Set file sharing permissions

As a Google Apps administrator, you determine whether users can share their Drive files and folders outside your organization, plus the default link sharing option for new Docs, Sheets, and Slides that your users create.

The term "files" is used in this article to refer to all Google files (such as Docs, Sheets, and Slides) as well as Drive folders.

Restrict users from sharing files outside your organization
  1. Sign in to the Google Admin console.
  2. Click Apps > Google Apps > Drive > Sharing settings. Where is it?
  3. Under Sharing outside of organization, select OFF.
    Users can't invite people outside the organization to view, comment on, or edit their files.

    Your users can always send or receive files as email attachments; this setting controls only the live online sharing of Docs, Sheets, and Slides.
  4. (Optional) Check Allow users in organization to receive files from users outside of domain.
    Users can access external Google files, but they can't share their own files externally.

    If you don't check this box, users can't access any files outside your domain, including files from other domains that are public on the web.

Allow users to share outside your organization
  1. Sign in to the Google Admin console.
  2. Click Apps > Google Apps > Drive > Sharing settings. Where is it?
  3. Under Sharing outside of organization, select ON.
    Users can invite people outside the organization to view, comment on, and edit their files.

  4. Select any or all of the following:

    • For files owned by users in organization, warn when sharing outside domain
      Users will be asked to confirm when they share externally. This serves as a reminder to make sure the shared file is not confidential. This setting is selected by default.

    • Allow users in organization to send sharing invitations to people outside domain who are not using a Google account
      Users can send sharing invitations to non-Google email accounts and non-Google Groups mailing lists. However, note the following:

      • People with the sharing invitation will still need to sign in to a Google account to access the file (unless the file is shared publicly to anyone or people with the link). If the recipient doesn’t have a Google account, he or she will need to sign up for one.
        Google accounts don’t have to use Gmail or Google Apps addresses. A Google account is simply a unified sign-in system that provides access to Google products, including Docs, Sheets, and Slides. You can associate any email address with a Google account. To get someone who doesn't have a Google account started, send them this link:
      • People with non-Google accounts who receive a sharing invitation can forward the invitation to other users, who can then also see the file if they sign in to a Google account. Invitations expire after 14 days.
      • Anyone who accesses the file will be visible in the share box, where their access can be removed.

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

    • Allow users in organization to publish files on the web or make them visible to the world as public or unlisted files
      Users can publish files or set visibility for files as Public on the web (meaning anyone on the Internet can find and access the file) or Anyone with the link (meaning it’s an unlisted file 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 files to Public on the web via sharing options, and they can also publish Docs, Sheets, and Slides via File > Publish to the Web. To learn more, see Visibility of documents, spreadsheets, and presentations published to the web.

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

      This setting is not available in the legacy free edition of Google Apps. All free edition users have the option to publish files on the web.
Choose the default Link Sharing setting
  1. Sign in to the Google Admin console.
  2. Click Apps > Google Apps > Drive > Sharing settings. Where is it?
  3. Select the default Link Sharing option for new files created by your users.

    This setting determines how visible files are to other people. Users can override the default Link Sharing setting for any individual file, though they can never share outside the organization if you disallow that as described above.

    • OFF
      The file is not accessible to anyone other than the owner and the people to whom the owner explicitly gives access.

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

      Files with this visibility won’t normally be found in search results, except possibly if a file is linked to from within another searchable file.

    • ON - People at organization
      The file is searchable and viewable to everyone in your organization. However, the file will only appear in a user’s Drive after it has been accessed by the user, or after the file has been explicitly shared with the user.

Note: It can take up to 24 hours for settings changes to take effect. During this time, both old and new policies may be intermittently enforced.

Does your organization use multiple domains?

If so, see Limitations for multiple domains to learn about restrictions with sharing across domains and considerations for naming your primary domain.