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UW Google Shared Drive for UW G Suite

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UW Google Shared Drive (formerly “Team Drive”) offers the best collaboration space for UW Google Drive.  With UW Google Shared Drive, files are “owned” by the Shared Drive and the members of the Shared Drive, instead of an individual.  Storing files in a Shared 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 Shared Drive?

  • Collaboration – UW Google Shared 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 Shared Drive are owned by the Shared Drive, not an individual
  • Unlimited Storage – UW Google Shared Drives have unlimited storage space
  • Privacy – UW Google Shared Drives are FERPA compatible (but not HIPAA compatible and should not be used for PHI)

Creating a UW Google Shared Drive

UW Google Shared Drive creation is self-service

You can create a Shared Drive yourself using Google’s excellent guide on creating and managing a Shared 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 Shared Drive.

UW Google Shared Drive Deletion

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

Restoring Deleted Files

If any files are accidentally deleted from a UW Google Shared Drive, you have 30 days to restore it from the Shared Drive trash before they are automatically deleted.

Google Drive File Stream

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

Moving Files to a UW Google Shared Drive

Uploading files and folders from a device

When using UW Google Shared Drive, you can upload files and folders from your local device to a Shared 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 Shared Drive

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

  • You cannot move a folder from My Drive to a Shared 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 Shared 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 Shared Drive.
  • You cannot move a file in your My Drive that is owned by another user to a Shared Drive, since you are not the owner of the file.  To move file(s) to a Shared 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 Shared Drive, since you are the owner of the file(s).
  • Moving a file to a Shared Drive changes ownership of the file from an individual to the Shared Drive.

Best practices when migrating files to a UW Google Shared Drive

When migrating files to a UW Google Shared 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 Shared Drive, since you are not the owner of the file.  To move file(s) to a Shared 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 Shared 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 Shared Drives.
  6. Select the desired Shared 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 Shared Drive

Google Drive Stream will copy files from a UW Google Drive to a UW Google Shared 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 Shared Drive using Google Drive File Stream.

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

Unfortunately, UW-IT cannot move files to a UW Google Shared Drive on your behalf, even if these files belong to you.

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.  This deficiency in tooling creates a risk scenario in which UW-IT could potentially move files owned by others who have not given their consent.  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 Shared 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 Shared Drive

A UW Google Shared 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 Shared Drive as members is 600. The total limit of individuals that can be added to a Shared Drive (direct members or indirect members due to Google Group membership) is 50,000.

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

Frequently Asked Questions

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

A: Yes, you can.  However, the UW Google Shared Drive and all data contained within the Shared Drive will be deleted if the Shared UW NetID is the last member of the Shared 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 Shared Drive and the owner of the Shared UW NetID separates from the UW, otherwise the Shared Drive and all data contained within the Shared Drive will be deleted.

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

A: Yes, anyone with a Google account can be a member of a UW Google Shared 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 Shared Drive?

A: Yes.

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

A: A UW Google Shared Drive is “owned” by the UW G Suite tenant.  Since the UW G Suite tenant has unlimited storage, a Shared 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 Shared Drive uses and this will have no effect on any Shared Drive member’s account.