Shared Drives is a shared space where teams can easily store, search, and access their files anywhere, from any device.

Unlike files in My Drive, files in a Shared Drive belong to the team instead of an individual. Even if members leave, the files stay exactly where they are so your team can continue to share information and get work done.

Not sure whether to use My Drive or Shared Drives? Ask yourself these questions:

  • Are the files of interest to most or all members of a particular project team?
  • Do the files share a consistent theme?

If you answered "yes" to both questions, creating a new Shared Drive is a good idea. If the files are for a variety of projects, create multiple Shared Drives.

For tips on getting started with Shared Drives, please see the Google Learning Center for Shared Drives.


What's the difference between My Drive and Shared Drives?

My Drive is best for storing personal files or files that you want to share one-on-one. A Shared Drive is best to use with a group of collaborators who are working on the same files. Shared Drive members can easily store, search, and access their files anywhere, from any device.

For more details about sharing, see Best practices for Shared Drives.

Some key differences between My Drive and Shared Drives are:

Who can add files? The person who owns My Drive. Any Shared Drive member with Contributor access or higher.
What types of files can I add? All file types. All file types except Google Maps and spreadsheets from Google Forms
Who owns files and folders? The individual who created the file or folder. The team.
Can I move files and folders? Yes, you can move files and folders around in My Drive.
  • If you have Contributor access or higher, you can move files from My Drive to a Shared Drive.
  • If you have Content manager access or higher, you can move files and folders within a Shared Drive.
  • If you have Manager access, you can move files out of a Shared Drive or between Shared Drives.

For details on adding files to a Shared Drive, see Get started with Shared Drives.

Can I sync files to my computer? Yes, using Drive File Stream or Backup and Sync.

It depends on which sync solution you use:

  • Drive File Stream: Yes
    Backup and Sync: No
How does sharing work? Different users might see different files in a folder, depending on their access to individual files.

All members of the Shared Drive see all files.

How long do files I delete stay in Trash? Files or folders in Trash remain there until the user selects Delete Forever.
  • Each Shared Drive has its own Trash.
  • Members with Content manager access and above can move files to Trash.
  • Files and folders in Trash are deleted forever after 30 days.
  • Members with Manager access can permanently delete files before 30 days.
Can I restore files? Yes, if you’re an owner of the file.

Yes, if you have at least Contributor access.