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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 serve as a reliable place to store, organize, and share files. Yet, there’s one major difference between the two: When you add a file to a Team Drive, all individuals the Team Drive get 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 during the initial G Suite deployment, but Google recently added more settings in mid-2018 to assist secure Team Drive data.

Evaluate the following settings to handle, protect, and monitor your organization’s Team Drives. You’ll need a G Suite administrator account for your company 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 into the G Suite admin console (at admin.google.com), then navigate to Apps > G Suite > Drive and Docs > Sharing Settings. Review these setting to make sure that external sharing is either allowed or restricted appropriately.

Immediately below the Sharing settings section, you’ll see Team Drive creation controls. Each of these five options prevents an alternative action. Any selection made here applies to Each of the organization’s Team Drives. For example, a G Suite administrator at an organization especially focused on security could select all five of those options, which will lead to backup google drive access being restricted solely to folks in a organization, with only members of a Team Drive having the capacity to access files on that Team Drive. This kind of configuration would also constrain downloading, copying, and printing of files through the Team Drive.

A much 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., usage of download, copy, or print) for 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 any organization’s Team Drives.

Protect Team Drive content – A G Suite administrator may also review and adjust membership, sharing, and content action settings for many Team Drives. Again, login to 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 discuss externally, add members, or copy, download, and baysuv files (as shown on the right).

As these settings apply to each Team Drive, you are able to configure very flexible and open options that allow external sharing and content actions for many Team Drives, while also choosing a lot more locked-down options that prohibit external sharing and content actions for other Team Drives.

Importantly, provided that a G Suite administrator doesn’t prohibit it, members of 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 in to the Admin console, go to Reports > Audit > Drive > then look for that Item Type filter (within the column on the left) and judge “Team Drive” from your options. Proceed to the bottom of the column, then select “Search” to apply the filter. You’ll then see a report of all the Team Drive administrative activity to your organization.

You can add additional filters to this report, too. For instance, in addition to selecting “Team Drive” items, you might 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 now available to folks outside the organization, which were previously only available internally.

Your feelings on Team Drive? If you utilize Team Drives for files at your organization, what settings do you use most often? If you’re a G Suite administrator, have you restricted any Team Drive settings – or do you allow most actions?