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Google Apps is now G Suite. Same service, new name. More about the name change.

Set file sharing permissions for your organization

To share your own files, go instead to Share files and folders.

As a G Suite administrator, you can control how users share their Google Drive files and folders within and outside of your organization.

Shared files can be viewed, commented on, and edited by multiple people in real time. Users can share files with a link or an email invitation.

What you can control

Your G Suite account is initially set up so users can share files outside of your organization. You can restrict file sharing to within your organization. Or, you can limit sharing with trusted sites you specify, known as whitelisted domains.

When sharing files, users get an alert, warning them before sharing outside of your organization. You can disable this feature.

With G Suite Business and G Suite for Education and Nonprofits accounts, you can customize file sharing settings for organizational units. For example, you can allow your Sales team to share files outside of your organization, while restricting your Marketing team to sharing files internally. To add this feature, upgrade your account to G Suite Business.

If a user moves to a different organizational unit, their files inherit the sharing rules of the new unit. In the previous example, if someone moves from Sales to Marketing, their files will only be accessible to those in your organization (internally), even if they were previously shared externally.

Step 1: Open sharing settings

  1. Sign in to your Google Admin console.

    Sign in using your administrator account (does not end in @gmail.com).

  2. From the Admin console dashboard, go to Appsand thenG Suiteand thenDrive and Docs.
  3. Click Sharing settings.
  4. If you have the G Suite Business, Education, or Nonprofits edition, select the desired organizational unit. (Learn about G Suite editions.)

    Otherwise, your settings apply to your entire organization.

Step 2: Set sharing options

Set sharing outside of your organization

Set who your users can share files with:

  • Off–Restrict sharing files outside of your organization
  • Whitelisted domains–Restrict files to specific domains
  • On–Share files with anyone outside of your organization

Off–Restrict sharing files outside of your organization

To keep from sharing files outside of your organization, select this option. However, users can still send and receive file attachments, such as PDFs and image files, through Gmail.

  1. Under Sharing outside of your organization, select Off.
  2. To prevent users from accessing files shared from outside your organization, uncheck the Allow users to receive files from outside your organization box.
  3. Click Save. It can take up to 24 hours for changes to take effect.

Whitelisted domains–Restrict sharing files to specific domains

This feature is available only with G Suite Business, G Suite for Education, and G Suite for Nonprofits.

You can allow users to share files only with certain domains outside your organization (whitelisted domains). For example, you might want to share files externally with trusted vendors or contractors. Users can still share files within your organization. Whitelisted domains must be G Suite domains.

  1. Add specific domains as whitelisted domains.
  2. Under Sharing outside of your organization, select Whitelisted Domains.
  3. To alert users before they share files externally, check the For files owned by users in an organizational unit, warn when sharing with users in whitelisted domains warning box.
  4. To prevent users from opening files shared from domains that aren’t whitelisted, uncheck the Allow users in an organizational unit to receive files from outside of whitelisted domains box.
  5. Click Save. It can take up to 24 hours for changes to take effect.

On–Share files with anyone outside of your organization

  1. Under Sharing outside of your organization, select On.
  2. To alert users before they share files externally, check the For files owned by users in your organization warn when sharing outside of your organization warning box.
  3. To let users share files with people who don’t have a Google Account, check the Allow users to send sharing invitations to people outside your organization who are not using a Google account box.

    Before recipients can edit or comment on files, they must have a Google Account. They can use their existing email address to create a Google account.

    With this feature enabled, choose an option:
    • Require Google sign-in for external users to view file
      Recipients of sharing invitations must sign in to a Google Account to view this file.
    • Allow external users to preview file without Google sign-in
      People can view files without signing into a Google Account. However, to edit or comment on a document, recipients must sign in to a Google Account.
    Sharing invitations can be forwarded to other email addresses. Invitations expire after 14 days.
  4. If you don’t want users to publish files publicly to the web, uncheck the Allow users to publish files on the web or make them visible to the world as public or unlisted files box.

    This setting is not available in the legacy free edition of G Suite. All free edition users can publish files on the web or to anyone with the link.
  5. Click Save. It can take up to 24 hours for changes to take effect.

Control access to shared files

You can control how accessible a shared link is. For example, if a user shares a document link in a spreadsheet and another user, who hasn’t been given access, clicks on the link, they can’t open it. Instead, they can request access from the file owner.
You can set which access options are available to file owners:
  • Public–Anyone with a link to the shared file can access it.
  • Your organization–Anyone in your organization can access a shared file.
  • Recipients only–Only those specified by the user can access the file.
  1. Under Access Checker, select an option:
    • Recipients only, your organization, or public (no Google account required)
      This option isn’t available if you don’t allow external sharing or publishing files on the web.
    • Recipients only or your organization
      Users don’t have the option to share file links publicly.
    • Recipients only
      Files can only be shared with recipients selected by the user. The sharing link won’t work for anyone else.
  2. Click Save. It can take up to 24 hours for changes to take effect.

Set up file searching and link sharing options

You can control how accessible newly created files are within your organization. For example, even if the file hasn’t been shared, you can allow new files to be searchable and accessible by anyone in your organization. However, users can override this setting for files that they own.
  1. Under Link Sharing, select an option:
    • Off
      Initially, a file is only accessible to the file owner and anyone the owner has shared the file with.
    • On–People at your organization with the link
      Anyone within your organization with the shared file link has access. If you share a file with a coworker, they can forward that link to another coworker, who will have the same level of access.

      With this setting, files won’t be found in search results, except possibly if a link to the file is in another searchable file.
    • On–People at your organization
      The file is searchable and accessible to everyone in your organization.
  2. Click Save. It can take up to 24 hours for changes to take effect.
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