Add files and folders as an external user

If you are an external user and an AODocs library has been shared with you, you can edit existing files but you can also import your files into AODocs.

- When adding a file to an AODocs library, the file is initially owned by your account. The ownership of the file is then transferred to the storage account of your library.
- G suite forbids the transfer of document ownership between different G Suite domains or from a account. This means an external user can't import their files directly into AODocs.

When adding a file as an external user:

  • the original file is copied by the storage account in the target library
  • the original file is moved into a specific folder My files imported to AODocs (

Making copies of these external files has the following impacts:

  • the files will have different ID and URLs
  • the revision history of the files will be lost
  • the comments of the files will be lost

When AODocs imports by copy the files or folders owned by an external user, AODocs notifies the external user by email.


As an external user, to import files or folders you can:

  • In Google Drive, drag and drop existing Google files or folders (or locally stored files or folders) to a Team Folder library.
  • In Google Drive, press New > File upload or Folder Upload in a Team Folder or Secured Folder library.
  • In Google Drive, hover over a file or folder and press the Import into AODocs button (available if  the AODocs Smartbar is installed on the target domain) to import your file or folder to any type of AODocs library.
  • attach a new file to a document in a Document Management library
    Learn more: Manage attachments in Document Management libraries

Below is the detailed sequence of what happens when an external user imports files or folders into an AODocs library:

1. The files or folders are moved into the AODocs folder structure but are still owned by the external user.

2. AODocs detects that new files are added to its folder structure.

3. AODocs makes a copy of the original files or folders owned by the external user and adds them to the location where the user has chosen imported their files or folders.

4. AODocs removes the original files or folders from the folder structure and puts them in a folder named My files imported to AODocs ( which is shared with the external user.

Note: When external files are imported into a Document Management library, the files are moved to the My Drive of the external user instead.

5. AODocs sends an email to the external user if it is the first time that the user imports files or folders into this domain.

You can monitor all these actions in the Activity tab which opens when you press View details in the parent folder in the Google Drive interface.


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