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Google Drive Migrations

To adhere to the new Google storage quotas set due to the changes Google has made to its service offering to the academic community, OIT will automatically migrate non-Google format files to Microsoft OneDrive on Google accounts that exceed 5 Gigabytes (GB). To minimize the impact to faculty, staff, and students who are collaborating using Google Docs, Sheets and Slides, these files will not be included in the migration and will remain in Google Drive. Migrations are set to begin in late 2022 and run into the spring 2023 semester. Read below to understand how the file migration will work, how you can prepare, and what to expect once the migration is complete. If your Google account exceeds 5GB, you will receive plenty of notice prior to the migration and once it's complete.

How to prepare for a Google Drive file migration

  • Confirm your personal data usage in Google Drive Storage Settings and remove unneeded files from your Google Drive. This will reduce the amount of time it takes for the migration to complete.
  • If your Google Drive has a substantial amount of data, because of a transfer limitation imposed by Google, the migration can sometimes take weeks. In this case, the data can still be accessed in Google Drive or in Microsoft OneDrive. You may have to work in both locations until the migration is complete. 
  • Familiarize yourself with Microsoft OneDrive and how data is accessed and shared on the platform.
  • When your Google Drive is scheduled for migration to Microsoft OneDrive you will receive an email with the details of the migration. This will include the estimated migration window. 

Set up your OneDrive

OneDrive allows you to access your files from anywhere with an internet connection, as well as the ability to create, edit and share documents regardless of device. All CU Boulder users of OneDrive have a 5 TB storage quota with a 250 GB maximum file size. Just like Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive is accessible from your Mac, Windows or Linux devices as well as Android and iOS devices. 

Ready to get started? Here are some helpful resources for getting started with OneDrive: 

What to expect after migration

  • OIT will do its best to start the move of all Google Drive data belonging to people in a single department at the same time. Please note: While everyone in a department will begin their migration at the same time, the variation of when people’s migrations will finish is based on the size of a person's storage use. One person could finish in less than an hour and another could take days or weeks. 
  • Once your migration starts, files will begin to appear your Microsoft OneDrive
  • When you log into OneDrive you will see a folder called “G”. Your folder structure and files from Google Drive will be mirrored in this location.
  • Once the migration software has validated that a file was successfully copied to Microsoft OneDrive, the file will be deleted from Google Drive. 
  • If you have shared files with specific people outside of CU Boulder in Google Drive, those files will be automatically re-shared and both you and they will receive an email with the link to the location of the file in Microsoft OneDrive. One email will be sent for each share link that was created in Google Drive. For example, if a folder with 1000 files in it was shared, the recipient will receive 1 email with a link to that folder. If 20 files were separately shared with an individual, the recipient will receive 20 emails, 1 for each file. OIT recommends communicating with individuals you have shared documents with before your migration so they are aware of this change. 
  • If you have previously shared files from your Google Drive with specific people at CU Boulder, those files will be automatically re-shared with those people in OneDrive. They will not receive an email with a link to the location of the file in Microsoft OneDrive. Those specific people can locate the new locations of the files by visiting their “Shared” section of OneDrive. 
  • If you have shared files using an anonymous link from Google Drive, the file will need to be re-shared manually from Microsoft OneDrive once the migration of that file is complete. This includes if you used those anonymous links in a website.
  • Microsoft OneDrive has a total folder and file name length limit. If the data and folder structure in your Google Shared Drive exceeds that limit the folders and file names may be shortened as part of the migration process.  If the migration process is unable to shorten the folder name or file name, the file and folder will be left in Google Drive and must be moved by you manually. Learn more about Microsoft's file path length limitation. 
  • Microsoft OneDrive does not support file names with leading and trailing spaces. If your Google Shared Drive has files or folders with spaces at the beginning or the end of the name, the spaces will be replaced with the underscore character during the migration process (e.g. " Fall2022" would become "_Fall2022").
  • Microsoft OneDrive does not support certain special characters that are permitted to be used in Google Drive.  These are referred to as Invalid Characters. If your Google Drive has files of folders using these invalid characters, they will be replaced with the “_” (underscore) character during the migration process (e.g. "Fall*2022" would become "Fall_2022" after migration).
  • Microsoft OneDrive cannot store individual files larger than 250 GB. If you have any files that are above this limit, you will need to delete them or store them in another university-approved location. Learn more about Microsoft's single file size limit.
  • Upon completion of your Google Drive migration, you will receive an email notifying you that the process is complete.
  • If the combined storage quantity of any data failing or not migrated to Microsoft OneDrive exceeds 5GB upon completion of the migration, your Google Drive will be considered to be over quota and you will not be able to modify existing files or upload new files to Google Drive until you have reduced your usage.

Over 5GB quota after migration?

Immediately following the completion of your Google Drive migration to OneDrive, your Google Drive will have a 5 GB quota limit. Most people will be under their quota after the migration, but it’s possible to still be over quota and manual remediation may be necessary to continue using Google Drive. 

If you find that you are over quota after the migration, log into Google Drive and select Storage in the lower left corner. This will give you an idea of what files need to be removed manually.

 Warning about shared folders

  • If someone shared a folder with you from their Google Drive and you uploaded files to it, you own the files you created and uploaded to the shared folder. Those files count against your Google Drive quota, but those files won't be migrated on your migration date - they will be migrated on the other person's migration date. 
  • If you migrate first, you will get a 5GB quota on your Google Drive. If you are over quota, do not delete files that were uploaded to other people's Google Drive until you verify that there is a copy in their OneDrive shared with you. If you determine this is the reason you are over quota, please contact the IT Service Center
  • If the other person migrates first, under some circumstances the files you uploaded to their folder will be returned to your Google Drive in addition to being copied to the other person's OneDrive. In this case, verify that the copy shared with you in OneDrive is current, and then you may delete your copy in Google Drive safely. 

Reasons you may still be over your quota after migration is complete 

  • You have email in your CU Boulder Gmail mailbox that counts against your quota. 
  • You have too many Google-format files in your Google Drive. 
  • You have too many files in Google Photos. 
  • You have created files in a shared folder with someone else in Google (this could be a shared folder with someone at another university or a personal Google Drive). 
  • You could have old backups from the Google Backup and Sync application.  

If you have trouble reducing your quota manually, please contact the IT Service Center for assistance. 

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