An improved third-party sharing experience in Google Drive
What’s new: We know that many of your organizations work with contractors, vendors, and other third parties who don’t have Google accounts, and we recognize that it’s crucial you’re empowered to share information with them in a quick, easy, and secure way. That’s why, in response to your feedback, we made changes to the experience users have when sharing Google files with non-Google accounts.
Previous sharing experience
Previously, if you allowed users to share files outside of your domain and send sharing invitations to non-Google accounts, an employee could share a file stored in Google Drive with any non-Google user. If you allowed external users to preview files, that non-Google user could view the file for 14 days. If you required Google sign-in for external users, that non-Google user was prompted to create a Google account within 14 days in order to view the file. Some third parties, however, don’t have permission to create such accounts or didn’t do so in time, meaning your employee’s information didn’t get to their intended recipient.
Of course, if you also allowed users to publish files on the web, your employee had another option—he or she could simply share the public link. Unfortunately, many users didn’t take advantage of this option, because it’s not clearly surfaced as part of the sharing flow.
New sharing experience
To make this process easier and more effective for both G Suite and non-Google users alike, we added an option to the sharing dialogue for users to let anyone with the link view the file.
This option only appears if ALL of the following are true of your sharing settings (Apps > G Suite > Drive and Docs > Sharing settings):
- You allow users to share files outside of your domain.
- You allow users to send sharing invitations to non-Google accounts.
- You allow users to publish files on the web.
- You do NOT have “Recipients only” selected in your Access Checker settings.
An example of the new dialogue that will appear when an employee shares a file with a non-Google account, provided the conditions above are met.
If an employee selects this option to “Send the link,” link sharing is turned on for that file and anyone with the link will be able to view the file. This allows third parties to access important content with no deadline and no need to create a Google account.
Note that the option to “Send an invitation” will remain the default selection for other files.
These changes are now in effect for domains on the Rapid Release track and will go into effect in early August for domains on the Scheduled Release track.