Google: Remove Access to Files/Folders/Shared Drives for Departing Employee


Google Drive


How to completely remove someone's access from your files, folders, and shared drives in Google Drive before they leave your department or the university.


Files/folders shared from My Drive

For files and folders you own and shared from My Drive:

  1. Go to My Drive.
  2. Click the People filter at the top of your file list.
  3. Enter the name or uniqname of the departing individual in the field provided.
  4. Hover the person's name in the list and select Shared with. The results will show everything that was shared with them that you own from your My Drive.
  5. Press CTRL/CMD + A to select all files/folders displayed.
    1. Important: You may have shared hundreds of files/folders with them. If that is the case, you will want to break this process up into chunks of ~100 at a time to prevent Google from displaying an error when you click the Share icon.
  6. Click on the Share icon at the top of your results.
    1. Note: If you have selected too many files/folders, Google will display the following error: "Sorry, sharing is unavailable at this time. Please try again later." You will need to select fewer files/folders and try again.
  7. Find their name under People with access and click the permission level drop-down menu.
  8. Select Remove access and click Save.
  9. Click Yes if prompted to confirm your removal.

You should repeat these steps in your shared drives to ensure no subfolder or file level access remains. (Instead of going to My Drive, open the relevant shared drive in Drive.)

Shared drives you manage

Depending on when your shared drive was created, you can remove someone's Manager access in the following way:

Shared drive was created before Jan. 3, 2023:

  1. Open the relevant shared drive in Google.
  2. Click the shared drive's name at the top and select Manage members from the drop-down.
  3. Find the individual's name and click the access level drop-down menu beside it.
  4. Select Remove access and click Save.
  5. Click Yes if prompted to confirm your removal.

You will also use this method to remove their access if they are a Content Manager or lower role (regardless if the shared drive was created before or after Jan. 2, 2023).

Shared drive was created after Jan. 3, 2023 (using the ITS Shared Drive Manager tool):

If the individual was assigned as a Manager to any Google shared drives, remove them using the ITS Shared Drive Manager tool.

Additional Information

Refer to Transfer Ownership of Google Drive Files Owned by Departing Employee for more information on helping a departing employee transfer ownership of university/department data in Google before leaving.

Need additional information or assistance? Contact the ITS Service Center.

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Article ID: 11878
Wed 3/27/24 5:14 PM
Mon 4/8/24 2:09 PM

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