How to Transfer Files From One Google Drive Account to Another

Saikat Basu Updated 03-12-2019

Google Drive gives a generous 15GB of free storage. It sounds a lot but let’s remember that this space is shared by your files on Google Drive, Gmail, and Google Photos. So, when you run out of space on one of your Drive accounts, you can transfer files to another.


Most of us have more than one Google Drive account, but Google hasn’t yet given us an easy way to transfer files from one Google Drive to another seamlessly. You have to rely on a workaround to move files from account to another.

If you’re more concerned with how to get files from your computer to your phone, check out this list of the fastest file transfer methods between PCs and mobile devices.

How to Transfer Files Between Google Drive Accounts

If you want to move files from one account to another without downloading and re-uploading them, here’s what you have to do:

  1. Open your primary Google Drive account.
  2. Locate the files or folders you want to move to your secondary Google Drive account.
  3. Right-click on the file or folder and select Share. Or click on the Share icon (marked as “1” in the screenshot).
    Google Drive Share
  4. Type your secondary Google username. Click on Advanced.  Under Sharing settings, change the permission to Is Owner. Hit the blue Send button.
  5. Log into your secondary Google Drive account. Click on the Shared with me filter on the left sidebar to quickly locate the shared folder.
  6. Google Drive won’t allow you make a copy of the folder, but you can make a copy of the files inside it and then move them into a new folder or sub-folder to replicate the hierarchy of the original.
    Google Drive Make a Copy
    Right-click on each file (or select them all) and click on Make a copy. Rename the files appropriately and move them into a new folder.
  7. Go back to the primary account and delete the original folder from your drive and also from its bin.

You can also use Google Takeout to transfer the complete archive of your data to another account.

Note: If you’re going to transfer sensitive files, look into add-on Google Drive encryption tools 3 Useful Tools to Improve Google Drive's Security and Privacy Is Google Drive's integrated encryption enough to keep your private files safe from theft and intrusion? Let's find out. Read More . If you’re looking for other ways to get more out of Google Drive, check out these tools to supercharge your Google Docs, Sheets, and more.


Related topics: Cloud Storage, Collaboration Tools, File Management, Google Drive.

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  1. Violet
    June 17, 2020 at 8:41 am

    Hi, thank you so much for this information. Something that I realized when I was transferring my folder was that you don't actually have to create copies of the individual files. After sharing the folder with my second drive and making that drive the owner, I realized that you can also change your own ownership of the file from your initial drive account that you are transferring the folder from. Anyway, when I changed my first account's ownership type to viewer and my second account's ownership to owner, the folder was automatically put in my drive in my second account and I was able to delete the folder from my first account without affecting the the folder on my second drive. Then, after this I removed my first account from the folder by clicking share and "remove," this way the little icon that appears over the file to show it is a shared file was gone. Just thought I'd share in case it was helpful to somebody

  2. Nefretyty
    June 11, 2020 at 4:54 am

    Hi, thanks for sharing!
    I've tried. After sharing folder with second account, in the second account I move content of the folder (with all subfolders and files inside it) to a new folder. Done. Everything is the same with the old folder. I check the first account, the folder is there but t's empty! Great and fast!

  3. Bob
    April 27, 2020 at 11:16 pm

    My partner and I used to consolidate our Google Drive accounts, was pretty straight forward.

  4. Salina Brett
    January 10, 2020 at 1:17 pm

    Unnecessarily complicated. It's easier and faster to just email the docs from one account to another. Seriously Google - you can do better.

    • Julie A Kowalski
      March 9, 2020 at 5:09 pm

      You are incorrect. I have nearly 100 files I need to move. One step vs. 100 emails much easier. My problem is that there is no "make owner" link available.

    January 3, 2020 at 11:11 pm

    "Click on Advanced. Under Sharing settings, change the permission to Is Owner. Hit the blue Send button."


    In the advanced tab, there is no "sharing" settings! It is not possible, therefore, to "change the permission to Is Owner'"!

    Moreover, the blue button says "Done," not "Send"!!

    This is the world we live in today. Incompetence abounds.

    • Phil Morton
      July 2, 2020 at 2:29 pm

      Ooo that's a bit harsh Patricia! I hope you have done your research and haven't condemned an innocent man.

      I think you probably should have said;

      "This is the world we live in today. Tech companies feel a need to change everything every five minutes."

  6. SolidSound
    September 29, 2019 at 10:17 am

    Transferring to another Google Drive doesn't work with the archive method, it just selects the one your archiving from when you choose Drive as a target. It puts a copy of all the stuff on your Drive on the same Drive. Brilliant.

  7. bulent kaya
    September 3, 2019 at 9:11 am

    It is not necessary to copy files in other account's root. Just give the ownership of the shared folder. Then, change the share permissions with the other account. This setting will change the ownership and delete the files/folders from the original moved location by default...

  8. NURIN
    August 14, 2019 at 3:17 pm

    good!!!! I LOVE IT when i can send to my another account.

  9. Gama
    August 4, 2019 at 6:48 am

    Hi, thank you for the share, i’ve been following all and it’s been working and I recognize the second account drive space is increasing when i moved the copied files, but then when i delete the original files from the first account, the drive space wasn’t decreasing although the files is gone (can’t find them anywhere also already check at the trash on both account), have you experienced this? I feel a little confused, hope to find a way about this :)

  10. HP
    June 25, 2019 at 4:56 pm

    Why do I need to make myself the Owner of the docs before I share them with my secondary Drive? If I'm making a copy in my secondary (personal) Drive won't I have full access to change the docs in the future in my personal Drive? Leaving myself as the Owner of all the docs for an organization I am moving on from doesn't seem like a necessary step + I believe they will delete me as owner once I leave. Thanks for your help!

    • Julie A Kowalski
      March 9, 2020 at 5:29 pm

      You are likely already the owner of the files you're giving permission to. Once you share with the new email(s) by inserting their names in the invite and pressing "send", you can then open the share box again and select the new address as owner. This removes you from owner and ensures that someone else is "in charge" of the files.

      I was confused at first because when I looked for the "make owner" option, it did not come up. First you have to share the files with the new owner and then you can crown them "owner".

  11. Baz Cuda
    May 8, 2019 at 3:34 pm

    Further to my previous comment, in investigating this issue further, I've just realized that Google Drive (both the app and the website) don't allow typical GD and Google One users to make copies of folders or files within their own Drive at all, let alone ones that have been shared to them. I'd never noticed that before. I don't actually use Google's tools for day to day work on my Drive because as file management software goes, the tools they provide for GD suck. I use ES File Explorer Pro on my Android devices as it presents and operates on all my cloud storage accounts as if they were your average local disk know, like proper file management software's supposed to ?

  12. Baz Cuda
    May 8, 2019 at 2:57 pm

    This only works within organizations running GSuite. For typical customers and users of Google Drive and Google One (like me) the Make a Copy option isn't there: not in the Drive app, not in the desktop version of the website. You can only Move the contents of a shared folder to a folder in your Drive, in which case the original account retains ownership.

    Moreover, if an account transfers ownership of a folder to another account, the ownership of all the subfolders and files within that folder remain under the ownership of the original account. That's just plain stupid. If I want to transfer ownership of a folder, I am of course referring to the contents of that folder.

    And finally, just to add insult to injury, I can only transfer the ownership of folders; files always remain owned by the original account and the Is Owner option only appears for folders, never for files.

    I swear Google have been recruiting Microsoft employees again !!

    • Julie A Kowalski
      March 9, 2020 at 5:32 pm

      I was able to do this with one extra step. Add the new "owner" via the link for sharing files. Return to the "share file" and you should see the new owner's address listed there. Once they are on your share list, you can make them the owner. I do not have Gsuite.

  13. Cathrin Wharton
    May 6, 2019 at 9:47 am

    Thanks for the advice, I have found that you can only delegate the file ownership to another user in the same domain, so moving files from a domain you own to a stand-alone gmail account, for example, is not possible. (I have encountered this problem because a .eu domain I own is about to be revoked once the UK leaves the EU so I want to transfer to a new Google Drive account). I'll have to research a bit more.

  14. Eric
    April 15, 2019 at 8:27 pm

    This appears to work if you are changing ownership to an individual within your domain.

  15. Venkatrao Makkena
    March 18, 2019 at 9:36 am

    thank you. it working fine for me.

  16. amy
    February 25, 2019 at 8:17 pm

    So helpful! Thanks!

  17. ckshah
    February 18, 2019 at 1:56 pm

    good tip.

  18. Ivan Ferrer
    November 9, 2018 at 10:52 am

    Thank you very much!
    Instead of making copies and renaming the 'copy of...', it worked for me (nov-2018) using "Move to... " with all the folder content selected, to a new folder I created.
    At that moment I've seen some Gigabytes increasing in my 'origin' Drive and decreasing in the 'destination' :) (hitting F5)
    I had my folder shared with people, so I've had to send the new link to them.

  19. Ariel
    October 23, 2018 at 4:03 pm

    This was a very helpful article. In fact it was the only one I Googled that actually worked without issues.

    I have one helpful feedback detail I would like to share with others though: In order to keep the activity of creating copies, moving copies, renaming copies etc. to the realm of the "cloud" I found it necessary to temporarily disconnect my physical Google Drive (the physical HDD that my original source files live on) from the PC while I used my browser connected to both of the cloud versions of my Google Drives to implement the steps mentioned in this article. If not, whenever I made copies using the browser to the cloud version of my source Google Drive, my physical source drive would begin downloading those copies as soon as I made them, adding unnecessary space and work to that HDD, even though I was going to delete or move those copies in the end.

  20. rockspider
    October 18, 2018 at 1:44 pm

    Thank you!

  21. Cindy Farmer
    August 8, 2018 at 8:39 pm

    If the shared files had links that had been shared in other places, are those links the same? Will someone with a link to say an agenda that was in the original drive be able to still use that link to get to the file in the new drive?

  22. Mike Carrington
    August 1, 2018 at 10:52 am

    The "is owner" option is not available..

    • rockspider
      October 18, 2018 at 1:53 pm

      In step 4, after typing your secondary Google username/email address, you first need to click the "Send" (or "OK") button so that the file or folder is shared. After clicking Send (or OK), the secondary username will appear in the "Who has access" list, then you will be able to see the "Is Owner" option.

      • Michael Carrington
        October 18, 2018 at 3:44 pm

        That's great! Thank you.

      • amber
        February 15, 2019 at 9:04 pm

        I was still unable to see the "Is Owner" option.