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I'm using Google Drive with my organisation account (i.e. x@y.com not x@gmail.com). I'm trying to transfer all my files to my personal account (x@gmail.com). However, when I go to share everything and change the owner, it comes up with the following warning:

Sorry, cannot transfer ownership to x@gmail. Ownership can only be transferred to another user in the same domain as the current owner.

How can I copy over the files so that they are owned by my personal account? I do not want to have to download them first and upload them again, as I have some files that are linked to apps (i.e. non-downloadable). This post suggests using Google Takeout, which my organisation restricts access to, so that's not an option either.

Update (7 Oct 2014)

I am able to copy regular files by option dragging them and following Tzunki's method. However I am not able to copy over my Coggle files, and I presume this applies to other google drive apps also.

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Unfortunately, Google does not allow you to transfer ownership between domains (and it considers gmail.com its own domain as well). There are ways to create copies (and alternative ways), but to answer the question of accomplishing a true transfer across domains, you can't.

I strongly desire to have Google invalidate this answer (or some clever hacker find a workaround) at some point in the future, and when that happens, I will gladly delete this answer.

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  • 1
    sadly your ans is still valid
    – Luk Aron
    Jun 23 '21 at 19:00
  • There is a way to transfer files between domains .... but you need to use an intermediary Google Shared Drive as a middle man - tabgeeks.com/tabgeeks-blog/… Jul 14 '21 at 2:38
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This solution works with standard Google files, and with Google Drive desktop web view:

In your organization account, select the files that you want to copy, click "Share", and give view or edit permissions to your personal account.

Then enter to your personal account, go to "Activity", and in the files you want to copy click on "More actions (the button with 3 dots in vertical) > Make a copy". A copy of the files will be created in your personal account Drive, with owner permissions.

Finally you can return to your organization account and safely delete the copied files.

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  • Unfortunately the option of "Make a copy" is missing also :/ Oct 7 '14 at 2:19
  • I found that I can copy files by Option+Dragging them! However this only works with standard files e.g. spreadsheets, zips, images. It does not work with my Coggle files. Any suggestions? Oct 7 '14 at 2:27
  • That's true! I've been trying with a Coogle file and it cannot be copied from a shared user, I don't know why. Let's see if someone else has a solution :)
    – Tzunki
    Oct 11 '14 at 16:13
  • 3
    Make a copy works only for files, one at a time, not for one or more directories.
    – Asclepius
    Apr 14 '15 at 0:00
  • See to my answer for copying a folder. Sep 30 '20 at 6:53
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I'm not sure if you need an enterprise account for this but if you can set up Shared Drives, they can be used as an intermediary to fully transfer ownership of files. This works best for low to medium numbers of files unless you're willing to write a script for it since it seems to have problems with folders or very large amounts of files.

  1. Set up a Shared Drive in one of the accounts.
  2. Give both accounts top level access to the shared drive.
  3. Move the files from the source account into the shared drive (you'll get permission warnings). It doesn't work for me with folders, though.
  4. In the recipient drive, move them out of the shared folder and into your local space.

I'd do this carefully since it seems to have some bugs but ultimately it gets the job done.

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Share the folder to the second account and use the chrome extension Copy Folder to make a separate copy with the ownership. This extension recursively copies all the files. To add to this, it also allows the copying of the permissions.

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  • This is the ONLY correct answer for a folder.
    – greatvovan
    Jul 21 '21 at 0:24
  • I would also recommend to put all the content in one top-folder before copying, this way you will need to run the script only once. Also check copy logs as the extension is known for some bugs. Small fraction of files may fail, and you'll need to copy them manually.
    – greatvovan
    Jul 21 '21 at 0:27
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Well, 7 years old post. I was searching for a way to solve this problem as I had to keep the link of the file the same.

The solution that I found is to create a shared drive (Not just a shared folder. Click here for more).

  1. Create a shared drive in your organization. Sadly personal accounts can not create these sort of drives, not every organization has the right to do this (Click here for more).
    • You might also look into making an organization yourself that has the right to make shared drives. (In 2021 it requires Business Standard and it is $12USD/user/month currently. You can cancel it, but one payment is neccessary. Click here for more). With that you can bypass your organization admins too, as you will be the one to set the rules for that.
  2. Move your files into the shared drive with your organization account.
  3. Give manager access for your personal account.
  4. Move your files into your drive with your personal account.

With that you can transfer those files into your account and keep the link too.

This only works if you can create shared drives or your admin can and willing to help you with that OR if you are willing to pay.

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The best workaround I found, especially for a folder with a large number of files, is to download and re-upload the folder.

Here is how you can do it.

  • Download the folder from your organization's Google drive. The folder will download as a zipped file.
  • Once on your computer, you can unzip it, and simply throw the resulting folder with the same name back into your personal Google drive. It will upload and all the files and subfolders will be owned by you.

The only downside of this is that you will lose the timestamp for your files, but you will have full ownership of your files.

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  • And it will stress the hard drive and/or require local free space which kinda defeats the purpose of having google drive in the first place
    – pete
    Jan 23 '20 at 6:56

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