📖 2 mins read

How to Best Deal with Docs from Leaving Google Users

An issue that comes up from time to time is how best to deal with Google Drive documents from departing Google Workspace users.

This is usually not a big problem if it is just one or two people leaving the Google domain, but what if you are a college with hundreds of departing students and perhaps dozens of departing staff each faculty year, how can you get to grips with such a large number?

What are the documents involved?  Which documents are important? You need audit tools for that.

Here we examine some ways GAT’s Audit for Google Drive can help you assess the issues whether with 1,000 users are leaving or just one.

Many users leaving – what documents to deal with?

When a user is leaving, the account is usually marked ‘suspended’ while a decision is made on what to do with the contents of their Google Drive.

Suspended accounts should be moved to an OU. In the example below, we have an OU called ‘Leavers’.

Once all the suspended users are collected in a single OU they can be dealt with collectively in each of the audit areas.

For this example, we are going to focus on “Drive”

Drive files 

Navigate to GAT+ → Drive → Files → Apply custom filter 

Search for the Organization Unit of suspended users 

  • Type – User/ Group/ OU Search
  • Org – Select the OU needed  
    • Include sub. ou – check to include the sub ou
    • Ownership – of the files, if they are owned by a member of the OU
  • Sharing flag – contain Shared out 
  • Updated (relative) – more than months ago (excluding current) – any number of the month you are interested in

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The above search can be divided.

  • Find all files owned by the Users of the selected OU
  • Add the extra search.
    • Shared Out files
    • Updated recently files 

Note: Once the result is displayed you can check how many files are you dealing with by selecting ‘Show stats for the current filter’.

Background search

If the OU has many users and many files and folders under those users, the search might go into “Background Search“.

If that is the case, please wait for the Background search to complete. You can do any other audit on your GSuite domain.

Find the Background search once completed and get the result displayed.

Select the Filter and click on the “Request” button.

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Click on the “green checkmark”. This will show the result.

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On the top, you can add the additional filters of Shared Out and Updated.

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The result of the filters above will show
  • All files owned by the selected OU
  • All Shared Out files
  • All files that were updated in the last 3 months – excluding the current one

Admin then can take action on those files, by changing their ownership or removing the Shares. – The users must be active. 


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 will get back to you in less than 12 hours during weekdays.

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

Thanks for sharing and spreading the word!