There are plenty of reasons why people may want to transfer ownership in Google Docs. If you are the owner, you might want to pass along responsibility of a project to someone else in your organization. If you’re a Google Apps Admin, you probably want to have a process in place when employees leave the company.

On the end user side, transferring ownership of files in Google Drive is really easy and it only takes a few steps. It’s important to keep in mind that you can only transfer ownership to someone else inside your organization, not a Gmail or another Google Apps account.

On the administrative side, you need to have a process in place for transferring files when an employee leaves your organization. Using a third-party tool like BetterCloud will allow you to transfer files in bulk, making sure all files are accounted for.

Click here to watch this video on YouTube.


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12 thoughts on “How to Transfer Ownership of Google Drive Files

  1. Julie Reply

    As an international teacher, I would love to be able to “bring my files” with me from school to school. However, once a doc is created in Google Apps for Education, you cannot change ownership to a person outside of the domain. I realize that I can download and re-upload to my personal Google Account, but it would be a lot easier to change permissions like the above video. Any plans to change this?

    • Google Gooru Post authorReply


      There are no plans to change this setting, as far as I know.

      Another option, instead of constantly downloading/uploading to your personal Gmail, would be to create a copy of the files you would like to work on, and share them with your Gmail, or other domains you may have.

    • Google Gooru Post authorReply

      The ‘Owner’ option is still available, it will only appear when you have already shared the file with someone.

      There are also limitations to changing ownership that will limit when the option appears:

      – Google Apps for EDU & non-Google Apps users can’t transfer ownership of non-Google (synced) files
      – Google Apps users can’t transfer ownership to someone outside their domain

  2. stuart amos Reply

    We have noticed when the files are transferred to another user the files are copied into their my drive folder. Is this normal or a bug? We would like the file location to stay the same but simply transfer owner. This allows us to keep an eye on storage in one place rather than have it spread over a number of users.

    • The Gooru Post authorReply


      By definition the files will have to live in the ‘My Drive’ folder because they belong to that user. As long as a user is the owner of a file it will always appear in ‘My Drive’.

      You could create an admin account and have that user retain ownership of all files, that way it would always appear in all user’s ‘Shared with Me’ folder.

  3. stuart amos Reply

    Sorry im not sure what you mean. We have been deleting them from the My Drive folder so they only remain in the original location. Is this going to cause problems? We need to upload files from individual user computers then transfer ownership to the admin user say once a week. When this is done the files are copied so they are then in two places. The original location that everyone can see within the file structure and another copy within the admin My Drive folder. This isnt a major problem but its just another job to delete them out. It is confusing when people have created a number of folders. The person deleting the additional copies in the admins My Drive folder could easily delete a folder that is needed.

    • The Gooru Post authorReply

      Sorry if my response was a little confusing, Stuart.

      I meant the users would transfer ownership to the admin account, then delete them from their individual ‘My Drive’. That way it would only appear in the individuals ‘Shared’ folder.

  4. David Reply

    Hi, I can’t transfer ownership of files I uploaded in a shared folder. The shared folder is owned by the person I would like to transfer the rights too, but the option to make him the owner never appears. How would I go about making him the owner?

    • The Gooru Post authorReply

      Hey David,

      I found some information on transferring ownership of Drive files on Google’s support site. Let me know if this helps!

      “Google Apps Customers: You can’t make someone outside of your domain the owner of your Google document. Only Google Apps customers in Premier, Government, and Education domains can transfer ownership of a synced or uploaded file (like a PDF or image file).

      Consumer Drive users: You can’t transfer ownership of a synced or uploaded file (like a PDF or an image file).”

  5. Liam Reply

    Is their a way to transfer all documents inside of a folder to someone? They already own the folder but I own the documents.

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