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Should you use Google My Drive or shared drive? 5 things to consider

Compare My Drive with shared drives


My Drive Shared drive
File ownership The individual owns the files. The team owns the files.
Storage My Drives have a 25 GB default storage quota. Shared drives have a default 25 GB storage quota.
File preservation If the individual leaves, all files they own may be subject to deletion, even if they’ve been shared with others. If a member leaves, all files remain and continue to be accessible by remaining members.
Sharing By default, newly created My Drive folders/files are set to private. By default, all folders/files saved in the shared drive will be accessible by all members.

You can share individual folders/files with non-members.

Collaboration and access My Drive is best suited for non-collaborative file storage.

Grant others access to your files/folders and give them permissions such as view, edit or comment.

Shared drives are best suited for collaborative work.

Set access levels for each shared drive member, such as manager, content manager, contributor, etc.

View additional differences between My Drive and shared drives.

Examples of when to use a shared drive:

Group or team projects

  • Easily add team members to the shared drive and give varying levels of permissions/access to content.


  • Shared drives are especially helpful when planning cyclical events such as conferences, trainings, award ceremonies, etc.
  • Faculty/instructors: When developing curriculum materials, assignments and other coursework, store them in a shared drive and collaborate with colleagues as you shape your course.
  • Preserve files from previous semesters or events in case you need to refer back to them. If you need to archive or store content on a long-term basis, Google Drive is not the recommended storage service. Please consider alternative storage options.

Department- or team-wide documents

  • Store regularly used files everyone needs access to such as budget information, templates, onboarding documents, meeting agendas, etc.

View additional use cases from different roles and industries.


Need assistance? Have questions?

If you have questions or want to talk further, contact the Reshaping Google Workspace project team.