Manage Google data owned by those who've left IU

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When people leave IU, their Google at IU accounts are moved to a "separated" status. These accounts must be removed from our Google at IU instance to get under the new storage limits set by Google; see About changes to storage in Google at IU. The information here outlines the process for removing these accounts, as well as the process for transferring ownership of data in Google to another person's account before deletion.

Process to remove separated people

On August 15, 2022, the quota for all separated accounts was set to zero bytes of data. After this date, any newly separated accounts continue to be transferred to separated status and also have their data quota set to zero. On November 1, 2022, all data from those who have been separated from IU for 30 days or longer were deleted.

This process will continue into the future; all separated accounts will be deleted from Google at IU after 30 days of separation has passed.

Identify data owned by those who've left IU

Below are two possible ways to determine whether data you routinely use is owned by a separated person:

  • You may open a file in Google and see this banner:
    This file is view-only. No edits can be made to this file. Contact file owner for details.

    This means the owner has a quota set on their files in Google. Select Share on the file to confirm who the owner is. If that person is separated from IU, follow the process below to transfer ownership and unlock the file.

  • Some files may not be part of your regular work process, but are owned by a separated account. To ensure that files you haven't accessed recently are not deleted:
    1. Log into Google at IU My Drive via
    2. Hover over the toggle icon in the search bar that says "Search options" and select it.
    3. Select the owner drop-down menu and choose Specific person.
    4. Next to "Specific person", enter the name or email address of the separated person. On the lower right, select Search.

      You will then see a list of all files you have access to that are owned by that separated person.

  • For data that is shared with the internet or that is internal to everyone at IU, but not specific individuals, follow the non-collaboration process of transferring ownership outlined below.

Transfer ownership of data

Taking ownership of a separated individual's files includes all of them. As owner, you can then handle them as seems best.

If you are a collaborator: Any current IU faculty or staff member who is a collaborator on Google files owned by a separated IU user account can request a transfer of ownership of those files. You must have direct collaboration access in Google to the file to follow this transfer process. To start the transfer process, email the Google at IU administrators at, including:

  • IU username or email address of the separated IU user
  • IU username or email address of the user that need to take on ownership of orphaned Google data
  • Requests will be processed at the end of business day every Friday on a weekly basis

If you are not a collaborator: Current IU faculty and staff who do not have collaborative access to orphaned files in Google should request a transfer of ownership by emailing, including:

  • IU username or email address of the separated IU individual
  • IU username or email address of the person who will take on ownership of the orphaned Google data
  • Google links to the files and/or folders in Google for which you would like to transfer ownership
  • Justification indicating why you need to transfer ownership of this data

This is document bhvl in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2024-05-17 16:04:09.