Drive audit log

View user Drive file activity

This feature is available with G Suite Business, Education, Enterprise, and Drive Enterprise editions. Compare editions

As a G Suite administrator, you can use the Drive audit log to collect and see a list of your domain's user activity; for example, view, create, preview, print, update, delete, download, or share Drive content. The Drive audit log includes content your users create in Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, and other G Suite applications, as well as content created elsewhere that your users upload to Drive, such as PDFs and Word® files. 

Domains with any version of G Suite can use the Activity API to programmatically access basic G Suite reports data, while domains with G Suite Enterprise, G Suite Business, or Drive Enterprise can use a new Reports API to access advanced G Suite reports data.

Note: Drive audit events are logged only for files owned by users with G Suite Business, Enterprise, or Drive Enterprise licenses.

Step 1: Open your Drive audit log

  1. Sign in to your Google Admin console.

    Sign in using your administrator account (does not end in

  2. From the Admin console Home page, go to Reports.

    To see Reports, you might have to click More controls at the bottom.

  3. On the left, click Audit and then Drive.

    You might have to scroll to see Audit.

  4. On the toolbar, click Select columns Select columns and select the data you want to show in your log. 
  5. See below for how to interpret and customize log data.

Step 2: Understand Drive audit log data

Data you can view

The Admin console bases its Drive audit logs on the following user data:

Data Type Description Filtering within the Admin Console
Event name User action, such as View, Rename, Create, Edit, Preview, Print, Update, Delete, Download, or Share.

When you copy files, the type of action logged depends on the file type:

  • Copy Google Docs—Create, Edit, and View are logged
  • Copy Google Sheets or Slides—Create and Edit are logged
  • Copy any Microsoft® Office format or non Google format files—Only Create is logged

Preview events in the Drive viewer may be delayed up to 12 hours from the time of the event.

Viewing Trash on a Team Drive is not logged.

Change Theme on a Team Drive is not logged.

Print events are not recorded for Google file formats (Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drawings, Forms). Print events may show as Download events when printing files with the Drive application from iOS® or Android devices. 

Downloads from the following sources are not logged:

  • Google Drive sync client downloads
  • Google Takeout downloads
  • Downloads to offline browser caches
  • Docs printed from the Drive web UI
  • Photos that are synced to, downloaded from, or viewed through Google Photos
  • Drive items that are emailed as attachments and downloaded through the recipient's email client
Event description Summary of the event, such as "Larry created an item." Not filterable
Item type File format that the activity involves, such as Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, JPEG, PDF, PNG, MP4, Microsoft®  Word®, Excel®, PowerPoint®, txt, HTML, MPEG audio, QuickTime® video, folder, or Team Drive. Filterable
Item ID Unique Drive item identifier associated with the activity, as stored in the URL link for the file. Filterable
Visibility Visibility of the Drive item associated with the activity. Filterable
Prior Visibility Visibility of the Drive item prior to the activity. Filterable
User Email address of the user who performed the activity. Users external to the domain who initiate events are shown as anonymous, except when they view or edit a document explicitly shared with them (as an individual or as part of a specific group). Filterable; also works if only the domain name is entered
Owner User who owns the file. Filterable
Date and time range Date and time the event occurred (displayed in your browser's default time zone). Filterable
IP address

Address from where the user performed the activity. This might reflect the user's physical location, but it can be something else like a proxy server or a Virtual Private Network (VPN) address. 

No IP addresses are logged for events:

  • Initiated by users external to the domain.
  • From services that don't log the IP address in their requests.
  • Relating to renaming or deleting a Team drive.
Not filterable
Billable (Drive Enterprise only) Whether the user action is a chargeable activity. Not filterable
File visibility and sharing permissions

You can see information about how the sharing permissions on a file change. To see files that are shared with users outside of a domain, under Visibility, select Shared Externally.

If you turn off external sharing and a user shares a resource with a group that allows external users, data will be marked Shared External in the log. However, any external users in the group can’t access the shared resource. And, you’ll see this even if the group doesn’t have any external users.

Step 3: Customize and export your audit log data

Filter the audit log data by user or activity

You can narrow your audit log to show specific events or users. For example, find all log events for when users updated or deleted a Drive file, or find all Sheets activity for a particular user.

  1. Open your Drive audit log as shown above.
  2. If you don't see the Filters section, click Filter Filter.
  3. Enter or select the criteria for your filter. You can filter on any combination of the data you can view in the log. You can also filter on Item Visibility Change: External, Internal, or None.
  4. Click Search.

Export your audit log data

You can export your Drive audit log data to a Google Sheet, or download it to a CSV file.

  1. Open your Drive audit log as shown above.
  2. (Optional) To change the data to include in your export:
    1. On the toolbar, click Select columns Select columns.
    2. Check the box next to the data you want to export and click Apply.
  3. On the toolbar, click Download Download.

You can export up to 210,000 cells. The maximum number of rows depends on the number of columns you select. Exported Google Sheets and downloaded CSV files both show a maximum of 10,000 rows.

How old is the data I'm seeing?

For details on exactly when data becomes available and how long it's retained, see Data retention and lag times.

Step 4: Set up email alerts

You can easily track specific Drive activities by setting up alerts. For example, get an alert whenever someone creates or deletes a document.

  1. Open your Drive audit log as shown above.
  2. If you don't see the Filters section, click Filter Filter.
  3. Enter or select the criteria for your filter. To set up an alert, you can filter on any combination of the data you can view in the log except date and time range.
  4. Click Set Alert.
  5. In the Set alert: Drive box, enter a name for the alert.
  6. Check the box to deliver the alert to in your super administrator account.
  7. Enter the email addresses of any other alert recipients.
  8. Click Save.

To edit your custom alerts, see Administrator email alerts.

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