In this article, you will learn how to change your Google Drive owner. As a Google admin, if you are wondering how to change the owner of the Google Drive Folder, then you are at the right place. Changing the owner on Google Drive means removing the access of the previous owner from Drive folders and transferring it to a new owner.

But what is the aim behind taking this action? Well, it protects the data in the drive from deletion, before a Google account gets deleted forever. As a result, you can save your important drive folders and files to a new owner’s Google Drive, safely. 

Why would you need to change the owner of a Google Drive folder?

As an admin, you should change Google Drive owner in the following situations –

  • If a user has left your organization, you have to delete his/her account. Before deleting the account, you can transfer the ownership of that Google Drive folder to someone else.
  • If a user of your organization gets potential security alerts from Google, in that case, you should transfer their Drive files and folder ownership to another user. 
  • Moreover, you should transfer the ownership of important Drive files and folders before suspending a Google account. 

Points to remember before transferring Google Drive folder ownership

  • You can download your Google data before transferring all Google Drive folders and files to another account.
  • If you’re using a Google Workspace account for school or work, then you can only proceed with a Google Drive owner transfer to someone else within your organization. 

Understanding the implications of changing the owner

  • Though you have transferred the ownership of a Drive folder to someone else, you will still own the files inside the folder. Know more about it from here.
  • You can transfer the ownership of the Google Drive folder or file only to those people with whom you have already shared the folder or file.

Also, after you have sent an ownership transfer request to the pending owner, these changes will happen –

  • The pending owner will get an email notification with the ownership transfer acceptance request. If they accept the request, they will become the new owner of the file/folder. Before this, you remain the owner of that file and folders. 
  • If the pending owner doesn’t accept the request, you will still be the owner.
  • The pending owner becomes automatically upgraded to an Editor if they are not an Editor. 
  • Remember that when the pending owner accepts the ownership transfer request, you will be downgraded to an Editor. Then, the new owner can remove you, too. 

Setting up to change the owner of a Google Drive folder

You have to follow these instructions and steps to change the Google Drive owner -

Prepare those accounts, folders, and files you want to transfer:

  1. First, you have to suspend the present owner's account. This action will help prevent the creation of additional content or the movement of content throughout the ownership transfer process. For further details, check out how to temporarily suspend a user.  
  2. Then ensure that the file hierarchy structure for the previous and new owner remains the same. If the hierarchy structure consists of another owner, you have to create a transfer folder for transferring their files separately. 
  3. Also, inform the new owner to not add any files during the file transfer process.
  4. If you require to transfer any files that are currently present in Trash, you have to move the files from Trash. You have to perform this task because items in the Trash folder can’t be transferred. Once you have deleted the owner, the Trash files will be deleted. 

Note: Sometimes, you may need to transfer the orphaned files that have already lost their parent Google Drive folder/folders. For this, you have to open Google Drive and enter:

  • is: unorganized owner:user_email_address in the search box. transfer the orphaned files that have already lost their parent Google Drive folderfolders
  •  Then, transfer any files that you need to move to the user's My Drive location.transfer any files that you need to move to the user's My Drive location

Transfer Google Drive ownership

  1. First, go to Google Admin Console through your administrator account.Go to Google Admin Console through your administrator account
  2. Then, go to Menu > Apps > Google Workspace > Drive and Docs.Menu  Apps Google Workspace Drive and Docs
  3. Next, click Transfer ownershipNext, click Transfer ownership
  4. After that, enter the email address of the current owner in the Form user field and select that user from the results. Enter the email address of the current owner in the Form user field and select that user from the results.
  5. Enter the email address of the new owner in the To user field and select that user from the results.Enter the email address of the new owner in the To user field and select that user from the results
  6. Next, click Transfer Files. Remember that you may get an error if your new and current owners don’t fulfill the criteria requirement. You can find the criteria Transfer Files
  7. Then, you have to wait for the Google Drive owner transfer process to be completed. After the completion of the process, the admin, the former owner, and the new owner will get the confirmation email. 
  8. Also, if you have suspended the account of the current owner, you can restore the suspended user’s account again. 

Note: Remember that if you have transferred ownership for multiple files and folders simultaneously, it will take some time to show the changes. 

Troubleshooting common issues when changing the owner

Sometimes, you can face trouble when you want to change ownership when the current owner is gone or deceased. In that case, you should follow these solutions –

  • You can go through the Google Drive help page and make someone else the owner of your file
  • Remember that you can only transfer Google-type files to Drive. So, if you want to transfer non-Google files, you have to download your data from the old account and then upload the data to another account. 

Otherwise, you can share the files to the destination Google Drive account. In this account, you can create copies of your files to create separate ownership of those files. Then, once you’ve made the separate ownership, you can drop the share to the original account or delete it. 

Resources for managing Google Drive ownership

You will find these resources for changing your Google Drive owner: Transfer Drive files to a new owner as an adminlearn how to transfer file ownership, etc. 

Adopt a no-code automation solution from Foresight

As a Google Admin, you must handle many repetitive tasks to keep your organization’s user accounts manageable, organized, and secure. However, these tasks are daunting and time-consuming. Thus, Foresight offers no-code automation solutions for Google admins. These automated solutions can streamline your Google Workspace workflows to improve your business's productivity and growth.So, learn the use cases of Foresight to make your Google Workspace workflows simple and time-saving. You can learn the use cases like – Creating Google Workspace Users by Schedule, etc. 


Hopefully, you now understand the Google Drive folder transfer ownership process and its importance. By transferring the ownership, you can protect the files and folders from any security issues. Also, by integrating the solutions from Foresight, you can make your Google Workspace operations more effortless.

So, try a 14-day free trial of this platform and learn to use no-code automation in your regular task schedules.