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IT Help and Support

University Information Services

30 October 2023

UIS is starting to remove University Google Workspace accounts for users who left the University more than 2 years ago. This helps us maintain system performance and security, as well as reduce our usage of storage space to meet Google’s quota. 

When a user leaves the University, their account is flagged as cancelled in Lookup and their Google Workspace account is suspended. Currently, their My Drive files and folders remain accessible to people they've been shared with.

In March we started to withdraw sharing permissions for My Drive files and folders 6 months from the user’s cancellation date in Lookup and will remove the accounts 2 years from the Lookup cancellation date.

On Monday 6 November, following the removal of sharing permissions in March, we will remove the first batch of accounts cancelled more than 2 years ago to address the initial backlog. 

How it affects you  

Files or folders that these users shared with you from their individual Google Drive will no longer be available after their accounts have been removed. 

We’ll switch off sharing from accounts 6 months after the account owner has left the University to give everyone an opportunity to recognise files they regularly use that are affected before they are removed. For example, we switched off file sharing for the first batch of users in March. 

If you need to retain a copy of a file shared with you by someone who has left, we can restore access to it if you contact us before the removal date (Friday 3 November for the first batch of accounts). We won’t be able to recover files after we’ve removed their Google Workspace account. 

Files or folders that these users added to shared drives will not be affected. These files are owned collectively by the team. 

Check and recover files shared with you by people who have left 

Please check the files shared with you to see if you need to keep any files shared with you by users who have left the University. 

  1. You can find files and folders shared with you in Google Drive by selecting “Shared with me” from the left-hand menu. You’ll see the: 

    - name and type of the file or folder shared with you  
    - who the file or folder was shared by – this is the owner 
    - the date it was shared.  

  2. You should make a copy or download the file or folder if the owner has left the University. You can check a file owner’s status in Lookup. If you can’t download the file, contact the UIS Service Desk and provide the owner’s name and a link to the file. 
  3. Save the file or folder to a shared drive if team access is required.  


Learn more about Google Workspace and read guidance on what classifications of data can be stored on Google Drive

If you need help, please email the UIS Service Desk.  

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