I ran into a fun problem today that let me put on my detective hat.
It began like any other request – straightforward and seemingly innocuous. “I can’t access this person’s file, can you help?”
Unfortunately it turned out that the supposed owner DIDN’T own the Google Drive file – a spreadsheet. Google has a few tips for locating the owner of a document – requesting ownership and then checking email logs and checking Google Drive logs. Unfortunately, neither worked! Drive logs require that the file be accessed or viewed within the last 180 days and the email log check did not work. Most likely because the owner no longer had a Mail license.
Without the owner information I fired up GAM and was hitting a wall until I thought of something. I asked and poked around and found the name of someone with access to the file. Using their name as the basis to check ownership / permissions, I got a full list! From there, I located the owner’s name.
Basically, I was unable to find the owner, but with the knowledge of at least one person with access, I was able to locate the owner that way using a GAM command along the lines of gam user X show drivefileacl Y – that did it!