If I’ve been shared files by someone and their account is deleted, what happens to the files? I’ve read that the files are also deleted, but is that really true? I’m thinking that when an owner (whose account is functional) deletes a shared file, that shared file can still be accessed by those with whom it is shared. Why then can’t a shared file be accessed by the people it’s shared with even when the owner’s account is deleted?

1 Answer 1


If an owners account is deleted, the files are deleted as well. If an owner deletes a file, the file is deleted for everyone involved. It doesn't make sense for Google to have stagnant files, space costs money in the world of data-centers.

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    I know from experience that when an owner deletes a shared file, the people to whom the file is shared can still access it. Commented Jul 28, 2016 at 6:45
  • In google apps for business you can transfer ownership of all files before deleting the user, which would save the unshared files. I suppose any shared files that someone as opted to save in their own drive would remain there, since that is a copy anyway (right)? But if all you have is the share link to the original, I imagine that link would go dead. Commented Jul 28, 2016 at 18:14
  • @lightweaver Maybe this was true at some point in time. Right now, I made the experience that the shared files from the deleted account vanished from the account, they were shared to, a few minutes after the sharing account was deleted. This is with two personal accounts. Commented Jan 3, 2021 at 18:57

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