Document sharing options

As the administrator, you determine whether users can share their Google Drive documents outside your organization, whether they can access documents created outside your organization, and the default visibility level for new documents.

To set the default Sharing options for new documents created by your users:

  1. Sign in to the Google Admin console.

  2. Click Google Apps > Drive > Sharing settings. Where is it?
  3. In the Sharing options section, choose whether users can share documents outside your organization.

    • Users cannot share documents outside this organization - Users can’t invite people outside the organization to view or edit their documents.

      • Let users receive documents from outside this organization - Users can’t share their documents outside the organization, but they can access documents created outside your organization. If this box is unchecked, users can't access any documents outside your domain, including documents from other domains that are public on the web.

      Your users can always send or receive documents as email attachments; this setting controls only the live online sharing of documents in Google Drive.
    • Users can share documents outside this organization - Users can invite people outside the organization to view and edit their documents.

      • Warn users when sharing outside this organization - Users will be asked to confirm when they share outside the organization. This serves as a reminder to make sure the shared document is not confidential.

      • Allow users to share outside the domain to people who are not using a Google account - Users can send share invitations to non-Google email accounts outside your domain, either individually or via mailing lists.

        Checking this box allows users to send share invitations to non-Google email accounts and non-Google Groups mailing lists. However:

        • People with the share invitation will still need to sign in to a Google account to access the document (unless the document is shared publicly to anyone or people with the link).
        • People with non-Google accounts who receive a share invitation can forward the invitation to other users, who can then also see the document if they sign in to a Google account. Invitations expire after 30 days.
        • Anyone who accesses the document will be visible in the share box, where their access can be removed.

        If you don't check this box, documents can't be shared with non-Google accounts (including mailing lists) outside your domain, but documents can still be shared to non-Google accounts and Google Groups within your domain.

      • Allow users to publish documents on the web or make them visible to the world as public or unlisted documents - Check this box to allow users to publish documents or set visibility for documents as Public on the web (meaning anyone on the Internet can find and access the document) or Anyone with the link (meaning it’s an unlisted document that’s not likely to show up in search results, but it is accessible to anyone on the Internet who knows the link).

        If you check this box, users can set the visibility option of documents to Public on the web via sharing options, and they can also publish Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides via File > Publish to the Web. See Visibility of documents published to the web to learn about the differences.

        If you don’t check this box, the only way users can share documents online outside your organization is to specifically invite each collaborator to access the document.

        This setting is not available to administrators of Google Apps (free edition). All Google Apps (free edition) users have the option to publish documents on the web.

  4. Choose the default visibility setting for new documents created by your users.

    This setting determines who can find and view documents. Users can override the default sharing setting for any individual document, though they can never share documents outside the organization if you disallow that in step 3.

    • This organization - Documents created in your organization are searchable and viewable to everyone in your organization. However, documents will only appear in a user’s Drive after they have been accessed by the user, or after the document has been explicitly shared with the user. Users can search for documents available to the entire organization by choosing Search <your-domain-name> from the search options.

    • People at this organization with the link - Anyone in your organization can access the document, but only if they know the URL. This is like an unlisted phone number where only people who know your number can call you.

      This option is the recommended default. It allows for easy sharing, but offers protection from outside the organization as users must sign in to access the shared documents. Also, documents with this visibility won’t normally be found in search results, except possibly if a document is linked to from within another searchable document.
    • Private - Documents aren’t accessible to anyone other than the owner and the people to whom the owner explicitly gives access.

  5. Click Save Changes. Please note that when editing the sharing settings of a complex folder structure with a large number of files, there may be a delay for the new settings to fully propagate.

Does your organization use multiple domains?

If so, there are some limitations with sharing across those domains. See Limitations for multiple domains to learn more.

Also note that Google Apps uses the name of your primary domain as the name for your organization as a whole. This is the organization name referenced in the sharing options that users see. When you add other domains, you might want to change your organization name to a more inclusive name.