Google Shared Drives

What is Shared Drive?

Shared Drive is Google’s built-in system to handle centrally managed storage. These are storage spaces managed by the College that allows departments, long-term projects, research labs, and special interest groups to have a space to store documents that will remain available to the members, even after the original creator of the documents leaves the college.

Why have a Shared Drive?

When a Swarthmore user leaves the college their account is deprovisioned, which includes the process of deleting files they created/own in Drive. However, files saved in a Shared Drive will not be deleted with the rest of that user’s documents. This allows departments, projects, and groups to gather and share relevant documents without worrying about those documents being deleted when members leave.

How does Shared Drive work?

Shared Drive is a college-managed library that is intended to be used for departmental documents and longer-term projects, research/labs, and special interest groups where members may change but the documents need to remain. Since Shared Drive is built into Google Drive, documents within these Drives will function just like documents saved within your personal Swarthmore Drive space. You will be able to use all of the same functions available to you for files and folders and you will not need to install any additional extensions or be required to use a specific browser.

Where are Shared Drives located?

If you have Shared Drives you will find them in the left-hand navigation list directly under your "My Drive". You can click the arrow to the left to expand your list of Shared Drives in that navigation, or you can click on the Shared Drives text and open your list of Shared Drives in the main viewing space on Drive. If you are not currently a member of any Shared Drives, this may not appear in your left-hand navigation.

How do I request a Shared Drive?

You can request a Shared Drive space by filling out this form on our ITS Support Portal (login required): The libraries will be created with a department/group identifying set of initials in brackets and a short descriptive name for the function of the folder - for example: [ITS] Support Services, [OSE] Student Group Name, or [BIO] Research Project Name. You can provide this information on the request form.

Ways you can contact ITS or find information:

ITS Support Portal:
Phone: x4357 (HELP) or 610-328-8513
Check out our remote resources at
Check our homepage at