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How to Use Google Drive for Collaborating and Sharing Files


Google Drive is a cloud storage service available to all Stanford students, faculty, and staff with full or sponsored SUNet IDs. Learn how it can be used collaboratively for file sharing. How do you find the Contextual Links?

Beginning September 1st, 2024, all Drive spaces (My Drive space and Shared Drives) will have a 50 GB limit. Learn more about this change.

Shared Drives

Shared Drives offer teams and departments a place to store files that are easily accessible via web browsers or mobile apps on iOS and Android devices. They also enable easy file searching.

Your Google Drive and each shared drive you manage can be seen through the admin console, and once a storage limit is reached, it will go into read-only mode until either its free allocation is reduced or more storage space is purchased.

Stanford’s File Security Storage Program employs Google Drive as part of its file security solution to provide similar levels of protection to Oak, GCP, and AWS Glacier storage solutions. They use it to search public files hosted on Google Drive, Box, OneDrive, and Andrew File System servers and select departmental Windows file servers for sensitive information, such as Social Security Numbers or credit card details.

Although a shared drive may provide adequate storage, multiple solutions are advisable for optimal research data management. Many Stanford users find combining Oak, GCP, and AWS Glacier to be most cost-effective and suitable for their individual needs.

Each Google Drive supports up to 400,000 files and folders; any file, folder, or shortcut counts as one item against this limit. A shared drive may contain both individual members and Group members; however, the total number of individuals and Group members combined must not exceed this maximum threshold.

Google Drive’s file-sharing features are designed to facilitate collaboration between teams or department members worldwide. You can add and remove editors, alter permission settings, and set notifications when collaborators make changes. Find the best Authority Backlinks.

Workgroup Integration makes it even easier to create and manage Shared Drives within Stanford Workgroups, automatically adjusting access when members join or leave your Stanford Workgroup; you can manage access entirely within the platform itself.

My Drive

Google Drive can be easily accessed from any computer or mobile device and used to share files with others. Its cloud storage system enables remote working, as it stores all your information safely, while its file-access capabilities provide convenient options when working across platforms.

The drive can be used on PCs, Macs, iOS, and Android devices, and its built-in sync capability allows files and folders to stay consistent across all of them. Furthermore, its document editing tools make creating Word, Excel, and PowerPoint documents online simple; document sharing provides users with simultaneous editing abilities; and version history provides easy retrieval of older versions of files if required.

Using Drive for desktop, your My Drive files can be streamed directly from the cloud. It supports most document types and automatically saves any changes made to files stored in My Drive. Furthermore, Drive can also create and stream Team Drives, which are groups of individual Drive accounts shared among an organization or research project.

As soon as you enter the Stanford Google Drive collection, you will be asked to log in using your SUNet ID and password. After successfully logging in, you will be met with a list of My Drive and Team Drives; simply select any to view their contents or use the clone module to copy files from My Drive (e.g. Yiorgo’s lab TeamDrives) so as to exceed 5TB limit per person; but note these team drives aren’t secure and could potentially be accessed by anyone knowing their link if My Drive files exist on My Drive as My Drive contains My Drive’s contents as My Drive). Best way to find the Classified Profile Links.


Globus is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution that enables end-users to securely transfer data between disparate systems such as desktop computers, laptops, supercomputers, and other cloud/file storage services. Globus features web-based tools that simplify accessing and transferring data; in addition, this system facilitates transfers across firewalls and network address translation (NAT), offering high-performance transfer engines capable of handling large files.

The Globus Google Drive collection gives you access to your Stanford Google account through a Stanford installation of Globus software. In order to use this collection, a full or fully sponsored SUNetID is necessary; once signed in, you’ll be asked for permission by Globus to manage your Stanford Google Drive content before being directed back to the Globus collection.

Globus accounts allow users to link multiple identities. This enables users to access both Stanford accounts and any others from a single interface and select which identities they’d like to display on their Globus homepage as well as link multiple email addresses (for instance, Karl can log into both his Stanford ID as well as Ohio State University and personal accounts via Globus).

If you want to transfer data from Google Drive to another service, it is essential that you fully understand all its restrictions. Your destination might have specific file size limitations, transfer quotas, or bandwidth caps that limit the amount that can be sent during any given period of time.

Globus can only upload and download files from folders with write permissions, does not copy custom metadata or permissions from downloaded files it downloads, and any new incoming files will inherit their parent folder permissions. Furthermore, S3 does not support storing or moving checksum-containing files (requiring an inbound transfer to verify their checksums).

Additionally, users can store High-Risk data in Microsoft OneDrive. If you plan on using this collection, ensure your files can easily be moved and stored on systems with Low —or Moderate-Risk profiles.


Google Drive, part of Google Workspaces, is available to Stanford students, faculty, and staff with fully sponsored SUNet IDs. The service offers web and desktop file synchronization and sharing as well as collaborative tools like Docs, Sheets, and Slides for workflow.

Stanford’s Google Workspace services will transition to a limited storage model in 2018, meaning free space may become more limited, and transfers may take longer than before. University IT is working closely with key stakeholders in preparation for this change and offering guidance about available options.

Stanford hosts many types of storage technologies that differ in terms of capacity, features, and cost. University manages some, while others meet Stanford security and accessibility requirements through third parties. Use our Storage Solutions Comparison Tool to explore options based on your criteria.

To find the cheapest option for yourself, enter your SUNetID and password before selecting a folder where you would like your files stored. After making your selection, click on the information button (circle with an “i”) for more details about their cost—the most cost-effective options are listed first.

You can set permissions on your files and folders to control who can view or access them, as well as make them searchable by anyone at Stanford with a link. By making them searchable, anyone at Stanford with a Google Drive account will also be able to see your content when conducting searches on Google Drive.

Academic researchers across a wide array of domains often struggle to secure and store high-risk data such as Protected Health Information or Social Security Numbers effectively due to differing institutions’ guidelines and regulations. To facilitate its researchers, SRCC collaborated with Google Cloud on Carina, an adaptable high-risk data platform powered by Kubernetes and Anthos, which reduces time to project setup while customizing compute environments according to specific team needs. Flywheel by the VISTA Lab and CNI uses Carina; virtual machines on Google Compute Engine help manage computational workloads while storage at scale, speeding the discovery of patterns in large datasets.

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