Team Drives – There Is Certainly A Lot More Than What You Know Already Here..

Google gives those who use G Suite Business, Enterprise, Education, or Nonprofit editions two distinct kinds of Google Drive storage: My Drive and Team Drives. Both function as a reliable location to store, organize, and share files. Yet, there’s one major distinction between the two: When you add a file to a Team Drive, all individuals the Team Drive gain access to the file, but if you add a file to My Drive, your file remains private by default.

Google also gives G Suite administrators the cabability to adjust the default file access and sharing settings for Google Drive and Team Drives. Most G Suite administrators review and configure Google Drive settings through the initial G Suite deployment, but Google recently added more settings in mid-2018 to help secure Team Drive data.

Evaluate the following settings to handle, protect, and monitor your organization’s Team Drives. You’ll need to have a G Suite administrator take into account your business to gain access to Admin console settings.

Manage Team Drives – n many cases, your organization’s default Google Drive sharing settings also work as the default Team Drive sharing settings. Sign in the G Suite admin console (at, then navigate to Apps > G Suite > Drive and Docs > Sharing Settings. Review these setting to ensure that external sharing is either allowed or restricted appropriately.

Immediately underneath the Sharing settings section, you’ll see Team Drive creation controls. Each of these five options prevents a different action. Any selection made here relates to All the organization’s Team Drives. For example, a G Suite administrator at an organization especially concerned with security could select all five of these options, which will result in gsuite access being restricted solely to individuals within an organization, with only people in a Team Drive having the ability to access files on that Team Drive. This type of configuration would also constrain downloading, copying, and printing of files through the Team Drive.

A far more frequently-used configuration may be to examine just the “Prevent full-access members from modifying Team Drive settings” option. This ensures that a G Suite administrator can choose the sharing, membership, and content action options allowed (i.e., access to download, copy, or print) for every Team Drive, without the risk which a full-access member might modify these settings.

Screenshot of G Suite Admin console Manage Team Drives options (with sharing, membership, and content action options shown)

Review and manage Team Drive sharing and content action settings for all of your organization’s Team Drives.

Protect Team Drive content – A G Suite administrator might also review and adjust membership, sharing, and content action settings for all Team Drives. Again, login towards the Admin console (, then navigate to Apps > G Suite > Drive and Docs > Team Drive > Manage Team Drives.

Screenshots of Team Drive sharing options – left shows items struggling to be modified; right show items able to be changed.

A G Suite administrator can restrict many Team Drive sharing, membership, and content actions (as shown on the left). More permissive options allow Team Drive members to share externally, add members, or copy, download, and baysuv files (as shown on the right).

Because these settings affect each Team Drive, you are able to configure very flexible and open options that permit external sharing and content actions for a few Team Drives, while also choosing far more locked-down options that prohibit external sharing and content actions for other Team Drives.

Importantly, as long as a G Suite administrator doesn’t prohibit it, people in a Team Drive who may have full-access permissions may adjust Team Drive settings.

Monitor Team Drive changes – G Suite also gives administrators the cabability to review Team Drive changes. Sign in to the Admin console, then go to Reports > Audit > Drive > take a look for your Item Type filter (inside the column on the left) and judge “Team Drive” from the options. Go to the bottom of this column, then select “Search” to use the filter. You’ll then visit a report of Team Drive administrative activity for your organization.

You can add additional filters to this report, too. For instance, along with selecting “Team Drive” items, you might also try to find the “Item Visibility Change” option, and judge “Internal to External,” then select Search. This displays a study of Team Drive items now available to people away from organization, that had been previously only available internally.

Your ideas on Team Drive? If you use Team Drives for files in your organization, what settings do you use generally? If you’re a G Suite administrator, perhaps you have restricted any Team Drive settings – or can you allow most actions?