Team Drives Integration Overview

Team Drives are a type of organization space within Google Drive that supports files owned by an organization rather than an individual user. A file may be organized within a Team Drive or My Drive, but not both.

Access control

Team Drives use a similar permission model as other content in Drive. Unlike files in My Drive, content located within a Team Drive is owned by the team.

Permission propagation

Like items in My Drive, permissions on parent items propagate downward to their children. However, within a Team Drive, permissions are strictly expansive. For example, a user that has a role of commenter for a Team Drive cannot have their access level reduced at another point within the folder hierarchy. However, their access can be increased for a certain set of files.

Team Drive files must have exactly one parent. This means that Team Drive files belong to a single Team Drive and are located in a single location within that Team Drive. Having a single location simplifies permission rules for Team Drive files.

Member vs. file access

There are two classes of permissions in Team Drives:

  • Member permissions are for users who have been granted access to the Team Drive itself, either directly or through a group. Members can see the Team Drive metadata, such as the Team Drive's name. Members have access to all files within the Team Drive, with the access level depending on the role given to the member (e.g. reader, writer).
  • File access permissions are for users who have been granted access to a subset of the files in the Team Drive. For example, sharing a single file to a user creates a file access permission.

An individual user may be a member of a Team Drive and have file access permissions for files contained within the Team Drive. A file access permission may be superseded if the user's membership in the Team Drive grants them a greater level of access. These file permissions are revoked when the user is no longer a member of the Team Drive, or their member access level is reduced.


As with items in My Drive, each user is granted access with a specific role. Two additional roles have been added for Team Drives:

  • The fileOrganizer role allows users to organize files within a Team Drive and to move content into the Trash.
  • The organizer role grants the same privileges as the fileOrganizer and allows users to permanently remove content and modify Team Drive name and membership.

The owner role is not allowed in Team Drives.

See the permission model for additional details about the capabilities of different roles in a Team Drive.

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