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Google Shared Drives

Overview

UA Google Shared Drives is the University of Alaska's branding of Google Shared Drives, an online service that provides resources for file storage, and collaboration with other individuals. Google Team Drives is a group document and file storage hub. It's easy to upload, download, and share files. You can also create, view, and edit Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides documents online.

Because UA Google Shared Drives are associated with the university, everything stored in it will continue to be accessible as individuals come and go at the university, this enables groups to continue to share information and get work done.

Before selecting a group collaboration solution you should be aware that there are several options available such as network file shares, Google Shared Drives, Microsoft Teams, and Microsoft SharePoint Online. All of them offer various features and benefits. If you're not sure which one is best for your group's needs consider reviewing our Where Should I Save Files article for some suggestions.

Cost

UA Google Shared Drives is available to all current UA students, staff, and faculty at no cost.

Features

  • All files remain after an individual leaves the group.
  • All members of a Shared Drive see the same content.
  • When an individual is added to a Google group, they are automatically added to all of the Shared Drives that include that group.
  • Files are searchable.
  • Store unlimited data in the cloud.
  • 5 TB maximum file size.
  • Unlimited storage.
  • Easily recover deleted documents, or roll back to previous versions.
  • Share files with anyone across the University of Alaska system, or externally.

Access and synchronize files easily

  • Access files using a Web browser or mobile device.
  • Access files directly from your Desktop computer (with appropriate client software installed).

Best Practices

  • Keep folder and file names short.
  • Keep nested folder depth to a minimum.
  • Review sharing/permissions at the beginning of each semester.
  • Organize Team Drives around specific departments, or projects, rather than general purpose file storage.

Client Guides for Drive File Stream

Start using Google Shared Drive

  1. In a web browser login to UA G Suite.
  2. Open Google Drive.
  3. On the left, click Shared Drives.
  4. At the top, click New.
  5. Enter a name, and click Create.
  6. Now add desired team members, and set their access levels.

Help Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is UA Google  Shared Drive FERPA compliant?
    Yes, UA Google Shared Drive is compliant with the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
  • Is UA Google  Shared Drive HIPAA compliant?
    No. At this time the UA Google Shared drive is not compatible with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). No Personal Health Information (PHI) related files should be saved, or used with, any UA G Suite service including Google Drive, and Google Shared Drive.
  • Who can add files?
    Any group member with Contributor access, or higher can add files.
  • What types of files can be added?
    All file types (except Google Maps).
  • How can I move files and folders?

    The ability to manage content within a Shared Drives varies depending upon your access permissions.

    • 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.
    • If you want to move folders from My Drive to Shared Drives,  contact the UAA IT Tech Support Center for assistances.

    For details on adding files to a Shared Drive, see Getting Started with Google Shared Drives.

  • Can I sync files to my computer?

    Yes, if you're using Google's Drive File Stream client.

  • How does sharing work?

    All members of the Shared Drive see all files.

  • How long do files I delete stay in the Trash?

    Each Shared Drive has its own Trash. All files and folders in Trash are deleted forever after 30 days. Individuals with Content Manager access and above can move files to the Trash. Members with at least Contributor access can restore content from Trash. Individuals with Manager access can permanently delete files before 30 days.

  • What are the permissions levels I can assign someone?

    When you add new members to a Google Shared Drive, they're given Content manager access. You can change a member's access level.

    It's recommended to have at least two individual's assigned to the Manager role for the Shared Drive; this will allow for more flexibility in managing the team, and will also help prevent orphaned Shared Drives if the sole Manager leaves the organization.

    Note: Individuals that need to edit files in the Drive File Stream should be given Content manager access.

    Permission Manager Content Manager Contributor Commenter Viewer
    Can view files and folders Manager's can view files and folders. Content Manager's can view files and folders. Contributor's can view file and folders. Commenter's can view files and folders. Viewer's can view files and folders
    Can comment on files Manager's can comment on files. Content Manager's can comment on files. Contributor's can comment on files. Commenter's can comment on files. Viewer's cannot comment on files.
    Can edit files Manager's can edit files. Content Manager's can edit files. Green checkmark Commenter's cannot edit files Viewer's cannot edit files
    Can create and add files, can create folders Manager's can create and add files, and create folders. Content Manager's can create and add files, and create folders. Contributor's can create, and add files, and create folders. Commenter's cannot create and add files, or folders Viewer's cannot create or add files, and cannot create folders
    Can add people to specific files Manager's can add people to specific files. Content Manager's can add people to specific files. Contributor's can add people to specific files. Commenter's cannot add people to specific files Viewer's cannot add people to specific files
    Can restore files from the Trash (up to 30 days) Manager's can restore files from the trash. Content Manager's can restore files from the trash. Contributor's can restore files from the trash. Commenter's cannot restore files from the trash Viewer's cannot restore files from the trash
    Can move files from My Drive to a Team Drive Manager's can move files from My Drive to a Team Drive. Content Manager's can move files from My Drive to a Team Drive. Contributor's can move files from My Drive to a Team Drive. Commenter's cannot move files from My Drive to a Team Drive Viewer's cannot move files from My Drive to a Team Drive
    Can move files out of a Team Drive or between Team Drives Manager's can move files out of, or between Team Drives. Content Manager's can move files out of, or between Team Drives. Contributor's cannot move files out of, or between Team Drives Commenter's cannot move files out of, or between Team Drives Viewer's cannot move files out of, or between Team Drives
    Can move files and folders to Trash Manager's can move files and folders to the Trash. Content Manager's can move files and folders to the Trash. Contributor's cannot move files, or folders to the Trash Commenter's cannot move files and folders to trash Viewer's cannot move files and folders to the trash
    Can move files and folders within a Team Drive Manager's can move files and folders within a Team Drive. Content Manager's can move files and folders within a Team Drive. Contributor's cannot move files, or folders within a Team Drive Commenter's cannot move files, or folders within a Team Drive Viewer's cannot move files, and folders within a Team Drive
    Can add or remove members of a Team Drive Manager's can add or remove members of a Team Drive. Content Manager's cannot add, or remove members of a Team Drive. Contributor's cannot add, or remove members of a Team Drive Commenter's cannot add or remove members of a Team Drive Viewer's cannot add, or remove members of a Team Drive.
    Can change member access levels Manager's can chagne member access levels. Content Manager's cannot change member access levels. Contributor's cannot change member access levels Commenter's cannot change member access levels Viewer's cannot change member access levels
    Can permanently delete files in the Trash Manager's can permanently delete files in the Trash. Content Manager's cannot permanently delete files in the Trash. Contributor's cannot permanently delete files in the Trash Commenter's cannot permanently delete files in the trash Viewer's cannot permanently delete files in the trash
  • Can files and folders have different access levels?

    Files can, folders can't. When you add a member to a Shared Drive, you set their access level. That's the default access they'll have on all folders in the Shared Drive. You can increase a member's access level on individual files, but you can't give them a lower access level than what they have as their default.

    You can share individual files in a Shared Drive with non-members (depending on sharing settings), but you can't share folders.

  • What are the technical limits of Shared Drives?

    Like any storage solution Google Shared Drives has several technical limitations with regards to data quantity, and content organization.

    • Maximum Item Count: A Shared Drive can contain a maximum of 400,000 files and folders. Google recommends that a soft limit less than this. Individuals of Shared Drives with too many files can have difficulty organizing and navigating the content.
    • Maximum Daily Transfer: Shared Drive supports transferring up to 750 GB in a 24 hour period. After 750 GB has been transferred to the Shared Drive, group members will be blocked from uploading additional files files that day. However, any file(s) uploads already in progress will complete.
    •  Folder Hierarchy Depth: A single Shared Drive can nest up to 20 subfolders, but this is not recommended. For recommends on organizing content see our Where Should I Save Files article's Frequently Asked Questions section.
    • Membership Limit: There is a limit of 600 individuals and groups directly added as members. However, a group and an individual are both counted as one member against the limit. So if you use Google Groups to manage access to the team the maximum number of individuals, both direct and indirect, is 50,000. An individual who is a member of several groups that are added as direct members of the Shared Drive still only count as a single individual.

     

 

Known Issues 

  • File type limitations

    Some file types cannot be stored in Shared Drives, such as:

    • Google Maps
    • Google Photos
    • Some virtual file types, such as App Maker apps
    • Files owned by other domains
  • Restrictions for External Users
    Individuals external to the University of Alaska can only be added as a Shared Drives member if they have a Google account associated with their email address. The Google account does not have to be a University of Alaska related account.

 

Other related information

 

Need additional help or have issues

For additional assistance contact the IT Services Technical Support Center via phone at (907) 786-4646, toll-freee at (977) 633-3888, or email at uaa.techsupport@alaska.edu.