Google Shared Drives FAQ

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

My Drive and Shared Drives are part of Google Drive. Shared Drives can be Centrally Managed base on Workday organizational units (departments) or User Managed by the requestor. You have unlimited storage space for Bucknell work in My Drive, Centrally Managed Shared Drives, and User Managed Shared Drives.

My Drive Centrally Managed Shared Drive User Managed Share Drive
Store your files Store department files Store project, workgroup, or team files
Share individual files and folders with the users you select Share with everyone in your department Share with any project, workgroup, or team members. Add or remove team members as you choose.
Replacement for folders in U: (Your Netspace public & private) Replacement for folders in X: (Your department public & private) Replacement for folders in O:, P:, and Q (Your organization or project pubic & private)
Manually managed by you Automatically managed by organizational unit Manually managed by requestor/owner

Which option is right for my files?

My Drive Store your own files in My Drive.
Centrally Managed Shared Drive Store files that everyone in your department uses in your Centrally Managed Shared Drive. As users are added and removed from your department, they are automatically added and removed from the drive. The Shared Drive owns the files.
User Managed Share Drive Store all the files that your project, team, workgroup, class, or lab creates in a User Managed Shared Drive. Manually add or remove users as necessary. The Shared Drive owns the files.

What is Google Shared Drive?

Google Shared Drives are shared spaces where groups of people can easily store, search, and access their files anywhere, from any device. Shared Drive is ideal for groups of colleagues who often collaborate on documents together, such as workgroups, committees,  or project teams.  All team members can share in the responsibility of organizing and maintaining the files. Team members can be added or removed from the Shared Drive at any time.  When a team member is removed from the group, all of the files remain in the Shared Drive so that the team can continue to share information and complete the necessary work. (Thanks to Stanford University for some of this content.)

Google Shared Drives have unlimited storage capacity and can be accessed by installing Google Drive for Desktop or by going to Google Drive in a browser. Google Drive is accessible on most devices including iOS and Android. The only requirement needed to access Google Drive from on or off campus is an Internet connection.  

  Shared Drive
Easily accessible on Windows/PC X
Easily accessible on Mac X
Owners of a User Managed Shared Drive can add or remove contributors  X
Use native apps like Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, etc.) X
Unlimited Storage X
See who's editing with real-time presence in Microsoft Office X
Multiple people can edit a document at once X
Easily accessible on a tablet and mobile device X

How do you access Google Shared Drive?

The easiest way to access the Google Shared Drive is by downloading Google Drive for Desktop. With Google Drive for Desktop, you can quickly sync local files on your hard drive to Google Drive/Google Shared Drive and easily access all the files that are located on Google Shared Drive. Users can also access Google Shared Drives by going to bmail/Google Drive. 

For Windows users (if you install Google Drive for Desktop), it's as easy as going from the R: drive to the G: drive to access and upload files. 

For Mac users (if you install Google Drive for Desktop), it's as easy as clicking on a desktop icon to access and upload files. 

What is a centrally managed Shared Drive?

A centrally managed shared drive is one that is created by L&IT for a department.  Access to the shared drive is automatically updated when someone is hired, leaves the university, or changes departments.  This is determined by one’s “job department” as listed in Workday.  

In addition, L&IT can add specific individuals who have a different job department in Workday, but need to have access to another department’s shared drive.  For example, an academic assistant can be added to all the shared drives for departments they are responsible for.  While members of the shared drive cannot add additional members to the entire drive, they can share individual items (documents or folders) with others.  L&IT does recommend that this be done very carefully, to avoid sharing things that were meant to be kept within the department.

Everyone who has access to a centrally managed shared drive has “content manager” permissions.  This means that everyone can add new documents, as well as view, edit or delete existing documents.

Anyone who has a need that does not fit within the parameters of the centrally managed shared drives can request a User Managed Shared Drive.  Whoever requests the custom shared drive will be automatically made a manager of that drive and can determine who, and with what permissions, needs access to the drive.  This includes adding additional managers.

Can I still use Microsoft Office or do I have to use Google Docs, Sheets, etc.?

Yes, you can still use Microsoft Office products to edit your files in Shared Drives. If you open a file previously saved as Microsoft Office using the web browser it may ask you if you want to convert it to Google Docs, Sheets, etc. and you may do so if you feel comfortable. Opening your documents using Google Files Stream will not prompt to convert to Google Docs but rather open in Microsoft Office. 

How do I install Google Drive for Desktop?

To install Google Drive for Desktop on Windows and Mac, go to "What is Google Drive for Desktop and how do I use it?" Ask L&IT article. 

Can I move a whole folder?

You can move all the files inside a folder. Library & IT recommends you use the Drive for Desktop tool to move your files. The web interface is fine for moving a few files, as long as you do not close your web browser, but the application is better.

Can I restrict access to a subfolder in Shared Drives?

You can add users to a subfolder, but you cannot remove users who have permission to the top level Shared Drive.

How do I request a Shared Drive?

To request a User Managed Shared Drive for your Department or Project Team, go to Shared Drive Request Form.

Can I move the Stewardship folder in my Netspace Private to Shared Drives?

No, you cannot move your Stewardship folder. Library & IT is aware of this folder and is looking for a solution.

Additional Resources

Shared Drives Roles and Permissions

Shared Drives vs. Netspace Comparison

What is Google Drive for Desktop and how do I use it?



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Article ID: 482
Thu 10/8/20 10:52 AM
Wed 8/31/22 5:19 PM