New Membership Option for Google Team Drives – Content Manager

In October Google will be adding a new Team Drive member role called Content manager. This new role will become the default role applied to members you add to new or existing Team Drives.

Google Team Drive new membership role, Content manager. Gives users the ability to add, edit, and delete files within a Team Drive. Users can also manage files using Google Drive File Stream. This is what teachers and school administrators have been waiting for to help with the Google Drive organization. #gsuite #teacher #edtech

Since Team Drives were originally rolled out to G Suite users, we have had 4 options to give members access to a Team Drive.

  • Full access – This has been the default role. Members in this role can manage membership. They can also add, edit, and delete files within a Team Drive. Since it is  the default role, this is what most members are given.
  • Edit access – Members with this role could edit all files within a Team Drive, but they cannot move or delete files.
  • Comment access – Members can access the Team Drive and make comments on the files
  • View Access – Members can only read or view the files within the Team Drive

Besides being the default setting, there was a major reason to give members Full Access to a Team Drive. If users use Google Files Stream to sync and/or access their files through a drive letter on their PC, then they could only modify files within File Stream if they had Full access.

Google’s documentation put it this way:

“If you have edit access for a Team Drive (or any files shared within a Team Drive), you can currently only view these files in Drive File Stream. To edit the files, you must access them in Drive on the web.”

This caused many of us to have to give users more rights to a Team Drive then we desired.

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Content Manager – New Team Drive Role

In October, Google will add a 5th option to our list of roles. The new role will be called Content Manager and it will become the new default for membership.

Users with the Content Manager role will be able to edit, move, and delete files, but cannot modify the membership of a particular Team Drive.

Users with this role will also be able to utilize Drive File Steam to it fullest. They will now be able to modify the files rather than just view them.

Google Offering One-Time Role Migration

In an email sent out to Google Admins, Google said:

While there’s no action required on your part, we’re offering a one-time migration of everyone in your organization with Contributor role to become Content managers. Migrating people with Contributor to Content manager gives them additional privileges to reorganize and delete files in the Team Drive. Content managers will have read/write access to files in Drive File Stream. Drive File Stream users with the Contributor role will still need to access Team Drive files on the web to edit them. We recommend Drive File Stream users take advantage of the Content manager role.

Deciding whether or not to take Google up on their offer depends on a few things.

  • Do you have users with the Contributor (edit access) role? If not, you will not benefit from the migration
  • Do your users use Drive File Stream? If so you may want to consider the migration so that they can can edit files while using it.
  • Are you OK with current editors gaining the ability to delete files? This is a pretty big thing to think about.
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The migration offer is an all or none offer for your entire domain. If you opt-in all users who currently have edit access for a particular Team Drive, will be changed to a Content Manager for that Team Drive.


This is what we know so far about the changes coming to Team Drive. I plan to update this post as more information is available as well as when the changes officially happen. Check back for updates.

Thanks for reading and sharing!

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