I don't use Google Drive very much, but I noticed I had a couple of files in the "shared with me" section of the Google Drive web app. So I decided to remove them from view, and the only way to do that is to delete them, one by one.

Removed one file.

One removed file is still accessible by collaborators.

I don't own any of these files. They were shared with me. So what exactly did I just remove then? I can't possibly remove things that I don't own? I assume that the last notification indicates that the owner can still access his own file... duh! But the question still remains, what is it that I'm removing then? Removing myself from the access list of a file I didn't own in the first place?...

Interestingly, most of these files were things like PDF files and shared Google Maps locations, things that were shared publicly, links to which I must have clicked on at some point on different websites. So I was never really "collaborating" with any of these people, the owners of these files, so they never shared the links to these files with me directly and I was never on any kind of access list.

1 Answer 1


Files that are shared with you on Google Drive first appear in the "Shared with me" section. From there, if you wish, you can organize it into folders in your own drive. When you remove a shared file, be it within the shared with me or in your own drive, it really just removes the shortcut to that file. If you had access before, you will still have access after. If you click the link to that file after you remove it, the file will reappear in the shared with me section.

  • Nowadays item owned by someone else can't be moved to "My Drive" but it's possible to add an item shorcut. Jun 26, 2021 at 22:47

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