Google Drive and File Sharing

Image result for google drive imageMy Drive & Shared drives

Google "Drive" is available by clicking the app launcher  in the upper right corner of your browser when you're logged in to your Connect Google Workspace account.  The navigation bar on the left provides you with options for accessing your files.


My Drive and Shared Drives are distinct offerings from Google that both allow for file storage and collaboration.  Both of these services provide real time editing when using Google Docs, Sheets, Slides and Forms.  Shared with me shows all files and folders other collegues have shared with you.

For information on Google Drive file types and sizes click here.  For information on Shared Drive limitations, click here.  To learn more about Google Drive, visit the Google Workspace Learning Center.

My Drive vs. Shared drive


My Drive

Shared Drive

What types of files can you add?

Any file types

Any file types (exception Google Maps)
What types of files can you edit?

Google prompts you to convert your document to one of their formats, or else you must download to open with a local application.

Google prompts you to convert your document to one of their formats, or else you must download to open with a local application.

Who owns the files and folders?

The individual who created the file or folder

The team

Can I move files and folders?

Yes - NOTE: Moving a file or folder by dragging it will move it (not copy it), so the moved content is removed from the shared folder. Please read

Yes, must be a member with Full permission.  Original permission lost upon move, new permission inherited from destination.

 Please read

Can I sync files to my computer?


Yes, using Drive for desktop

Yes, using Drive File Stream



Different users might see different files in a folder, depending on their access to individual files.

All members see the same file set.

You cannot share at the folder level with Team drive.

How long do deleted files stay in Trash?

Files or folders in the Trash remain there until the user selects Delete Forever.

Each Shared drive has its own trash.
Files and folders in the Trash are deleted forever after 30 days.
Members can delete specific files sooner.

Can I restore files?

Yes, if you created it.

Yes, if you have Edit access or full access.

Best Practices

It's important to adhere to some best practices when creating and sharing files and folders on My Drive and Shared drives.  It will help keep your space organized and allow for easier navigation to your files.  We strongly recommend planning your file structure for your Shared drives.  When you create a Shared drives, Google has no restrictions on naming conventions.  Be sure to use Shared Drive names that are unique to your department and team.  Remember, all Connect Google Workspace users across campus can create and manage Shared drives. You want to be sure your Shared drive name will remain unique to your project.

Example:  ETS Connect Migrations

If you've already created Shared drives with generic names and want to rename them, simply right click on your Shared drive name and select "Rename".  If necessary, communicate that you've renamed it with the rest of the team.

Cloud-based Storage Security and Privacy

For information and best practices regarding Google Cloud security, please visit our Security and Privacy Information page.

You can find additional information on UCSB's Security and Privacy policies.

Windows File Shares

If you're currently using Windows shares for file storage and looking for an alternative, Google Drive may be of interest to you.  You should know that the Google Drive options, My Drive or Shared drive, do not have the same permission structure as the Windows file system.  Google is constantly improving their services and could potentially change or improve Drive permissions in the future, but if you are contemplating a migration from Windows file servers to Google Drive there will be limitations.  Please submit a ticket if you wish to discuss these options. 

Windows File Share Migration Example

This example demonstrates a Windows file share hierarchical structure transformed to a flat structure appropriate to Google Drive.

Image from video "Switch from a File Server to Google Drive"