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Google gives individuals who use G Suite Business, Enterprise, Education, or Nonprofit editions two distinct kinds of Google Drive storage: My Drive and Team Drives. Both work 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 people in the Team Drive gain access to the file, but when 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 control, protect, and monitor your organization’s Team Drives. You’ll need to have a G Suite administrator make up your business to access Admin console settings.

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

Immediately beneath the Sharing settings section, you’ll see Team Drive creation controls. All these five options prevents another action. Any selection made here pertains to Each of the organization’s Team Drives. For instance, a G Suite administrator with an organization especially concerned with security could select all five of such options, which would lead to google cloud access being restricted solely to individuals within an organization, along with only members of a Team Drive having the ability to access files on that Team Drive. This kind of configuration would also constrain downloading, copying, and printing of files from your Team Drive.

A much more frequently-used configuration could be to check on merely the “Prevent full-access members from modifying Team Drive settings” option. This ensures that a G Suite administrator can select the sharing, membership, and content action options allowed (i.e., use of download, copy, or print) for each and every Team Drive, with no 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 could also review and adjust membership, sharing, and content action settings for many Team Drives. Again, login for the Admin console (admin.google.com), then navigate to Apps > G Suite > Drive and Docs > Team Drive > Manage Team Drives.

Screenshots of Team Drive sharing options – left shows items not able 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).

Since these settings pertain to each Team Drive, you can configure very flexible and open options that allow external sharing and content actions for many Team Drives, while 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, individuals a Team Drive who have full-access permissions may adjust Team Drive settings.

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

You can include additional filters for this report, too. As an example, in addition to selecting “Team Drive” items, you can also try to find the “Item Visibility Change” option, and select “Internal to External,” then select Search. This displays a report of Team Drive items available today to individuals outside the organization, that were previously only available internally.

Your thoughts on Team Drive? If you are using Team Drives for files at your organization, what settings would you use generally? If you’re a G Suite administrator, have you ever restricted any Team Drive settings – or would you allow most actions?