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[Update: Exits beta] Google Drive now lets you share specific folders in ‘shared drives’

Shared — previously team — drives are how organizations using Google Drive distribute and  collaborate on files. Google is now testing the ability to share folders within a shared drive.

Update 9/16: Folder sharing in Shared Drives has now entered general availability. Previously in beta, it’s available with the latest versions of the Drive web, Android, and iOS apps, as well as Drive File Stream and the Drive API. The native Chrome OS file system will also get this capability soon.

The feature begins rolling out today and will be fully available in the coming weeks. It’s available for all G Suite users except Basic customers (and personal accounts).

Original 5/26: At the moment, permissions are “set at the shared drive level or the individual file level.” Users, as a result, are annoyingly unable to share a specific folder with others.

With this beta, you can share a specific folder with other users, or upgrade member access to provide users with additional permissions on specific folders within shared drives.

Touted use cases for this new capability are centered around making folders available to external parties, and elevating existing access. Sharing, however, is limited to drive managers that “control broad access to content.”

  • For a marketing department, you can have a shared drive accessible by all internal employees, with a specific folder for advertising materials that’s also accessible to an external agency.
  • For a sales department organized by region, you can have a shared drive that enables team managers and directors to see all activity, with regional teams only able to see the information relevant to their specific area of focus in a shared folder.
  • For a shared drive used to prepare for a specific event, you can give all members view access to all files, while providing each specific team with edit access to the documents relevant to their part of the event.

Sharing folders within shared drives is currently in beta, with Google piloting access for interested domains over the coming weeks. It’s available for G Suite Business, G Suite Enterprise, G Suite for Education, G Suite Enterprise for Education, and G Suite for Nonprofits accounts. Personal Google Accounts and G Suite Basic users are not eligible.

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Avatar for Abner Li Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: