Good Practice

Use a Departmental Account


How do I ensure important department documents in Google Drive do not get accidentally deleted or go missing, especially when someone leaves the University or moves to another department?


One way to ensure documents are not accidentally deleted or go missing is by using a departmental account and transferring ownership of all important department documents to that account.

Only the document owner can permanently delete a file or folder, and having documents owned by a central UMN account will mean when a staff member or student employee leaves the University or changes departments, important department documents will not go with them.

Request a Departmental Account

Departmental email accounts (Internet ID and email) can be created for any official U of M organization (department, division, laboratory, office, committee, research project, etc.) or function (for example, the webmaster or front desk of a department). Departmental accounts should be used only for official organization business and should be monitored on a regular basis by an organizational contact person.

Requests should come from the organization/function's leader (director, supervisor, administrator, office manager, etc.).

Change a Document’s Owner in Google

Google Documents can have many editors and viewers, but only one owner at a time. By default, the creator of a document is the owner, but document ownership can be transferred to another user or to a departmental account.

Understand how Deleting Files in Google Drive Works

To remove a file from your Drive, you can put it in your trash. Your file will stay there until you empty your trash. If you're the owner of the file, others can view it until you permanently delete the file. If you're not the owner, others (the document owner and those with whom the document has been shared) can see the file even if you empty your trash.

Default Sitewide