Which “Share Settings Do I Use???”

Due to my volunteer work as a Product Expert in the Google Help communities, I notice many users are confused about the levels of share settings.   Today I’m going to focus on the “Share Settings” found in Google Drive and its Docs Editors (Docs, Slides, Sheets, Forms, and Drawings).   Following is a list of the share setting terms and how they may help the user maintain privacy.

  1. Private – Only you can access
    • Nobody but you may view, edit, copy or share.
  2. Specific People – Ability to share a file or folder with another user.
    • You choose who and add the user to the file or folder.
  3. On: Anyone with Link – Any user with the web link may access.  
    • It is a public link that allows any user to see or share the file or folder.
    • The weblink prevents web spiders from finding the link in search results.
    • Embedding the link on a website or social media posts may make it searchable via a search engine.
  4. Public on the Web – The file or folder may be accessed anywhere on the web. 
    • The file or folder’s web link is easily categorized by the search engines.

Note: 

A  G Suite account offers an extra layer of sharing.  

The extra share settings are as follows:

  • On Domain Name – Any domain user who has the web link may access the file.
  • Anyone at Domain Name with the link – All users of a domain may use a Google Drive filter search to find and access the file or folder.

The above listing provides a basic selection of share settings Google Accounts offer.  Below I have provided an image tutorial you may print or use as part of an instruction tutorial. Keep an eye open for my next post where I will discuss more advanced share setting offered by Google Drive and its Docs Editors.

Control your Google Drive Files Privacy Share Settings…

In today’s world, one often hears people focused on privacy concerns. Privacy concerns aren’t limited to the field of education. People from all walks of life are worried about maintaining privacy. Controlling your Google Drive Share Settings may help you maintain a safe cloud storage experience.

Google Drive provides some hidden share settings which support maintaining the utmost security levels. The first rule of thumb if a file, photo, or video is for “your eyes only” don’t share. Not sharing a file is the safest form of privacy. If you share a file beware of what “Public on the Web” or “Anyone with a link” means. When a file is public anyone in the world can search and find it. A file shared to anyone is open to the public too! The difference is the second method should not be searchable by search engine web crawlers. Now to learn about the some hidden share feature for securing your drive files.

Sometimes there may be a reason to share sensitive files. Google Drive files may be locked down by taking the following precautions. A file owner may prevent editors from sharing access. The file owner has control of printing, downloading, and copying. My favorite safety feature is “Set an Expiration Date.” Unfortunately for private users, the expiration feature appears only in G Suite Accounts.

Following are directions for using the above mentioned Google Drive safety features.

Prevent Editors from Sharing

  • Check Prevent Editors from Sharing
  • Click Blue Done Button

Stop Commenters & Viewers from Printing, Copying & Downloading

  • Open Google DriveDocsSheets, or Slides
  • Click File to Highlight
  • Click Share
  • Click Advance
  • Check Disable Options to Download, Print and Copy for Commenter and Viewers
  • Click Blue Done Button

Set File Expiration Date

As an Educator I found this setting useful when sharing files with a long term substitute. When the school year ended the files magically disappeared from the substitutes Google Drive. I believe this is one of those worthwhile timesaving tips.

Note this Google Drive Files
Feature ONLY WORKS with G Suite Accounts

  • Open Google DriveDocsSheets, or Slides
  • Click File to Highlight
  • Click Share
  • Click Advanced
  • Hover over the person’s name, click Set expiration
  • Set the Date
  • Click Save Changes
  • Click Blue Done Button

Delete Public Shared with Me File…

Not sure how to delete a publicly shared file from the Google Drive “Shared with Me” section? Don’t fret just follow the below steps to remove the file from the shared with me section of Google Drive.

NOTE: The file will still be accessible to the owner.

Reordering Sheets…

Today I was asked how to reorder sheets from within a Google Spreadsheet. Google Spreadsheets is one of my favorite collaboration tools. It provides the capabilities for assigning different sheets to individual students or a collaborative group. Sheets can become out of order when collaborators use one spreadsheet. No worries! It is easy to drag the sheet into an alpha or numerical order. Just click down on the sheets tab and drag to the right or left to reorder sheets.

Reorder Sheets in a Spreadsheet - drag to the left or right

Easily Ungroup Shared Calendars

In the Google Help Forums, I spotted the following question. “If there was a tool for ungrouping and grouping shared Google Calendars?” Naturally, my reply was you can group shared calendars by checking them off individually. However, there is a tool for users to ungroup all at once by using the following steps.

  1. Open Google Calendar
  2. Click Option Settings (3 vertical dots) for the Calendar to leave open
  3. Select “Display this Only”

I suggested to the user about grouping calendars together and embedding into a New Google Site. My idea would provide a simple method for viewing several team member calendars at once.

You may find the following Google Help Center resources beneficial:

  1. CALENDAR: Add a Google Calendar to your Website
  2. NEW SITES:Add Google Files Video & More
    • Scroll to Section: Add HTML, CSS, or JavaScript code to your site

If you would like more detailed instruction please leave a comment.