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Shared drives are a shared space in Google Drive where teams can easily store, search, and access their files from any device.

Shared drives are similar to a file share (like, though they exist in Google Drive and are easier to use and manage.

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.

To better understand the differences between My Drive and shared drives, read our Google Shared Drives and My Drive Differences page.

titleCreating Shared Drives

Currently, only IT administrators can create new shared drives.

If you believe you need a Google Shared Drive for Biola work or Educational purposes, please contact the IT Helpdesk at or by calling 562.903.4740.


  • Files remain after an employee leaves.
  • All members of shared drives see the same content.
  • Members access shared drives from within their own Google account, and do not need to log in to a departmental account.
  • You can add external (non-Biola) users to a shared drive.
  • Files within each shared drive are searchable.
  • When a user is added to a Google group, they are automatically added to all of the shared drives that include that group.

How to Use Shared Drives

You'll see your shared drives in the left sidebar in Google Drive

Membership and Permission Levels

Shared drive members have different roles that determine their permission to manage or edit the data in the shared drive. Anyone added to a shared drive as a member will see the shared drive in the left sidebar in Google Drive

When a shared drive is created, the individual who created the shared drive will be given the Manager role. (See more about permission levels in shared drives in the chart below.) That individual will then have the ability to add other individuals or Google groups as members to the shared drive.

By default, the Content Manager role is given to new members added to a shared drive. We recommend only giving a few people the Manager role since it has the most permissions allowed in shared drives.

ActionManagerContent ManagerContributorCommenterViewer
View files and foldersXXXXX
Comment on filesXXXX
Make/approve/reject edits in filesXXX

Create/upload files and folders


Share files with others outside the teamXXX

Share folders with others outside the teamX

Restore files/folders from trash (up to 30 days)XXX

Move files/folders within a shared drive

Note: Only IT administrators can migrate folders from from My Drive to a shared drive.


Add/remove membersX

Move files/folders from one shared drive to anotherX

Rename shared drivesX

Delete shared drives

Note: All files/folders must first be deleted from the shared drive.


Modify shared drives settingsX

Delete files/foldersXX

Permanently delete files in the trashX


  • Requests for access to files in shared drives: Requests for access to shared drive files go only to the file creator. If the file creator is no longer a member of a shared drive, the requests will be sent to the shared drive Managers.

  • Google account needed to become a member of a shared drive: You can share files and folders with visitors without Google accounts with visitor sharing. However, to be a member of a shared drive, the invited user must have an email address associated with a Google account.