Major changes coming to UW Google Shared Drives

January 31, 2023

A version of this message was sent to users of UW Google Shared Drives on Wednesday, January 25, 2023.

What is happening and when

UW Google Shared Drives (Shared Drives) that do not have a current UW employee with a UW email address in the Manager role will be restricted beginning in March 2023. (The Manager role is the highest level of permissions in a Shared Drive.) You will still be able to view and download existing files in restricted Shared Drives, but you will be unable to add new files to restricted Shared Drives.

Any Shared Drives that are still restricted in August 2023, including all files within, will be permanently deleted beginning in August 2023.

Please note: These changes affect only Shared Drives that do not have a current UW employee in the Manager role. These changes do not affect your personal UW Google Drive.

Next steps

If you have an account that will be affected by this change, you will receive instructions in the next two or three weeks for next steps you can take.

Why these changes are happening

The UW requires that all Shared Drives have at least one UW employee as the responsible party (Manager), for risk management, records management, data privacy and budget approval reasons. Additionally, UW employees must use their UW email address ( in the Manager role.

For more information regarding these policies, please see the following resources:

The future of Shared Drives

Due to changes implemented by Google, Shared Drives will become a fee-based service beginning in July 2024.

Storage tiers, quotas, and rates for Shared Drives will be announced later in 2023. We hope to provide this information in advance for departments to budget the costs for the upcoming year.


UW Google Changes project has more information on the status, milestone and details of the project.

We recommend that you consult first with your local IT support group, as they are the experts on your data and technology needs. If this is not an option for you, reach out to UW-IT at or 206-221-5000.

Thank you for your understanding and support as the University of Washington adjusts to these significant changes.