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Shared drives are a file storage option where files and folders are centrally-owned as opposed to individually-owned as in My Drive. Shared drives persist even if all members leave or are removed. With Shared drives, there is no need to transfer files to another person when someone leaves the Lab.

Shared drives are located below My Drive at

Select Shared drives can be hidden from the Drive web interface if they are not needed.

Google recommends using Shared drives for sharing content that isn’t personal, has a consistent theme or topic, and/or for projects or events with a group of people who all need access to the same files

Anyone at LBL can create a Shared drive and then the shared drive itself owns any files and folders added. The creator of the Shared drive is the manager of the Shared drive. The manager can then add other managers and/or members. Shared drive managers can assign access-level permissions, which inherit to all files and folders in the Shared drive. Managers can upgrade member access to provide users with additional permissions on specific folders within Shared drives. However, member permissions cannot be downgraded.

Non-LBL Google accounts can be members of a Shared drive (e.g. but email addresses that are unassociated with Google accounts cannot be members of a Shared drive.

If an external person needs access to an LBL Shared drive, then they can either create a personal ( Google or create a Google account associate an existing email address:

The folders and files within a Shared drive can be separately shared and those users do not have to be Shared drive members.


  • 400,000 files AND folders per Shared drive
  • A folder in a shared drive can support up to 20 levels of nested folders
  • Files CANNOT be unshared with members
  • Cannot store Google Maps, Google Photos, some virtual file types (ex: App Maker apps) or files owned by other domains
  • Add up to 600 users and groups as Shared drive members, but up to 50,000 total individuals (combined users and group members)

If you want to move the contents in a My Drive over to a Shared drive and need assistance, please open a help ticket by emailing [email protected].

Additional Resources: