Google Shared Drives offer a collaborative space where a team can keep and access files collectively. Unlike personal files, ownership of these files is attributed to the group (company), ensuring continuity even as individual members come and go.

Main Benefits of Google Shared Drives

  • File Longevity: Files remain intact despite the departure of contributors. Shared drives are managed by the organization, ensuring that files are retained even if a user’s account is deleted by an admin.
  • Adaptable Accessibility: Permissions for file access can be set up in two ways: by adding an individual or a group to the shared drive, or by members selectively sharing files with those outside the group.
  • Streamlined Sharing: Everyone in a shared drive has the same visibility which simplifies the sharing process. Groups can be added, and new members automatically gain access to all relevant shared drives via their Google Groups association. Access levels are assigned to manage file activities efficiently.
  • Custom Sharing: If permitted, specific documents within a shared drive can be made accessible to non-members, granting access only to necessary resources.
  • External Collaboration: Provided organizational policies allow it, external parties with a Google-linked email can be added to shared drives, with their contributions becoming organizational property. Restrictions vary based on your Google Workspace edition (How sharing a folder in a shared drive works).

Desktop Synchronization: Google Drive for desktop allows the files from shared drives to be accessible and manageable directly from your PC.

Distinguishing Features: My Drive vs. Shared Drives

Criteria My Drive Shared Drives
Who can add files? Owner of My Drive Any member with at least Contributor access
Who holds ownership? Individual who created them The team
File mobility Yes, files can be organized freely Movement of files is conditional on your level of access
PC Syncing Yes, through Google Drive for desktop (What you can do with Drive for desktop) Yes, through Google Drive for desktop
Visibility in Shared Environment Varies based on file access All members see all files
Trash Bin Policy Deletion after 30 days or by permanent removal Each shared drive controls its own Trash, with similar deletion policies
File Restoration Yes, if you’re the owner Yes, for those with a minimum of Contributor access

How to backup or sync Google Shared Drives?

To set up a cloudHQ backup or sync of Google Shared Drives, just start the sync wizard do this:

  1. select the account which has access to your Google Shared Drive (probably something like
  2. select the shared drive under Team Drive / Shared Drive top-level folder from the browser as shown here: