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.
How it works
Once turned on for your organization, users will be able to share to visitors in the same way they share to Google users. People with non-Google accounts will receive an email invitation to collaborate on the shared file or folder. The user has 7 days to verify their identity with a PIN to collaborate on the shared file or folder. If the user needs to collaborate longer than 7 days, they can use the original link from their email to verify their identity again.
- Once authenticated, visitors 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 with another Google user.
- Visitors cannot create or own files and folders.
- Visitors can delete their visitor session.
Visitor accounts can be seen in the sharing dialog, where you can change or revoke their access just like any other collaborators.
How to enable it
- Sign in to your Google Admin console.
- Go to AppsGoogle WorkspaceDrive and DocsSharing settings.
- Choose one of the following options:
Add the domains with non-Google Workspace accounts to your organization’s trusted domains list. To learn how, see Allow external sharing with only trusted domains.
Follow the instructions to restrict sharing outside allowed 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.
Under Sharing outside of your organization, turn file sharing ON.
Select Allow users in your organization to send sharing invitations to people outside your organization who are not using a Google account.
Supported file types
Your users can share the following types of files in My Drive and shared drives with non-Google users:
- Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Sites
- Images such as JPEGs
- Office files
Train your users
Point your users to Share documents with visitors.
Known issues and limitations
Some sites that use a Google sign-in may show a user's visitor session in the account switcher, or when they select their picture on the upper-right side of the screen. Visitors cannot, however, use a visitor session to sign in to Google services other than Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Sites.
There are limits on the number of visitors a file or folder can be shared with over a specific period of time. If a user reaches the visitor sharing limit, they will receive a notice that they've reached their limit along with details on when they can start sharing the document again.
This feature applies to the web version of Google Drive, including files shared through My Drive and shared drives, but it will not give non-Google users access to documents in downloaded clients including Google Drive for desktop or Backup and Sync.
Administrators can upgrade a user’s visitor session to a Google Workspace account by creating a Google Workspace account with the same email address as the visitor session. Upgrading to a Google Workspace account retains the visitor session's collaboration history including document comments and edits.
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.
In shared drives, when sharing a folder with a visitor account, the highest permission the user can be given is contributor access.
Visitors cannot do the following:
- Upload or create content.
- Access the root folder of a shared drive.
- Be added to Google Groups.
- Edit Sites, but they can be Published Viewers of a Site.