Google Drive at PCC: Moving, Deleting (and Not Deleting) Shared Folders and Documents

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When is it safe (and not safe) to DELETE a file or folder?

Some Google Drive documents are yours and yours alone; others you have chosen to share with others, either as viewers or co-editors. Then there are those documents that are owned by others, and they being shared with you.  How do you know when it is OK to delete a document or folder and not affect others’ ability to view or edit that document?

A file or folder IS safe to delete IF:pccdrive

  • …you are not sharing it with anyone else; OR
  • …you are sharing it with someone else but they are OK with you deleting it; OR
  • …the file or folder is shared, in your “My Drive” area, and you are not the owner

Deleting a file or folder could affect others’ ability to view or edit it in these cases:

  • If you delete a document that is in a shared folder and not in your My Drive area, it will be deleted for others as well
  • If you delete a document you are the Owner of, it will be deleted for others you have shared with (unless you change the Owner first)
How can I tell whether a document or folder is shared or not?

For individual documents, sheets, etc.:

  • Open the document and ‘hover’ with your mouse over the blue Share button on the upper right corner
  • If you click the Share button and then click “Advanced,” you can see who else owns the document

For folders:

  • When viewing your folders, the ones that are shared folders have a little white “profile” icon on them
  • Folders that do NOT have this “profile” icon on them are folders that are not being shared by others.
When is it safe to MOVE a folder from “Shared with Me” into My Drive?

When you click “Shared with Me” on the left column of your Google Drive, files and folders that others have given you permission to view or edit are listed.

  • There is no risk involved in moving a folder in “shared with me” into a folder in your “My Drive” — with one exception.
  • The exception is — when you move a “shared with me” folder into a My Drive folder that is also a shared folder, then the move will affect others who are sharing (viewing or editing) those folders.

This exception also applies to shared documents you move from a “shared with me” folder into a folder in your My Drive — it will only affect others if you move it into another shared folder.

Disclaimer: Google Drive is an ever-changing application and some features and behaviors may change over time.

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