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Google Drive

Google Drive logo.


Use Google Drive to create, share, and edit documents, spreadsheets, and presentations simultaneously with others. All active Pepperdine University accounts have online cloud storage shared among all Google Workspace services (Google Mail, Drive, Calendar).

Pepperdine Google Workspace should be used for University teaching, learning, research, and business purposes only; do not use a personal Google account for University business, and do not store personal content on your University Google account.

Google Drive Policy and Standards

While Google Drive is a powerful tool for storage and collaboration, please be aware that it is not approved for the storage of Restricted data. Also, when sharing any Confidential data, you may only share it with specific individuals or groups (not made public). You may learn more below:

Google Storage Limits


50 GB

Faculty and Staff

200 GB*

Shared Drives


See "What Happens If I Exceed My Limit?" below.

*Starting limits. Departments and schools may purchase additional space for Faculty/Staff users, delegate inboxes, and Shared Drives. Student limits are fixed. Shared Drive limits will be announced in 2024.

Learn more about Storage Changes at Pepperdine.


Using Google Drive

  Getting Started with Google Drive

Before You Begin

A few reminders:

  • Pepperdine Google Drive is intended for University-related content only. Do not store personal files, media, and other data.
  • You cannot store Restricted information within Google Workspace. Please review our Google Drive Policy and Standards listed above.
  • Only store University data on University-approved services. You may not use a personal Google account to store University data or place University data on unauthorized, third-party services.

How to Access Pepperdine Google Drive

Access couldn't be easier!

  1. Visit
  2. Log in with your Pepperdine credentials.
  3. That's it!

Learn How to Use It

Visit the following resources to learn more about Google Drive and get familiar with the basics:


  Shared Drives

What is it?

Google "Shared Drives" are shared spaces where teams can easily store, search, and access their files anywhere. Unlike files in your personal "My Drive," files in Shared Drives do not belong to an individual. Even if members leave the University, the files stay so your team can continue to share and work together. Overall, Shared Drives offer great cross-platform collaboration options, better search, version management features, and more.

Before You Begin

Remember, you cannot store Restricted information within Google Workspace, even in departmental Shared Drives. Please review our Google Drive Policy and Standards listed above.

Reasons to Use Shared Drives

Shared Drives are great for the following:

  • Department and team document storage. If your team or department has used S: or U: Drives in the past, consider using Shared Drives to centrally store team handbooks, documentation, reports, and other work-related content. 
  • Cross-departmental or special projects. Projects that span multiple areas of the University can collaborate together, share information, and centrally store materials.
  • Research projects. Whether led by students or faculty, any University research projects can be centrally stored and continue with the University even when some participants may graduate or leave over time.

Learn How to Use It


  Drive for Desktop

What is it?

Google "Drive for Desktop" is an application that you can install on your computer to access, manage, and sync documents between your computer and Google Drive. Available for Mac and PC, it can be helpful for storing content in the cloud and still accessing them quickly from your computer.

Before You Begin

Remember, you cannot store Restricted information within Google Workspace. Please review our Google Drive Policy and Standards listed above.

Benefits of Drive for Desktop

  • Save Hard Drive Space: Running out of room on your computer's hard drive? Afraid of what might happen if your hard drive fails? Drive for Desktop allows you to store and access all of your University-related work files in Google Drive. When you need to work with a file, Drive for Desktop streams the content to your computer so you can work with it on demand. This way, you and your team can spend less time waiting for files to sync, experience fewer worries about running out of disk space, and be more productive.
  • Offline Access: Worried about what happens when you don't have internet access? You can select which files or folders you want to access offline at any time by mirroring them (that is, keeping copies on the cloud and on your computer).
  • Work with Any File: Drive for Desktop allows you to work with all the tools and apps that you're used to, like Microsoft Office Word or Adobe Photoshop. Drive for Desktop will stream the files to your computer. You'll use the app on your system to edit the content, and all changes and updates are streamed back to the cloud and saved automatically. 


Learn How to Use It



Check Your Google Storage

In Google Drive, it's easy to see how much storage you are using and the top files consuming the most space. Regularly review your storage footprint so you can continue to learn, teach, research, and work effectively.

  How to Check Your Google Drive Storage
  1. On a computer, go to
  2. Select "Storage" in the left menu.
  3. Review your overall storage usage (Drive, Mail, etc.).
  4. By default, your Drive files will be listed in descending order by size (largest to smallest).
    • Use the "Type" button to filter by file type, such as Documents, Videos, etc.
    • Use the "Modified" button to filter by date modified. The "Custom date range" option will allow you to search for older files.
    • Use the "Storage used" or arrow to change the sort order (ascending or descending).
    • Use the top "i" icon (next to "Backups") to expand/collapse the "View item details" pane.
    • Note: Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, Jamboard, and Drawings files you created before June 1, 2021 that have not been edited after June 1, 2021 will not count against your limit. Once you edit these older files, however, their file size will update and count against your limit.
  5. Strategies to review your files:

    • Are there duplicate files? Review the file names and look for files with identical names. Keep the definitive copy and delete any duplicates.

    • Are there outdated files? Are older files still needed, or can they be deleted? Use the "Modified" filter to scan for older files.

    • Are multiple versions needed? Some files can have multiple versions or drafts (e.g. File_v1, File_v2). Keep the final version or relevant drafts and delete the excess copies.

    • Are personal files present by mistake? Pepperdine Google Drive is for University-related business only. Relocate any personal files to your personal cloud storage and permanently delete them from Pepperdine Google Drive.

Review the Storage Best Practices below to learn other strategies and tips to better manage your Pepperdine Google storage.

  How to Check a Shared Drive's Storage Space 
  1. On a computer, go to
  2. Select "Shared drives" in the left menu.
  3. If the right side "View details" pane is not displayed, select the "i" icon at the top right (near "Hidden shared drives").
  4. Select the Shared Drive in question. (You may also double-click and go to the shared drive.)
  5. In the right "Details" sidebar, locate the "Storage used" heading and review the amount.

Schools and departments may purchase more space if a Shared Drive has exceeded its storage limit.



Storage Best Practices

  Digital Data Habits

We all know that a good diet and regular exercise lead to a healthier lifestyle. The same applies to our digital lives and the data we store.

Email Habits

  1. Delete spam and other unwanted messages ("Archive" does not delete or reduce storage; never forward suspicious messages)
  2. Unsubscribe or opt out of unnecessary lists or services from legitimate senders (Stop the email from continuing to fill your inbox)
  3. Never email Restricted information through Gmail (Review the Google Workspace Information Storage Policy and consider Secure Attachments if appropriate)
  4. Check the sender and actual website before acting (Develop anti-phishing skills to protect yourself and University data)
  5. Consider Drive Sharing over File Attachments (If you send an uploaded 10MB PDF file to 20 people at Pepperdine, you sent 20 copies of the same file (200MB); be efficient and link to Drive when appropriate (20MB vs. 200MB); consider whether Secure Attachments is a better option, too)

Drive Habits

  1. Know the difference between My Drive and Shared Drives (Place personal work data in "My Drive" and store team- or project-based data in "Shared Drives")
  2. Check your Drive Storage regularly (See "Check Your Google Drive Storage Usage" below)
  3. Identify and delete duplicate files (Keep the definitive or final copy; delete unnecessary copies or versions)
  4. Identify and delete outdated data (Keep current and relevant information; delete data that is no longer accurate or necessary)
  5. Never store Restricted Information on Google Workspace (Review the Google Workspace Information Storage Policy)
  6. Share content appropriately (Check sharing settings and update when team or group membership changes; any Confidential information must be restricted to specific people or groups only; refer to Google Workspace Information Security Standards)
  7. Only Store University data on University-approved storage services. You may not use personal Google accounts or unauthorized third-party services to store University data.
  8. Remove any personal, non-University related content (Pepperdine Google Drive is intended for University learning, teaching, work, and research; store your personal or non-University or non-job-related content on your own personal cloud storage solution)

Learn more about Data Privacy and Data Minimization.

  Keeping Organized
  1. Use consistent file naming conventions.
    • Avoid generic names. It can be difficult to find files if they are not named well. "Untitled" does not convey a file or folder's contents, and "Meeting Notes" doesn't help someone know which meeting and when. Be specific when possible.
    • For meeting notes, consider starting with the date (YYYY-MM-DD) as well as the meeting title so that file sorting is easier (e.g. "2025-07-19 Fall Planning Meeting"). Using numbers for dates is recommended since alphabetically sorting by month name (e.g. January, February, March, April) will produce jumbled results (e.g. April, February, January, March).
    • Keep search results in mind when you name files. Don't worry about repeating a project or product name, and don't rely on the folder structure to convey a file or subfolder's meaning. For example, if you manage several projects and have a folder named "Contracts" under each project, a search for "Contracts" will produce multiple results. A list of 15 results all named "Contracts" will not be helpful. However, 15 results named "Project X Contracts," "Project Y Contracts," etc. will be much easier to identify.
  2. Organize your content using folders and subfolders.
    • Just like files, avoid generic folder names and repeat the name of the project as needed (don't rely on structure alone to convey meaning; name based on search results and ease of finding content).
    • Structure for the future. Consider using subfolders based on year or semester, for example. This can make navigating your content easier months or years down the road.
  3. Add Descriptions.
    • In the "View Details" pane of a file or folder, you can enter a brief description of the object and its purpose. This can help colleagues understand the context of a document and help you years later remember what the file or folder contains.
  4. Add Stars to important or frequently visited files.
    • You may "star" or favorite files and folders. You can then use the "Starred" left menu to quickly access the files and folders you use most.
  5. Consider Folder Color.
    • Did you know that you can select colors for a folder icon? Colors may help you and your colleagues quickly locate folders, especially if there are many folders in one location.
    • Right-click the folder name, select Organize from the contextual menu, and choose a folder color from the submenu.
  6. Use Shortcuts.
    • Keep one definitive file and add shortcuts in other locations (if necessary) to link to the main file.
  7. Use the Recent and Advanced Search to find files quickly.
    • Did you work on a file yesterday and forget where it is? Use the Recent menu option to file recently accessed or edited items.
    • Need to find a video or image file but can't remember the name? Use Advanced Search (the toggle icon at the right of the search bar) to narrow your search to specific file types, date ranges, or other helpful filters.



What Happens If I Exceed My Storage Limit?

All users will have a storage limit based on their role (see "Google Storage Limits" above). Once you reach or exceed your storage limit, you will experience limited functionality until you resolve your storage issue. While none of your content will be deleted automatically, you won't be able to interact with many Google features. Below, please learn how your use of Google Workspace will be impacted and how you can resolve your storage situation.

What You Can Do

  • Log in and access Google Workspace tools
  • Send and receive emails*
  • View, download, and delete Google Drive content
  • All existing content is retained (again, nothing is deleted automatically)

*Note: Some email functions may not be available such as adding a new image to a formal email signature.

What You Can't Do

Here is a brief list of some of the impacts when you exceed your storage limit:

  • Gmail: Again, you can still send and receive email. However, some features may not function until you reduce your storage below the limit. For example, you will not be able to:
    • Upload new images for signatures
  • "My Drive:" All of your "My Drive" content will become "read-only" until you reduce your storage usage; again, no data will be deleted automatically. You can view your content, download it, or delete it, but you will not be able to:
    • Add new content (files, images, Google Docs, etc.).
    • Edit your existing content.
    • Create or submit any Google Forms.
    • Create or edit your Google Sites.
    • Sync data to Google Drive.
    • Other collaborators will not be able to edit or change your shared documents.
  • "Shared Drives:" All content will become "read-only" until a Content Manager or Manager of the Shared Drive moves or deletes content, or the department purchases more space for the Shared Drive. Other members (i.e. Contributors and Commenters) will not be able to edit, make suggestions, or add new content. Again, either the storage needs to be reduced or the department or school must purchase more space for the specific Shared Drive.

How to Get Under the Limit

The available options will vary based on the person's role. In general, here are the available options:

  1. Remove Content: All of us store content that is no longer necessary or may be located in multiple places. If content is duplicated elsewhere, outdated, or no longer necessary or relevant, delete the content and then empty the Trash. For example, did you archive that unnecessary promotional email, or did you delete it? Do you have multiple "draft" versions of a Word document or Excel spreadsheet that are no longer necessary?
  2. Move Content: Are you storing departmental or school data in your "My Drive" that should be stored in a school or department's "Shared Drive" space? Consult with your supervisor to determine (A.) if the work content is needed and (B.) where it should be stored.
  3. Transfer Ownership: An option for some content may be to transfer the ownership of the file to another person. That person must have available storage space and accept the owner transfer request. A student worker may decide to transfer ownership of a document to a department supervisor, and then the supervisor can decide on the appropriate location for the data. Note: The new owner must accept ownership, and then it may take Google 1-2 days to update the storage usage data accordingly. Also, transferring ownership of a folder does not automatically transfer the ownership of its contents; those must be done individually.
  4. Migrate Content: Are you accidentally storing personal (non-Pepperdine) content on Pepperdine Google Workspace? Maybe you accidentally synced your personal computer to your Pepperdine Google Drive or uploaded home or family photos or media to your Pepperdine account by mistake. You must download the content to a personal storage device (not a Pepperdine device) and then permanently delete it from Pepperdine Google. Warning: The transfer of confidential or restricted Pepperdine data to a non-Pepperdine device or location may be considered an information security breach. This can have serious consequences. Consult with Tech Central on the best ways to move any personal content to a personal account or device. Also, refer to the Google Drive Policy and Standards above.
  5. Buy More Space (Faculty/Staff Only): If your work requires you to store large amounts of data in your "My Drive," consult with your supervisor and the major area budget manager for the school or department. They can purchase more space for you if merited. See "Buy More Storage" on the Storage Changes at Pepperdine page.

See "Digital Data Habits" in the "Storage Best Practices" section above to learn other strategies.


Back to Storage Changes at Pepperdine

Back to Google Workspace


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