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I'd like to remove a specific user from having sharing permissions in a specific tree in our company's Google Drive. I have found that I can select all of the folders at a specific level and remove them from those folders, but that change doesn't propagate down to the subfolders.

Is there any way to do this?

Looking at the code in How do I reset permissions for Google Drive documents in all subfolders?, it resets all permissions (many users) recursively, which is close but not what I'm looking for. I need to remove one specific user who has left the organization, and resetting completely would screw up the complex permissions we already established. It's possible that script could potentially be modified to just remove one specific user.

Is there an easier solution?

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Short answer

Yes, there is an easier solution but you will need help of the Google Apps Administrator

Explanation

If the user left the organization, ask for help to the Google Apps administrator to do the following:

  1. Transfer ownership of Google Drive documents
    • In order to prevent that an important asset become lost, transfer the ownership of the files owned by the leaving user. Also other elements like shared calendars should be transferred.
  2. Delete user account
    • Once an account is deleted it will be removed from the file sharing settings.

References

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    What if you are using a personal Google account and don't have an apps administrator? – Chloe Aug 7 '17 at 15:34
  • @Chloe: That is another question. Anyway you should edit each element used to set the sharing settings manually. If you used a google group or a folder this could be a lot easier than if you shared the files individually. An alternative is to use Google Apps Script or an add-on. – Rubén Aug 7 '17 at 15:51
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    You can't edit each element manually. There are thousands. You can't scroll and select all files either, because the web page locks up. I do share the folder and unshare it, but it shares recursively and doesn't unshare recursively. The shares are sticky to the files. – Chloe Aug 8 '17 at 17:25
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The answer is no.

Google does not have the tools for and refer to 3rd party scripts. They confirmed to me that they do not offer this much needed admin functionality to better manage permissions. In our case our Google Drive has become unmanageable now.

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