A client who uses G Suite created a new Team Drive, then attempted to share it with about 30 people. And 27 people in the group were added with no problem. The recipients received an email notification, and could access the Team Drive after they accepted the offer to share.
But when my client tried to add three email addresses, they saw a message that said: “Sharing to email addresses without a Google account is not yet supported.”
Team Drive sharing differs from Google Drive “My Drive” sharing. When you share a folder from “My Drive” to someone without a Google account you might see the following: “Since there is no Google account associated with this email address, anyone holding this invitation will have access without signing in.” (Of course, if you have a G Suite account, an administrator controls sharing options for your organization.) On mobile devices, you may see a simple “Sharing error” message.
Team Drive requires members to have a Google account, while Google “My Drive” sharing can allow access to anyone with the link. However, this shouldn’t stop you from using a Team Drive to collaborate with people outside your organization.
1. Ask for an alternative address
Contact the people you were unable to add as members of your Team Drive to ask for an alternative address. Chances are they probably have a Gmail account: over 1 billion people use Gmail monthly. If they do, add them as a member with this address.
2. Create a Google account
If a person who wants to join a Team Drive and doesn’t have an existing Google account, they’ll need to create one. There are two ways to do this.
You can create a Google account to use with your current email address. In other words, you don’t have to create a Gmail account to access Google services. Go to https://accounts.google.com/SignUpWithoutGmail and use your existing email address in the “Your email address” field.
Or, if you’d rather create a new Gmail address, go to https://accounts.google.com/SignUp and enter the address you want in the “Choose your username” field.
In either case, creating a Google account requires that you also create a password, provide a first and last name, a birth date, and a country. You also must fill out a gender field, although you can select “Rather not say.” A mobile number is optional.
3. Send separately
Collaboration via Team Drives grinds to a halt if a person you need to collaborate with lacks a Gmail account, and won’t create a Google account. Your best option at that point? Export and send documents as attachments via email. Not very collaborative, and not at all efficient. But at least they’ll get the information.
How do you deal with sharing files with people outside your organization? If you’ve used both Google Drive and Team Drive file sharing, which do you prefer for sharing info with groups of people? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter (@awolber).