I'm working on transferring one of our teams in our Google Apps for Education domain to Google Team Drive but I'm running into a problem with files owned externally. A little background and elaboration:

Our organization hires seasonal employees that make use of and edit a shared curriculum, to try and limit ownership issues with such a high turnover rate we used a 'shared' account. For example [email protected]. This account owns the vast majority of the documents in it's drive but occasionally employees have created documents using their personal gmail accounts. When I try to migrate [email protected]'s folders and files to Team Drive I get an error because some of the files aren't in my domain.

I'm trying to find a way to search for these files so I can either copy them or delete them prior to transferring folders to Team Drive. Also open to other suggestions

1 Answer 1


If you set as project policy that all project files should be owned by [email protected] then search for

-owner:[email protected]

This will return all the files that are not owned by the specified email address. Bear in mind that there are several other search operators that you could use to build your query and that now it's possible to limit the search to a specific folder by using the search within a folder search feature.


  • Thanks for the response. I'm a bit confused when you say set as policy are you referring to organizational policy or is something I can change in the drive retroactively to take ownership of files that I'm not aware of. I should have specified in the question that there are also a number of files owned by [email protected] so when I search -owner:[email protected] it returns a number of files that are within the my domain and transfer to Team Drive just fine. Jan 12, 2018 at 21:22
  • I meant organizational policy. I don't think that there is a setting in Google Drive that you can apply retroactively, anyway if you think that you should add something to make your question clearer, edit it, but if you have another question / follow up question, post a new one. Jan 13, 2018 at 22:42

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