Incoming Google Drive limits

Starting September 1, 2024: Google Drive spaces (including your 'My Drive' space and all Shared Drives) will have a 50 GB quota. Read the transition announcement.

Full SUNetID Required

To interact with Google services through Stanford, you must have a full or full-sponsored SUNetID. Therefore, using the Globus Google connector also requires a full (or full-sponsored) SUNetID.

Google Drive

Google Drive may be accessed through the Stanford Google Drive collection.

Before continuing, you will need to do some one-time setup work. You will need to…

Once the one-time setup work is complete, you should proceed to access your files on Google Drive.

Each step is described in detail below.

Service Limitations

Globus has a number of limitations when working with Google Drive. These limits do not affect most common use cases, but they might affect you, so you should review them before starting to use Globus with Drive.

Drive Limitations

First, per the changes announced on January 23, there is now a 50 GB storage limit on your Stanford Google Drive space (the “My Drive” space), as well as a limit of 50 GB for each Shared Drive. If the transfer causes you to hit quota, it will eventually fail.

Next, there are some limits imposed by Google on all users of Drive:

The maximum file size on Google Drive is 5 TB. However, since the quota for all Drive spaces is 50 GB, the maximum file size on Google Drive is effectively 50 GB.

Users are limited to uploading 750 GB of data to Google Drive per calendar day. That includes both your own personal Drive, and all Shared Drive spaces. Although individual Drive spaces (your own Google Drive, and Shared drives) have a 50 GB quota, you can still reach the upload quota if you upload to many different spaces per day. Transfers that involve moving more than 750 GB of data into Drive will be automatically paused when this limit is reached, and resumed when your limit is reset. Google does not explicitly define when the calendar day resets.

If you hit the daily upload limit, and there is a file transfer in progress, that transfer will be allowed to complete. This is how it is possible to upload a multi-TB file, even when the daily upload limit is lower.

There are also limits specific to Shared Drives:

Google places a limit on the maximum number of items in a Shared Drive. The limit is 400,000 items per Shared Drive. Each file, folder, and Shortcut counts as one item.

All of the Google Drive general limitations mentioned above also apply to Shared Drives.

Globus Limitations

There are a number of limitations specific to Globus:

Globus does not support setting or copying custom permissions. Uploaded items will inherit the permissions of the parent folder.

Globus is also not able to copy Drive Shortcuts. Drive Shortcuts are similar to shortcuts on Windows or aliases on macOS. At this time, Globus is not able to copy or follow Shortcuts; attempting to copy a Shortcut will create an empty file at the destination, and generate a checksum (integrity-checking) error. Support for Shortcuts is currently on Globus’ backlog for implementation.

Files created by Google Products

Special limits apply to ‘files’ created by Google products, such as Docs, Sheets, Slides, etc..

When you ‘save’ one of these ‘files’ in Drive, Google does not actually store the data in Drive. Instead, Google Drive holds a pointer to the data within the specific Google product.

If you copy one of these ‘files’ from Drive, a file will be written at the destination, but the file will only contain the pointer data. For example, copying a Google Sheet will create a file with a .gsheet extension. The file is typically in JSON format, and if it has a url key, that will contain the URL needed to access the content in the appropriate Google product.

Also, if the destination is an endpoint system (like a desktop or laptop computer), and the Google Drive software is running at the destination, double-clicking the file will launch your default web browser, opening the appropriate Google product. For example, double-clicking on a .gsheet file will cause your preferred web browser to open the spreadsheet in Google Sheets.

If you try to upload one of these ‘pointer files’ back to Google Drive, the behavior is undefined. As of April, 2022, the following behavior was observed when uploading a .gsheet file to Drive:

  • The Google Sheet appeared in the new Drive location, and was still present in the original Drive location.

  • Globus reported a checksum verification failure after the upload.

  • Attempting to remove the Sheet from the new Drive location caused the sheet to move to the Trash. Had it not been restored, the Sheet would have been deleted after 30 days.

Therefore, it is best to exercise caution when transferring ‘files’ created by Google products. As an alternative, the content can be exported into a different format (for example, .xlsx for Google Sheets), and that exported file may be transferred as normal.

If you are OK with the limitations above, you should move on to authenticating to Google Drive.

Authenticate to Drive

As someone with a full SUNetID, you have a Google account associated with your SUNetID. Google knows you by SUNetID; if your SUNetID is nobody, Google will know you as Even if you have a different preferred email address or alias, Google will still know you as your

To authenticate to Google Drive, you must first access the Globus Drive collection, using the link at the top of the page. You might be asked to log in; if so, log in through Stanford University.

Avoid Sign in With Google

Globus supports "Sign in with Google"; if you use Sign in with Google, even if you selected your Stanford email address, you will get a different Globus account compared to signing in via Stanford University.
If you have previously used Sign in with Google, using your Stanford email address, you can link your Stanford and Google/Stanford identities. Doing so will let you keep access to everything you already have, while logging in through Stanford University.

The Google Drive collection, with the Credentials tab hilighted.

Google Drive collection

When you go to the link at the top of this page, you will be taken to the main page for the collection. Click on the ‘Credentials’ tab.

A prompt to give Globus consent to manage your Google Drive credentials.

Google Drive credentials consent required

If this is the first time you are accessing this collection, you will be asked to give consent for Globus to store your Google credentials. Click ‘Continue’.

A prompt to select an identity for giving consent.

Select identity for giving consent

Some institutions allow you to have multiple accounts. Stanford only allows one SUNetID per person, so click on your SUNetID.

A prompt to give consent to the Globus Web app to manage your Google credentials in the Google Drive collection.

Consent required to manage Google credentials

Next, click on ‘Allow’ to give Globus permission to store your Google credentials. This is what authorizes Globus to store your Google credentials.

A Globus screen showing your SUNetID, asking you to confirm that this is your Google account.

Google Account selection confirmation

After giving Globus permission to store credentials, you will need to tell Google that it is OK for it to give your credentials to Globus.

On this screen, Globus displays a screen confirming the Google account to use. This should show your Click ‘Continue’. If Globus says your Google Account is not your, stop. Click on ‘Cancel’ and email us a screenshot.

You will now be taken to Google, which will ask you to grant permission for Globus to access Google Drive on your behalf.

A Google screen, asking you to select your Stanford Google account.

More Google Account selection

Google will first ask you to confirm which account you want to use. Select your Stanford Google account. Once you do so, you might be redirected through Stanford Login.

A Google screen asking for permission to allow access to Google Drive.

Google Drive consent

Next, Google will ask you to give permission for our installation of the Globus software to access and manage your content on Google Drive. This authorization only applies to this specific Globus installation, not installations run by others. Click ‘Allow’.

A Globus screen showing Google Drive credentials.

Drive collection with credentials loaded

Congratulations, setup is complete! You may now proceed to access files through this collection.

Accessing Files on Google Drive

With Google Drive credentials loaded and permissions granted, you may now proceed to access your data on Google Drive through Globus!

Using the link at the top of the page, access the Google Drive collection. You might be asked to log in; if so, log in through Stanford University.

The Google Drive collection, with the Overview tab and File Manager buttons hilighted.

Drive collection

Click on the “Open in File Manager” button. That will take you to the File Manager and connect to Google Drive.

First-Time Access

The first time you access the Google Drive collection, you will be asked for consent.

The Google Drive collection, saying that consent is required.

Drive collection requesting consent

When you first loaded your credentials, you gave Globus consent to store those credentials for you. Now, you are giving Globus consent to actually use those credentials to talk to Google Drive. Click the “Continue” button.

A prompt to select an identity for giving consent.

Select identity for giving consent

Some institutions allow you to have multiple accounts. Stanford only allows one SUNetID per person, so click on your SUNetID.

A prompt to give consent to the Globus Web app to access Google Drive on your behalf.

Drive collection consent screen

Finally, click on ‘Allow’ to give Globus permission to use your Google credentials to access Google Drive.

Subsequent Accesses

When you access the Google Drive collection—assuming you have previously provided consent—you should be greeted with a list of different parts of Google Drive.

The File Manager showing the root of the S3 collection, listing buckets.

The list of buckets in the local AWS Account

The My Drive and Team Drives folders will take you to your Google Drive and to your list of Shared Drives, respectively.

The Starred and Shared With Me ‘folders’ are not real folders. Starred shows you a list of every file and folder in Drive that you have starred. Shared With Me shows you every file and folder where someone has given you explicit access (as opposed to access via a Shared Drive).


The Starred and Shared With Me 'folders' are read-only.

Finally, Trash shows you items which have been marked for deletion, but which have not yet been deleted.

Expect Delays

You should expect listings of the Starred, Shared With Me, and Trash folders to take longer than normal, because these 'folders' do not have any form of hierarchical organization.