Allow sharing to non-Google accounts (beta)

With visitor sharing, your users can invite non-Google users to collaborate on files as visitors, using PINs (Personal Identification Numbers) to verify their identity. This allows you to always see who has access to your organization’s files and folders if you share externally.

Visitor sharing is in beta. We are not currently accepting new beta applications.

How it works

Once a person with a non-Google email gets a sharing link and verifies their identity with a PIN, they have 7 days to collaborate on the shared file or folder. If they need to collaborate longer, they can use the original link to verify their identity again.

  • Visitors with a PIN can view, comment on, suggest edits to, and directly edit files and folders. If a visitor has edit access, they can re-share the file just like someone with a Google account.
  • Visitors cannot create or own files and folders.
  • Visitors can delete their visitor account.

Visitor accounts can be seen in the sharing dialog, where you can change or revoke their access just like any other collaborators.

Show me how it works

Supported file types

Your users can share the following types of files in My Drive with non-Google users:

  • Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides
  • Images such as JPEGs
  • PDFs
  • Office files
  • Video
  • Folders

Allow sharing to non-G Suite accounts

As an administrator, you can specify which external domains your users can share with, or you can allow them to share with anyone.

Important: If you previously used the beta sign-up form to let us know which non-G Suite domains you want to share files with, you must follow the steps below to specify the trusted domains again yourself. There is no longer a limit of only 2 non-G Suite domains.

Choose one of the following options:

Allow visitor sharing only to trusted domains

If you have visitor sharing beta, you can follow these steps in the Admin console at this time. The whitelists will not work, however, until late January.

  1. Add the domains with non-G Suite accounts to your organization’s trusted domains list. To learn how, see Whitelist trusted G Suite domains.

  2. Follow the instructions to restrict sharing to whitelisted domains.

    Make sure to select Allow users in your organization to send sharing invitations to people outside your organization who are not using a Google Account.

Allow visitor sharing to anyone

Follow the instructions in let users in your organization share with anyone to:

  1. Turn external sharing ON.

  2. Select Allow users in your organization to send sharing invitations to people outside your organization who are not using a Google account.

    With visitor sharing beta, you’ll no longer see the option to let external users preview files anonymously.

Train your users

Send your users a link to the Help Center: [Beta] Share documents with visitor sharing

Known issues

  • Some sites that use a Google sign-in may show your visitor session in the account switcher, or when you select your picture on the upper-right side of the screen. You cannot, however, use a visitor session to sign in to Google services other than Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Slides.

  • To upgrade from a visitor session to a G Suite account, the visitor will need to delete their visitor session before the administrator can create a Google account for the same email address.

  • To upgrade from a visitor session to a Google account with the same email address, a visitor will need to first delete their visitor session and then create a Google account.

  • If you whitelist non-G Suite domains for visitor sharing, you’ll see "Incompatible with whitelisted domains" error messages. You can ignore these messages, but note that the whitelisting will not work until late January.

  • As this is still a beta program, we recommend that users don’t yet share confidential or sensitive files to visitors.

  • For beta, we have a limit on the total number of visitor sessions that can be created. If we hit our limits, users may see sharing errors.

  • We expect files in a shared drive to be supported soon, but shared drive membership for visitors won’t be supported during beta.

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