My Drive vs. Shared Drives vs. Shared with me

Understanding the differences between My Drive, Shared Drives, and Shared with me

When accessing your bDrive from your individual UC Berkeley Google account, it is important to understand how to navigate the different drives that make up your Google Drive. 

My Drive

My Drive is your primary space in Google Drive and contains files and folders that you own and you control access to. You are able to share access and permissions to your docs and only the files and folders you share will be accessible to others. You can grant others the following permissions:

  • Viewer – Viewers have the lowest level of sharing access, and can only view a shared file.

  • Commenter – Commenters can view, comment, and make suggestions on a shared file. They can not edit the file or share it with others.
  • Editor – By default, Editors can make changes, accept or reject suggestions, and share the file with others.

If you change ownership of a file from yourself to someone else, the file will be removed from your My Drive. Others can change ownership of their files to you and they will appear in your My Drive. 

Shared Drives

Shared Drives are special folders in Google Drive that you can use to store and collaborate on files within a department/unit/team. Unlike in My Drive, Shared Drives and their contents are owned by the department instead of individuals. If members leave, the files stay in the Shared Drive so your group can keep sharing content and information without interruption. Once you are a member of a Shared Drive, the drive will appear below your My Drive and above “Shared with me” in your Google Drive in the sidebar. Learn more about Shared Drives

Shared with me

When Google Drive files and folders owned by other people or organizations are shared with you specifically, they appear in Shared with me. You will only find files and folders shared specifically with you and any files that are shared with the UC Berkeley community or the public that you have opened. Your access to these files can be rescinded at any time by the owner or other editors. If you want to organize these files in your My Drive, you cannot move them but you can create a Shortcut to the file which you can put wherever you like. Note that if you lose access to the original file, the shortcut will no longer work. Learn more about creating Shortcuts in Google help

Steps to create and manage Google Shared Drives

We have a set of Video Tutorials about Shared Drives and how to move your content into them. These will cover everything you need to know. It should take about 30 minutes to watch all of them.

Info: Overview of Shared Drives

Info: Find your Shared Drive Usage

Info: My Drive vs. Shared drives vs. Shared with me

How-to: Create a Shared Drive and manage Members

How-to: Moving content into a Shared drive