How to Easily Identify and Organise Orphaned Files in G Suite

Orphaned files are those that a user has access to but do not exist in any folder for that user, including the root folder. They are a particular problem because the Google Drive client app on PC’s allows other users to delete a folder and leave the files orphaned. GAT now allows Admins to find all orphaned files for any user.

Here is a detailed how-to video that shows you how to find and fix orphaned files:

Displaying Orphaned Files

In the Drive Audit, click on the “Apply custom filter” button. This is one way to display orphan files.

apply custom filter in GAT's Drive Audit

When the filter menu appears select the “Flags” operator contains “Orphaned”. Then press apply.

Drive files filters tab

You can easily display orphaned files by using the exposure summary table. Click on Orphaned.

see number of orphaned files in GAT filter

Fixing Orphaned Files


Once you are ready to fix the orphan files, Click on the “Files operations” button, then select “Fix orphans”.


A popup menu will appear, you will be able to perform the fix in 2 ways, one way will fix all of the orphan files for everyone on the domain who has them or you can select individual users and fix their orphan files.


A folder will be automatically created on the users myDrive, the folder name can be changed to whatever you prefer, by default its called Orphaned.

Selecting the “Process all users” option will fix orphaned files for all domain users who have them.

select 'process all users'

Or you can fix them for individual users in small batches if you prefer.

update 'users'

Change Owners, Readers, Writers and other attributes of Calendars with GAT+ & GAT Unlock

GAT+ and GAT Unlock now lets Admins change the Owners, Readers, Writers and other attributes of calendars, simply searching for the user and modifying the calendar permissions they have access to. This is particularly useful for departing user management.

Start of by searching for the user, click on “Apply custom filter”.

When the calendar filter menu appears, select the search operator you wish, in my example, I’ve selected “Primary User” contains This will display user_x’s primary Google calendar.

Other types of search operators such as owners, writers, and readers are available as well.

Once the user’s calendar appears, click on the “Modify Permissions” button to begin modifying.


For primary Google Calendars, you are not able to remove the original calendar ownership but you are able to add additional users as additional owners.

For secondary calendars and other non-primary calendars, you can completely remove and replace the original ownership.

You can also add Writers, Readers and Free/busy readers to a users calendar.

Writers – Provides read and write access to the calendar. Private events will appear to users with write access, and event details will be visible.

Readers – Provides read access to the calendar. Private events will appear to users with reader access, but event details will be hidden.

Free/busy readers – Provides read access to free/busy information.


Best Practice: How to Remove Permissions for ‘Docs Shared with Link’

Best Practice Tip: Before you remove permissions for ‘Docs shared out with link’ it is best practice to automatically inform your users of those shares, allow your own users to take the initiative to clean up the share.  If the shares have not been removed in the allocated time period, as a super admin you can remove those permissions from Drive Audit.


To notify your users to clean up their own shares, click on “File Operation”, then select “Remove permissions”.

When the menu appears, Select the option “Report only” which will only generate a report for the Super Admin, but will not carry out the action below. If Report only is not enabled the action will be carried out.

Your users will receive an email which outlines the documents they have shared out with a link so they can click on them and remediate the sharing rights.

View files in a spreadsheet

Now that your users have been notified, you can return to these documents in the future and manually remove the “Public with link” (everyone with link) access rights. To do this first select Public with a link from the exposure summary table.

See files that are open with link

Once you have selected this category, a custom filter will be automatically applied.

Click on “Apply custom filter” to verify.

Apply custom filter

Now you will probably realize that in the Drive result table you can see files shared out and files shared in which fall into the Public with Link category.


You only have administrative control over docs owned by users on your own domain, so let’s expand this custom filter to ignore the files shared in from external users.


Click on “+ Add rule” and select the rule “Sharing Flags” Contains “Shared out”. Then click on the button “Apply”.

Drive files filters

Now in the Drive result table, you will only see files owned by your local users and shared out with a link.

Best Practice Tip 2: Before removing some or all of these permissions. We would recommend you export the data as is to a Google Spreadsheet for record keeping purposes.

You can click on the drop-down menu option next to the “everyone (with link)” permission and remove it, for just one single doc or all of the documents within the selected filter you have applied.

option 'everyone with link'


Change Existing Owners, Editors, and Viewers on Google Sites

Is a teacher or staff member leaving and you need to transfer ownership of their OLD Google Sites? That is now possible with the click of a button using GAT+. Click on an existing owner or editor of a site to add or remove existing owners, editors or viewers from this site.
New Sites are handled as G Suite Drive files and using GATs existing file ownership changing powers there, you can change ownership and access to new Sites.

Add permissions with GAT

How to Mass Delete Emails

A very common situation arises when an email is sent in error, a spam attack occurs, or a phishing email is sent to many accounts. The Admin needs to remove all copies at once. GAT with Unlock lets Admins do this quickly and simply.

Learn more about how to bulk remove unwanted emails here.