In Google's GSuite, users who have the "Content manager" permission on a shared drive are, according to the access level stated directly at the point permissions are granted, allowed to "add, edit, move and delete files".

Yet none of our users who have "Content manager" permission on two shared drives are able to move the content from one shared drive to the other despite the fact that they have both move and delete permissions, which would seem to cover all the bases here! The message they get is "You don't have permission to move files out of ".

If the user has "Manager" permission in the source shared drive, then they can move the content out of that drive. But according to the permissions themselves, this gives them the added ability to "Manage content, members, and settings". In our organization we have certain users that need to be able to move content between share drives, but we do not want them to b e able to change members and settings on the drives!

What are we doing wrong here? How can Content managers move files between shared drives without also being able to manage users?

6 Answers 6


For the moment this is how Google Team Drives is setup. Every Team Drive folder is really a folder for one specific team and about one specific subject. That's why Google restricted moving content between drives for content managers.

Imagine you have Team Drive A with colleagues from team A. And then you have Team Drive B with colleagues from team B. Then there's created a new Team Drive folder for a specific project, here there are colleagues from team A and team B. They only work together on this specific project. You wouldn't want those people to have the rights to move contents from folders A or B to this C folder.

However I understand your question. I guess Google is still developing on this subject, as there are only 3 user roles in Team Drives for now. So I guess we just have to wait for more options on this.


At the time of writing this, the english version of this article from Google Drive Help reads that you need Content Manager access to the source drive. However, the french version of the article reads that you need Administrator access to the source drive (translated):

For a member of the team to move files from a shared drive to another :

  • He or she must be an administrator of the source Shared Drive Drive.
  • He or she must have at minimum the Contributor permission on the target Shared Drive.

But in my case, the Administrator permission was also needed on the target drive.

This table from this article might be more accurate:

Important part of the article

Some setting in our organization might be partly responsible for this but I couldn't find anything. In any case, this is confusing...


Users trying to move a file or folder out of a Shared Drive will see a "You don't have permission to move files out of ..." error unless they have Manager access to the source shared drive. They also need appropriate permissions on the destination Shared Drive.

This is explained at https://support.google.com/a/users/answer/9310154

To move files from one shared drive to another you need Manager access to the source shared drive and Contributor, Content manager, or Manager access to the destination shared drive.

To move folders from one shared drive to another you must have Manager access to both shared drives.

https://support.google.com/a/users/answer/9310249 lists out what each Access Level can do; note that Content Managers may "Can move files and folders within a shared drive" but not "Can move files from one shared drive to another shared drive".

You are correct that someone with "Manager" access can also add and remove people and groups on files, folders, and the Shared Drive itself.

Content Managers are able download a file, delete the version in the Shared Drive, and then re-upload the file in another location if desired.


There is an organizational setting in G Suite that allow content managers to move files between drives. The instructions are here:


In brief:

  1. Log into Google Admin
  2. Go to Apps > G Suite > Settings for Drive and Docs > Migration Settings
  3. Check the box labeled "Allow users to migrate files to shared drives"

To move a file, a content manager must have edit access to the file and also be a member of the destination drive.

  • According to this: support.google.com/a/answer/7374057?hl=en to move a file you need Manager access in the shared drive you are moving from (I guess this is due to the implied changes in the access rights of the file you are moving),
    – joanpau
    Commented Nov 20, 2020 at 9:30

This is dumb or I'm missing something.

People with content management role on Shared Drive A and Shared Drive B can download and delete from A and upload to B.

With GoogleDriveFileStream : cut n' paste


Google documentation now states:

Moving folders into a shared drive can create broad changes to content access. Therefore, only users who have Manager access to the original and target locations can move folders into or between shared drives.

  • This is a comment not an answer
    – Blindspots
    Commented Mar 30, 2023 at 18:47
  • It is an answer because it shows that even years later, a user must have Manager access to the Shared Drives in order to move documents between two Shared Drives. This seems crazy, because with a low permission level of Content Manager, that user can copy the files to another Shared Drive, and then delete the original, so it is the same operation as a Move. Commented Mar 27 at 13:28

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