Google Team Drive.  Please note the following when moving files:

  • You cannot move a folder from My Drive to a Team Drive.  You must move the files, though you can move multiple files at one time.
  • Because you cannot move a folder, but must recreate a folder in Team Drive, folder permissions are not moved.  If you have given other users access to a folder on your My Drive, be sure to grant those permissions again in Team Drive.
  • You cannot move a file in your My Drive that is owned by another user to a Team Drive, since you are not the owner of the file.  To move file(s) to a Team Drive, first select the file(s) you want to move then right-click and select Make a copy.  You can then move the “Copy of” file(s) that are created to a Team Drive, since you are the owner of the file(s).
  • Moving a file to a Team Drive changes ownership of the file from an individual to the Team Drive.

Best practices when migrating files to a UW Google Team Drive

When migrating files to a UW Google Team Drive from your personal UW Google Drive, do not drag and drop the files from one My Drive to another.  Instead, follow the steps below to move the files.

Please note: You cannot move a file in your My Drive that is owned by another user to a Team Drive, since you are not the owner of the file.  To move file(s) to a Team Drive, first select the file(s) you want to move then right-click and select Make a copy.  You can then move the “Copy of” file(s) that are created to a Team Drive, since you are the owner of the file(s).

  1. Login to UW Google Drive with your UW email address and UW NetID credentials, then locate the file(s) you want to move.
  2. Select file(s) by clicking on a single file, holding the Shift key to select a list of consecutive files, or holding the Ctrl key while selecting multiple nonconsecutive files.
  3. Right-click on a file you have selected and select Move to…
  4. In the dropdown list, you will see a list of folders on your My Drive. To the left of My Drive, click on the left arrow icon.
  5. In the dropdown list of available drives, click on Team Drives.
  6. Select the desired Team Drive and folder where you want to move the files.
  7. Click the Move Here button.

Using Google Drive File Stream to copy files from a UW Google Drive to a UW Google Team Drive

Google Drive Stream will copy files from a UW Google Drive to a UW Google Team Drive, but only non-Google file types will be copied (e.g. Microsoft Word files, JPG files, Adobe Acrobat PDF files, etc.).  You cannot copy Google files (e.g. Google Docs files, Google Sheets files, etc.) from a Google Drive to a Team Drive using Google Drive File Stream.

Can UW-IT move files to a UW Google Team Drive on my behalf?

Unfortunately, UW-IT cannot move files to a UW Google Team Drive on your behalf.

The current tooling from Google that provides “bulk file move” services within the UW G Suite tenant does not easily identify the owner(s) of content considered for processing, nor does it easily identify private, unshared files in folders that could also be moved and subsequently revealed.  The UW Google Drive service must comply with UW privacy and data stewardship policies and practices, and we do not change ownership or copy content unless the process is undertaken via an appropriate HR process, legal request process, or FOIA request process.  UW-IT also cannot arbitrate or otherwise determine intellectual property ownership different from the technical owner value in UW Google Drive.

Additionally, before UW-IT could begin to offer a service to move files to a UW Google Team Drive on behalf of users, proper procedures would first need to be established and vetted with the UW Privacy Office, UW Division of the Attorney General’s Office, Human Resources, and Registrar (the latter, for when data owned by students is involved).  Finally, migrations of any sort are “high-touch support” as a rule and, particularly with UW Google Drive, UW-IT would expect a significant staffing need.  UW-IT is evaluating adding such services, after the proper procedures are established and vetted as detailed above, and we would expect them to be recharge services with rates that would need to be determined once staffing is identified.

There is no expected availability date for this service.

Storage Limits of UW Google Team Drive

A UW Google Team Drive can contain a maximum of 400,000 files and folders, and can nest up to 20 subfolders.  You can upload up to 750GB of data per day, per Google account.

The limit for the number of individuals and groups directly added to a Team Drive as members is 600. The total limit of individuals that can be added to a Team Drive (direct members or indirect members due to Google Group membership) is 50,000.

Click here for more information from Google on Team Drive limits.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I use a Shared UW NetID to create a UW Google Team Drive?

A: Yes, you can.  However, the UW Google Team Drive and all data contained within the Team Drive will be deleted if the Shared UW NetID is the last member of the Team Drive and the owner of the Shared UW NetID departs the UW, and if no one then takes ownership of the Shared UW NetID and also re-provisions the Shared NetID for UW G Suite access.

Both of these steps must be completed if a Shared UW NetID is the last member of a Team Drive and the owner of the Shared UW NetID separates from the UW, otherwise the Team Drive and all data contained within the Team Drive will be deleted.

Q: Can non-UW email addresses be a member of a UW Google Team Drive?

A: Yes, anyone with a Google account can be a member of a UW Google Team Drive.  A “Google account” includes personal Google accounts and G Suite accounts at other institutions.

Q: Can a UW G Suite Google Group be used to grant access to a UW Google Team Drive?

A: Yes.

Q: Does the amount of storage used by a UW Google Team Drive contribute to the overall UW Google Drive storage quota of any account that is part of the Team Drive?

A: A UW Google Team Drive is “owned” by the UW G Suite tenant.  Since the UW G Suite tenant has unlimited storage, a Team Drive will count against the UW G Suite tenant’s unlimited storage quota.  As a result, there’s no need to worry about how much space a Team Drive uses, and this will have no effect on any Team Drive member’s account.