When an assistant creates a new subfolder in a shared folder, it is owned by that assistant. If the assistant leaves, unshares, and deletes files, I would be out of luck. Also, if a different assistant leaves and I wish to remove sharing by selecting multiple files, Drive gives an error when the folder is not owned by me. There is no way to take ownership of a folder in a folder in which you own. There is no way to copy a folder from the web interface either. Currently I

  • copy the folder in Windows Explorer
  • wait for Google Sync to upload the new folder contents
  • unshare the old folder with everyone except the owner in the web page to prevent confusion on where to store new files
  • delete the old folder in the web page
  • rename the new folder to the old name in the web page (no hotkey for that either) so that Google Drive PC client doesn't get confused as to which folder I am working with because if I rename it in Windows Explorer it might think it's the same as the old folder

Is there a faster, easier way to take ownership of a folder in Google Drive?

  • Team Drive solves this problem: all of the files are owned by the team as defined in GSuite admin. Apr 4, 2019 at 3:33

1 Answer 1


The assistant should change the owner to you before they leave. Otherwise, you're stuck with the process you've found.

Obviously, in G Suite the administrator would be able to take care of all of this.

  • What if the assistant is non-responsive and that is the reason I need to take ownership?
    – Chloe
    Sep 29, 2017 at 17:44
  • 1
    Then I'm afraid you're probably out of luck. One of the risks of using a consumer-grade product in a business environment.
    – ale
    Sep 29, 2017 at 17:50
  • what do you mean "G Suite the administrator would be able to take care of all of this"? I am the admin but nothing I can find will let me take ownership of folders/files created inside a shared folder that I do have ownership of. When the user tries to change the ownership it fails. Surely as the admin I should be able to just "take ownership" ?
    – rob
    Feb 5, 2018 at 14:41

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