Advanced File Sharing…Still a Google Drive File Option

Recently I had a user in one of the Google Help Communities ask, “Where did the advanced sharing settings go in a Google Drive File?” Well, they are still there! It’s just the share settings taken on a modern look. You can now locate the advanced share settings by clicking on the gear (settings) icon in the upper right of the share screen. The advanced share settings still provide the following tools:

  • Stop editors by changing sharing settings or permissions
  • Stop viewers and commenters from downloading, printing, and copying

All you have to do is uncheck the box to the feature tool you’d like to block. 

Privacy Is Up to You!!!

Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

“Is my Google Drive Private?” The very first file added to drive is the most secure until the sharing starts. What users may need to learn is maintaining the files’ privacy is totally up to them. The first place to start is by familiarizing oneself with the most basic of share settings. Please see my last post for refreshing your knowledge of basic share settings. The best way to secure your Google Drive files and folders is by combining the basics with the following advanced share settings.

Some of the features provided by the advanced settings are the ability to stop other users from re-sharing and printing a file. Another tool offered in Google Drive is the control to set time limits on sharing both folders and files. What does this all mean? Using advanced share tools help prevent sensitive material from being shared with the public. Please see my post: “CONTROL YOUR GOOGLE DRIVE FILES PRIVACY SHARE SETTINGS…” to learn how to use the advanced share setting features.

Think of the My Drive Section of Google Drive as your private area where you are in absolute control of the sharing. The Shared with Me area of Google Drive is a working area where files are shared by another user. Shared with Me portion of Google Drive is not considered as a portion of your storage area. It is a place where you may access and use files and folders shared with you. Generally, I recommend ignoring this area of the drive. Do note it is possible to remove files and folders from this section as well. The bottom line it is up to the user to maintain and keep Google Drive secure and private.

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.