I have a 100 GB, £1.59/month type of Google Drive account that's attached to a domain name I want to terminate. I'd like to transfer the files stored there to one of my free Google Drive account.

Is it possible, and if so, how?

  • Use the share function and select the free account as the user to share with.
    – Robert
    Feb 26, 2020 at 18:32
  • Thanks @Robert, that will share content on old business account with the new free account. However what happens once the old business account gets terminated, will ownership be automatically transferred to the new free account?
    – drake035
    Feb 26, 2020 at 18:37
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    @Robert if the old account is terminated, the files it owns will be deleted.
    – ahorn
    Feb 28, 2020 at 9:03
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    @drake035 I'm assuming you have Basic G Suite. Please edit your question to clarify that. See gsuite.google.co.uk/pricing.html
    – ahorn
    Feb 28, 2020 at 9:14
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2 Answers 2


You can use Google Takeout to transfer the complete archive of your data to another account.

To move files without downloading and re-uploading :

  • Open the source Google Drive account.
  • Right-click on the file(s) or folder and select Share (or click the Share icon)
  • Type the target account name, click Advanced, under Sharing settings change the permission to "Is Owner", click the blue Send button
  • Log into the target account, click the Shared with me filter on the left sidebar
  • Make a copy of the files inside (cannot copy the folder itself) and move into a new folder
  • Select the files and click on Make a copy
  • Rename the files appropriately and move them into a new folder
  • If required, and after verifying the files, delete them from the source account.
  • Thanks! I'n getting this error though: "Sorry, cannot transfer ownership to [email protected]. Ownership can only be transferred to another user in the same domain as the current owner."
    – drake035
    Feb 26, 2020 at 19:54
  • In that case, you will need to use Google Takeout.
    – harrymc
    Feb 26, 2020 at 20:40
  • The only disadvantage of Google Takeout is that Google Docs are converted into a different format (e.g. Microsoft Office).
    – ahorn
    Feb 28, 2020 at 9:24

From your question, it sounds like you have the Basic G Suite service (see https://gsuite.google.co.uk/pricing.html for the pricing plans). One suggestion to solve your problem is to temporarily upgrade to Business G Suite, so that you can create a Shared Drive, then follow these steps:

  1. Create a Shared Drive, in the G Suite account.
  2. Add the other account to the Shared Drive with Manager or Content Manager access.
  3. Move your files into the Shared Drive from the sending account.
  4. Move the files out of the Shared Drive to the receiving account.

For other readers, if you don't have access to a Shared Drive, my top suggestion is to contact Google Drive support for help (this requires a subscription to Google One), to ask if they can do it.

The main issue is transferring ownership of your files to the new account. If that doesn't happen, the files will still be stored in the old account, and one could accidentally permanently delete them if one isn't aware of that. Simply sharing all your files (which can be done by first pressing Ctrl + A) will not change the ownership, and it is impractical to individually change the ownership on every file. Changing the ownership of a folder doesn't change the ownership of the files inside it.

One (imperfect) way to migrate an account is to:

  1. Sync your files to a computer using a sync client, such as InSync, or Backup and Sync.
  2. Disconnect the sending account from the computer.
  3. Sign in to Backup and Sync with the receiving account, and merge the files on the computer with the receiving account's My Drive. (Note that this will use a lot of data if you have a lot of files.)

Although the ownership of all offline files will migrate, the reason why this is imperfect is that the ownership of Google Docs will not change. You would need to look through all the files that the new account doesn't own (by searching -owner:me at the top of the Google Drive website (note the minus sign)), then change the ownership of your Google Docs from the sending account. This may be feasible if you only have a few Google Docs.

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