Google Drive and Docs Tips
The difference between Add and Move in Google Drive
It's very easy to drag files and folders around in Google Drive, too easy in fact, and dragging items moves them for everyone in your domain... so take care.
In Google Drive users have two main areas where files can be seen - My Drive and Shared with Me (any other files users have access to can be found using search). To move a folder or file from Shared with Me, a user can simply drag it into My Drive, but any files or folders you move, move for everyone. Google does warn you about this, but it's just a small yellow notification box at the top of the page.
In our experience at gAppsTips.com, the best practice for an administrator is to consider folder permissions and encourage users to Add items rather than Move them.
Take a look at this example:
- Michael and John work in Marketing and need to share a Marketing folder
- Michael creates a folder Marketing and adds 3 sub-folders to it (Logos; PR; Case Studies) along with all the relevant files. He then shares the folder with John.
- John wants to see the "Marketing" folder under his own My Drive - he can do this in 2 ways. He can drag the folder to My Drive (a pop up box will show describing this action as "Move") or he can "Add" the folder by ctrl-dragging or clicking the Add to my drive button. At this point it doesn't matter which one he chooses, but he should really choose "Add". It doesn't matter because Marketing is a top level folder so can't really "go" anywhere.
- Let's say though that John is responsible for PR and just wants the PR sub-folder. If he drags the folder into My Drive he actually moves the PR folder from the top level Marketing folder.
- When Michael next checks the Marketing folder the PR folder has "disappeared".
In this example, a quick fix is for John to go to his My Drive and "Add" the PR folder back in to the Marketing folder, but if a lot of users are using "move" it could get very messy. Michael can also stop John from removing anything by giving him "view only" access to the Marketing folder.
Our advice is to consider folder permissions when initially setting up Google Drive and educate users to make use of the "Add to My Drive" button or remember to hold the Ctrl button when dragging files.
What is your experience of using Google Drive so far, have you had any issues, do you think Google should make the warning more obvious, or even reverse the actions, so that dragged files are Added rather than Moved - let us know in the Comments.