📖 5 mins read

File Management of Drive Files – Change Ownership

File management is a section within the GAT+ Drive audit area that allows Google Workspace admins to manage Drive files.

Available options for managing Drive files are:

  • Change ownership of local Drive files
    • Shortcut created to the original file (inherited permissions kept)
    • Move file – file moved directly (inherited permissions lost)
    • Deny access for old owner –  by default original owner becomes editor
    • Untrash file – restore file if it was in the Bin folder
    • Custom path – create a custom Folder where the files/folders will be located
      • Without ancestry path – remove the inherited folder/file tree where the file was located before the change (FM_request/From userX@domain.com/…)
  • Add users to Drive files and folders
    • Add following users as Contributors
    • Add following users as Viewers
    • Add following users as Commenters
    • Remove other permissions
  • Remove users to Files and Folders
    • Remove following users as Contributors
    • Remove following users as Viewers
    • Remove following users as Commenters
    • Remove all external Contributors
    • Remove all external Viewers
    • Remove all external Commenters
  • Replace permissions
    • Enter permission to be replaced and select the role
    • Enter the replacement permission and select the role

Change Drive File Ownership

The Admin can change the ownership of locally owned files from User A to User B.

To change file ownership follow the steps below:

  • Apply filter – Apply filter and find the file you want to change its ownership
  • Select the file – Click on the checkmark beside the title of the file
  • File operations – Click on the file operations button
  • File management – From the menu, click on the File management button

GAT+ | File Management - Change File Ownership 1

A new window for File management will be displayed. There will be few options available:

Change file ownership as default (Shortcut)

In the General tab, enter the email address of the New owner.

  • Change the selected file’s owner = (enter user’s email)
  • Click on the “Next” button or directly on the Summary tab.

GAT+ | File Management - Change File Ownership 2

Important: In Google Drive each file can have only one parent folder. By default, when changing file ownership to a new owner’s MyDrive, a shortcut is created to the original file (this preserves permissions inherited from the folder where the file was originally located).

View the action that will take effect and click on the “Send request” button.

GAT+ | File Management - Change File Ownership 3

An email will be sent to the Security officer for approval (unless pre-approval is enabled).

Result for the new owner

When the request is approved, the Ownership will be changed to the new owner.

Note: A shortcut will be created from the new owner to the original file. 

The file will be in “Recent” or “Suggested” in the New owner’s MyDrive.

You can see the file has a new owner and the original owner becomes an Editor.

GAT+ | File Management - Change File Ownership 4

Result for the original owner

The file will still be located in the MyDirve (original location) of the original owner, but the file itself will have a new owner.

GAT+ | File Management - Change File Ownership 5

Change ownership with Move file

Change ownership of file/folder and select Move file. 

Important: By choosing this option you’re requesting to move files directly to a new owner’s MyDrive (note: inherited permissions can be lost in the process).

  • Change the selected file’s owner = (enter user’s email address)
  • Click on the checkmark for the “Move file” – this will move files directly to the new owner’s MyDrive
  • Click on the “Next” button or directly on the Summary tab.

GAT+ | File Management - Change File Ownership 6

View the action that will take effect and click on the “Send request” button.

GAT+ | File Management - Change File Ownership 7

An email will be sent to the Security officer for approval (unless pre-approval is enabled).

Result for the new owner

When the request is approved, the Ownership will be changed to the new owner. The file will be directly moved to the new owner.

Below you can see the location of the (moved) newly owned file.

Important: Ancestry path to the original location will be created in the new owner’s MyDrive.

MyDrive > FM_(number) > From (old owner email) > (Location of the original folder (where it used to be (folder structure) > MyDrive > File itself

GAT+ | File Management - Change File Ownership 8

Result for the original owner

The original owner will become an editor of the file. The file location will be in the “Shared with me” section of Drive.

GAT+ | File Management - Change File Ownership 9

Change ownership and deny access for the old owner

Change ownership of a Drive file/folder and “Deny access for the old owner”.

Note: By default when ownership is changed, the previous owner is added as an additional contributor (editor).

  • Change the selected file’s owner – enter the user’s email address.
  • Click on the checkmark and “Deny access for old owner
  • Click on the “Next” button or directly on the Summary tab.

GAT+ | File Management - Change File Ownership 10

An Additional tab will be shown in the Summary Tab, whereby the old owner’s access will be denied.

Result of Owner change with “Deny access for the old owner”.

The ownership will be changed to the new owner (as a shortcut or moved directly as above examples). The original owner will not be able to access their file anymore, as the access will be removed.

Orphaned Files

If the ownership is changed as above and access to the old owner is denied, the files will become Orphaned 

Change ownership and Untrash file

Change ownership of file/folder and select the  “Untrash file” option

  • Change selected file’s owner = (enter users email)
  • Click on the checkmark and “Untrash file
  • Click on the “Next” button or directly on the Summary tab.

The ownership will be changed to the new owner (as a shortcut or moved directly as above examples). If any files are in the Bin folder, they will be restored and taken out of the trash during the ownership transfer.

Change ownership using the Custom path

Change ownership of file/folder and select a Custom path option.

Important: Custom folder path for the files to be placed in, enter the folder name followed by the forward-slash (/), for example: folderX/

  • Change the selected file’s owner = (enter users email)
  • Click on the checkmark for “Custom path
  • Click on the “Next” button or directly on the Summary tab.

GAT+ | File Management - Change File Ownership 11

The ownership will be changed to the new owner (as a shortcut or moved directly as above examples). When the ownership is changed, the file will be placed in the Custom path (location).

View the action that will take effect and click on the “Send request” button.

GAT+ | File Management - Change File Ownership 12

Result for the new owner

The ownership will be changed and the File will be placed in the new owner’s My Drive and placed under the Custom path selected.

My Drive (Custom pathname) Sales/Folder1 as the example above – then the Ancestry path (where originally the File was located).

Note: The file is set as a Shortcut.

GAT+ | File Management - Change File Ownership 13

Result for the old owner

The old owner will still have the file in their My Drive. However, now they will be the “Editor” of the file, as the ownership was changed.

GAT+ | File Management - Change File Ownership 14

Change owner, custom folder and deny access to old owner

If ownership is changed, a new custom folder is created for a new owner, and deny access to the old owner is used.

GAT+ | File Management - Change File Ownership 15

The ownership will be changed and the file will have a new owner.

Result for the new owner

The new owner will see the file in their My Drive.

GAT+ | File Management - Change File Ownership 16

Result for the old owner

The “old” owner will lose access to the File, as their access was removed (deny access to old owner).

Select all options for Changing ownership

Pick the files or folders and select all the options available when changing ownership.

GAT+ | File Management - Change File Ownership 17

Result for the new owner:

The new owner will see the file in their MyDrive.

  • Ownership will be changed
  • Files/folders will be moved into the new owner’s MyDrive
  • The old owner has no access to files
  • If the file was trashed will be untrashed
  • Files/Folders are placed under Custom path (folder)

GAT+ | File Management - Change File Ownership 18

Result for the old owner

The “old” owner will lose access to the File, as their access was removed (deny access to old owner).

If you would like to run a trial of our products please install GAT+ from the Google Workspace Marketplace and contact us at support@gatlabs.com with any questions you may have.

To request a demo please click here and fill the form. We’ll get back to you in less than 12 hours during weekdays.

If you trailed GAT in the past and would like to run a fresh trial again, please inquire through this form.

Thanks for sharing and spreading the word!