O Google Drive - Changing ownership of PDFs

When you are loading documents to your Google Drive folder, each document is recorded by Google Drive as being "owned" by you. 

If you are having difficulty loading particular documents to Google Drive you might ask ask someone else for help. For example if you have an A3 document but you don't have an A3 scanner you might ask someone with an A3 scanner to scan in the document as a PDF for you. In this case the person doing the scanning in should, ideally, provide you with the PDF (e.g. on a USB stick or by emailing it to you as an attachment) so that you yourself can load it to your Google Drive folder so that you are recorded by Google Drive as the "owner" of the document.   

If the person doing the scanning for you actually themselves loads the document to your Google Drive folder then they will be counted by Google as the "owner" of the document. The problem with this is that Google Drive has a Remove button whose effect varies depending on whether the person who presses Remove is the owner of a file or not. Generally speaking if a person who does not own, but has access to, a file presses Remove their access is removed but the file is not deleted. If, however, a person presses Remove for a file they own, it is deleted. Thus if you have some PDFs in your folder which are owned by someone else, when, at some time in the future, that other person decides to clean up the Google Drive system intending to remove their own access to your folders/files they may, inadvertently cause some of the PDFs in your folder (the ones which you are not the "owner" of) to be deleted. 

You can prevent the problem occurring by checking who is the "owner" of all the files in your Google Drive folder and changing the "owner" of any files you do not currently own so that you become the "owner". You can see who the owner of a file is by looking at a list of files - the owner name appears on the list just to the right of the file name as shown in the example below.

Strictly speaking it is impossible to actually change the owner of a PDF in Google Drive but you can achieve the same result by making a copy of the PDF (which you will then be the owner of) and then removing the first file (which you do not own) as shown below.  

First create a copy of the file as shown below

Then delete the first file (the one not owned by you)

Then rename the copy owned by you to remove the words "Copy of" from the beginning of the file name.


The information on this page about specific computer techniques is provided for information purposes only. Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate and up to date at the time it was written but no responsibility for its accuracy, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed by me. Any sample screen layouts are based on the version of software current when the screen shot was taken and may be different now. You should satisfy yourself, before using any of the techniques, software or services described, that the techniques are appropriate for your purposes and that the software or service is reliable.

This page was lasted updated in August 2018. Disclaimer