Keep shared files safe in Team Drive

Posted on 14 September 2017

Several departments have encountered problems when a colleague leaves, and their shared files disappear. Team Drive offers an easy solution

When someone leaves the University, their shared Google files remain available, but only for one year. After this Google deletes them and they can't be retrieved. This has caused problems in a number of departments with staff unexpectedly losing all access to important shared files.

What should you do?

  • Create a Team Drive for your department or group
    • Existing shared files can be moved here - they'll be owned by the Team Drive, so even if the author leaves, they won't be lost
  • If you're leaving the University, make transferring your shared files part of your checklist
    • Search owner:me to check what files you have shared to others, and move them to a Team Drive (or transfer ownership to a colleague)
    • Be aware that if you transfer ownership of a folder (rather than moving it to a Team Drive), you'll need to transfer the files within it too - it doesn't happen automatically
  • If a colleague is leaving the University, remind them to transfer their shared files
    • search owner:their.name to check what they've shared to you - ask them to move it to a Team Drive, or to transfer ownership

Find out more about using Team Drive, and advice for staff leaving the University on our website: