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I created a Google Drive folder with two nested subfolders and 10-12 documents and shared the folder with someone with a Google Account hooked up to a Yahoo email address. When my collaborator opens their Google Drive, they see all the files (flattened), but neither the folder nor the subfolders show up for them under "Folders Shared with Me." When I had my collaborator create a @gmail.com address and shared the folder with that Account, the folder showed up.

Is this:

  • A known/intended issue?
  • A bug that I should report to Google?
  • Something that I can work around?

2 Answers 2

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This isn't an error. This is how Google Drive is setup.

It isn't possible to share folders through Google Drive, I don't know their reasoning for it, but I do know it's impossible.

I think their reasoning is that you may have a different organizational system from the person you're sharing items with, so folders are personal settings. There may be a programming reason for this as well that could involve how their databases are setup, but I don't know.

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This is an old question, but after 13 years, how Google Drive permission propagation works is still confusing.

One of the relatively recent changes, announced in 2022 that will impact how nested folders and the sharing settings of folder contents is that Google Drive used to allow having files and folders in multiple locations. This is being replaced by file and folder shortcuts.

Documentation

Depending on your mindset, you might find the docs with a specific target audience than those for a different one.

End Users

Developers


From Simplifying Google Drive’s folder structure and sharing models

Beginning Sept. 30, 2020, it will no longer be possible to place an item in multiple folders;

...

After Sept. 30, 2020, we will begin migrating all items in Drive to a one-parent state. Any other parent-child relationships will become shortcuts in the former parent folders. We will adaptively select the most suitable parent to keep, based on the hierarchy's properties.

On More details on migration of existing multiple-location Drive files to shortcuts and other improvements for shortcuts Tuesday, December 7, 2021, Google announced that the migration from multi-location to file and folder shortcuts would happen in 2022 for Google Workspaces account and consumer accounts.

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