Google Drive: Transfer Ownership using Team Drive

Google Drive does have a feature to transfer ownership from one user to another within the same domain. This is mainly for the case that a user leave a company, and his/her account is terminated.

However, Google does not allow to transfer ownership across the domain. People keep asking for this feature for many years, and there are workarounds – use drive sync, or use 3rd -party apps.

But, there is a by-product workaround (or solution) for this — Team Drives.

Just create a Team Drive (e.g., “transfer”), add a source account and a destination account as members, then you can move files and folders between the two accounts using the team drive.

Technically, when you move files/folders from My Drive to a Team Drive, Ownership of those files/folders will be changed from the source to the Team Drive. And, when you move files/folders from a Team Drive to My Drive, Google will change ownership from the Team Drive to the destination account.

For files, you can move from/to a Team Drive freely. But, for folders, you need your GSuite admin to set “Move any files and folder to Team Drive” privilege for you.

Note: the moving process from/to a Team Drive is NOT instantaneous – it takes time. So, if you move a large number of files and folders to/from a Team Drive at once, you should WAIT.