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Transfer File or Folder Ownership from One Gmail Account to Another

Transfer file ownership


You’re the owner by default for files that you create in Docs, Sheets, and Slides, or upload into Drive. But, you can transfer ownership of your Google files (Docs, Sheets, and Slides) and folders to anyone you'd like, as long as that person has an email address.

Note: If you use Google apps through work, you can't transfer ownership to or from someone else who is outside of your domain using the process. Scroll down below to see another way to do the same. 

How to change owners

You can change who owns a file or folder in Drive.

  1. Go to Drive or a Docs, Sheets, or Slides home screen.
  2. Open the sharing box:
    • In Drive: Select the file or folder and click the share icon at the top .
    • In a Docs, Sheets, or Slides home screen: Open the file and click Share in the top-right corner of the file
  3. If the new owner already has edit access, skip to Step 4. Otherwise, follow these steps:
    1. Type the email address of the new owner in the "Invite people" field
    2. Click Share & save.
  4. Click Advanced in the bottom-right corner of the sharing box.
  5. Click the drop-down menu next to the name of the person you want to own the file or folder.
  6. Select Is owner.
  7. Click Done.

You'll have access to the file as an editor after you transfer ownership.

Things to consider before you transfer ownership

  • The things you’ll no longer be able to do once you transfer file ownership include:
    • Remove others from the file
    • Share with as many people as you like
    • Change visibility options
    • Allow your collaborators to change access privileges for others
    • Permanently delete something from Google Drive. After it’s deleted, no one can access it, including those it was shared with.
  • When you transfer ownership of a folder from yourself to another person, the new owner of the folder becomes an editor of the files in that folder. The original owners of the files remain the owners, and if the original owner deletes a file, it'll be removed from the folder.
  • If your current Google Account is being deleted, transfer ownership of your files, folders, and Google files to another active account. Once the original account is deleted, you won’t be able to recover any of your files or folders from it.


STEP 1As silly as it is, you can’t change the ownership of the documents within Google Drive (at least between different domains), but you can download them to your computer using Google Drive App, this  effectively strips the permissions. You then need to share all the documents on your old account with your new account. 

To make this entire transfer process easier, we strongly recommend making a folder called “Migration”.

STEP 2 Select  everything you want to transfer and move it into that migration folder. Share the Migration folder with your new account.

Step 3Install the Google Drive desktop app on your computer. Log in with your new account. This step is critical Don’t log in with the old account that holds the documents you want to migrate, log in with thenew account you want to have ownership of the old documents.

Click on Preferences and select the Migration folder to be synced with your computer. Once you do this wait for all the files to be synced to your computer. This may take a while if you have a lot of files to be copies. 

Step 4Open up the folder on your computer. You’ll see the “Migration” folder. Right click on it. Copy it  and Paste it (using Ctrl+V) to  make a copy (that your new account will have full ownership of). 

Step5: You need to wait for the folder to sync with your online drive account.  You don’t need the Google Drive desktop app once you’ve copied all your migration files; feel free to uninstall it if you don’t plan on using it as part of your Google Drive workflow in the future.

You can rename the copied folder and re-organize it once you have its owner ship in the new account.