Transfer Ownership of Files in Google Drive Owned by Departing Employee


U-M Google, Drive


A department/unit needs a departing employee to transfer ownership of the university business-related files they own before they leave the university. If the employee has already left the university, refer to Article ID: 9249.


You (i.e., the department/unit representative) should search for all files owned by the departing employee from your U-M Google account or Shared Account in specific folders in Drive to then determine what should/shouldn’t be transferred to you. Note that your account must be shared on the folder(s) for your search to return all relevant results.
To search for all files owned by the departing employee in a specific folder:

  1. Go to Google Drive
  2. Click the Search options icon Advanced search options icon in Google Drive to the right of the search field at the top of the page 
  3. Select Specific person… from the Owner drop-down menu
  4. Enter the departing employee’s name or email address in the field that appears, and select their name from the drop-down
  5. Hover over the My Drive option in the Location drop-down menu, click the right arrow that appears, select the folder within which you want to search, and click Select
  6. Click Search

Note: Your search results may return a lot of files, so be sure to keep scrolling the page until all results have loaded. You can also adjust the search criteria from the Search results page by using the options at the top of the page.

You can repeat this process for each top-level folder in Drive in which you conduct university business. Alternatively, you can search all of your My Drive by selecting the My Drive option from the Location drop-down menu in the advanced search instead of selecting a specific folder. Though, it is recommended that you narrow your scope to specific folders as it will return a more manageable list of search results to provide to the departing employee.

You can use a Google Sheet or Doc to collect and save the links to each file that need to be transferred. After you have created the list of files you need to have transferred, send the departing email the list and ask them to refer to Transfer Ownership of Files in Google Drive for instructions on how to transfer ownership of files to another individual within your team and/or to a Google shared drive owned by your team.

Additional Information

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


Article ID: 9248
Mon 11/7/22 11:51 AM
Mon 2/27/23 1:52 PM

Related Articles (2)

This article provides instructions for transferring ownership of files in Google Drive.
This article guides individuals/departments/units on how to transfer ownership of Google Drive files/folders owned by an individual who has already left and is no longer at U-M.