I intend to transfer some files and folders from one of my Google account to another.

I used the following tutorial.

The scenario:

  • User A created a folder
  • User A shared the folder with User B and made User B owner
  • User B logged in and can't find the folder in "My Drive"

I didn't want to get emails so I unchecked the send by email (later I also tested with email notifications). Google warn me that I will know about the share only if I log in and see the new document there.

I transferred the ownership and no I can see my other account is its owner.

I even got a new email about the transfer:

[email protected] has made you the owner of the following document:

Test document

This item will now appear in your Drive.

Owners can change sharing settings, and items you own use your storage.

However, when I log in the new account, the document is not there, in "My Drive".

Why? How can I make it appear in the "My Drive" of the new account without sending and clicking email links?


1 Answer 1


Short answer

To make that a shared file or folder appear in "My Drive" of the account to which those items were shared, the account user should move those items to the account "My Drive". Otherwise the items will become orphaned.

Proposed "scenario"

  1. User A created a folder.
  2. User A shared the folder with User B and made User B owner.
  3. User B logged in and can't find the folder in "My Drive".
  4. User B logged in and look for the shared folder in "Shared with me".
  5. User B move the shared folder to "My Unit".
  6. User A transfer the ownership of the folder to User B.


From “Shared with me” - Drive Help

The "Shared with me" view in the left-hand side navigation lets you see the files and folders that other people have shared with you, beginning with the most recent.


Add files to “My Drive”

To make sure you have the most current version of a file in the Drive folder on your Mac or PC, you need to store it in “My Drive” in Google Drive online.

Here’s how to add something to “My Drive” from “Shared with me” in the new Google Drive:

  1. Sign in to drive.google.com.
  2. Click Shared with me in the left-hand side navigation.
  3. Hover over a file and click the Add to My Drive Add to My Drive icon. The files you chose will automatically sync to the Google Drive folder on your computer.

From Find your files - Docs editors Help


If an item in Google Drive loses all of its parent folders, it becomes an orphan. The item still exists, but it may be a little harder to find.

How does a file become orphaned?

Files are orphaned due to situations related to sharing and permissions. For example:

  1. User A creates folder X in his Drive.
  2. User A shares folder X with user B.
  3. User B creates item Y inside folder X.
  4. User A trashes folder X, and empties his trash.

At this point, item Y becomes orphaned. It was never created inside of user B's My Drive, and its parent folder (folder X) is now gone. Note that item Y is not deleted along with with folder X because user A can't delete user B's file.

To prevent that a file that it's ownership will be transferred become an orphan file, do the following:

  1. User A share the file with User B. Repeat as necessary.
  2. User B add the shared files to "My Unit" or any folder beneath it.
  3. User A transfer the ownership of the files to User B.
  • I get the situation but in my case there are no deleted folders (and I also tested with multiple types (documents, folders etc.)
    – Nestor
    Commented Jun 18, 2015 at 11:55
  • I updated the question to add how to prevent that the files become orphaned for the case exposed in the question. Commented Jun 18, 2015 at 13:55
  • @ Rubén The situation is much simpler: User A creates a folder-> User A shares that folder and makes User B owner -> User B can't find the folder in My Drive. There is no orphanage involved.
    – Nestor
    Commented Jun 18, 2015 at 14:00
  • @Nestor: If you add the steps you are following to the question I will consider to update again my answer :) Commented Jun 18, 2015 at 14:02
  • I added the steps.
    – Nestor
    Commented Jun 22, 2015 at 6:34

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