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How to change ownership of a Google Drive folder or file

Regrettably, I am among the individuals who have collected several Google accounts. I maintain one for subscriptions, newsletters, and other general purposes; one for professional tasks; one for my fictional writing; one for testing online applications; and one — in all honesty, I cannot recall the purpose of that one.

Ordinarily, this is not an issue — except on occasions when I realize I’ve placed a file or folder in an incorrect Drive account. Attempts to resolve this by simply sharing the folder / file with the account I intend to use it with have proven unsatisfactory — for one, it results in the file occupying space in two accounts. Furthermore, if, for instance, I am arranging a gathering and decide to pass the responsibility to a friend, the ability to transfer the content becomes even more crucial.

Nevertheless, it is feasible to alter the ownership of a Google Drive folder or file, and it is not overly challenging — although there are certain considerations. Here’s the process.

Before changing the ownership of a folder or file, it is necessary to first share it with the individual who will eventually assume ownership. This is the simplest phase.

Now, it is time to proceed with the primary task: transferring the responsibility for the content to a different account.

In the drop-down menu, choose Transfer ownership.

As the potential new owner, you will receive an email titled “Invitation to own [file or folder name].” The email will also contain two buttons that will allow you to either accept or decline the ownership, along with a caution that owning the content may utilize the account’s storage.

If for any reason you do not receive the email, you can assume ownership through an alternative method:

As the new owner of the folder, you need to accept ownership.

You will now be designated as the owner of that folder / file, and the previous owner will receive an email indicating your acceptance. (They will also be informed if you decline.)

However, there is one inconvenient drawback: shifting the ownership of the folder will result in the files within the folder still being listed with their original owner. You can simply alter the ownership of each file individually, following the aforementioned instructions — but if you possess numerous files, your best option may be to utilize Google Takeout to export the folder and its files, and subsequently import it into the new account. To do this:

You will be notified once your export is prepared. Subsequently, you can import it into your preferred Drive account. Upon completion, remove it from its original account.

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