Allow sharing to non-Google users with visitor sharing

With visitor sharing, you can let your users invite people without a Google Account to collaborate on files and folders. You can allow visitor sharing with anyone or only visitors in trusted domains. You can always review who has access to your organization's files and folders.

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How visitor sharing works

Users share with visitors in the same way that they share with Google users. Visitors get an email invitation to collaborate and a PIN to verify their identity. They can edit, comment on, or view an item for 7 days after they verify their identity. If the visitor needs to collaborate longer than 7 days, they can use the original link to verify their identity again.

When visitor sharing is turned on

  • Visitors can use Drive on the web to view, comment on, suggest edits to, and edit files that are shared with them. For details on what can be shared, see Share documents with visitors.
  • Your users can share files and folders in shared drives with visitors. Visitors can create files and upload files within the folders shared with them. They can't be added as members of the shared drive.
  • If a visitor has edit access to a file, they can share the file with another Google user but not with another visitor.
  • Visitors can’t access files on mobile or in downloaded clients, such as Google Drive for desktop.
  • Visitors can delete their session, which removes their name from the document history and any comments they made.
  • Sessions in a shared file can be seen and changed or their access can be revoked, just like any other collaborator

Turn on visitor sharing

  1. Sign in to your Google Admin console.

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

  2. In the Admin console, go to Menu and then Appsand thenGoogle Workspaceand thenDrive and Docs.
  3. Click Sharing settingsand thenSharing options.
  4. (Optional) To apply the setting only to some users, at the side, select an organizational unit (often used for departments) or configuration group (advanced). Show me how

    Group settings override organizational units. Learn more

  5. To allow visitor sharing to only trusted domains:

    1. Add those domains to your organization’s trusted domains list, if you haven't already. For details, go to Allow external sharing with only trusted domains.
    2. Select Allowlisted Domains.
    3. Check Allow users or shared drives in your organization to share items with people outside your organization who aren't using a Google account.

      Known issue: You can safely ignore the "Incompatible with whitelisted domains" message. Your users can still share with people in the trusted domain.

    To allow visitor sharing to anyone:

    1. Select On.
    2. Check Allow users or shared drives in your organization to share items with people outside your organization who aren't using a Google account.
  6. (Optional) To warn users before they share with someone outside of your organization, check Warn when files owned by users or shared drives in your organization are shared outside of your organization.
  7. For Access Checker, select Recipients only, suggested target audience, or public (no Google account required).
  8. Click Save. Or, you might click Override for an organizational unit.

    To later restore the inherited value, click Inherit (or Unset for a group).

Upgrade a visitor session to a Google Workspace account

As an administrator, you can upgrade a user’s visitor session to a Google Workspace account. You create a Google Workspace account with the same email address as the visitor session. This process retains the visitor session's collaboration history, including document comments and edits. For more information, go to Options for adding users.

Note. You can’t change from a visitor session to a Google Group. To use the email address for a group, create a Google Workspace user account using the email address, then delete the Workspace account and create the group.

How a visitor upgrades to a Google Account

To upgrade from a visitor session to a Google Account with the same email address, the visitor must first delete their visitor session. Then, they can either create a Google Account or sign up for Google Workspace.

Known issues and limitations

  • Some sites that use a Google sign-in might show the visitor’s account in the account switcher. However, even if they’re signed in, visitors can only access Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Sites.
  • When users share a folder in a shared drive with a visitor, the highest permission the visitor can be given is contributor access. Visitors can’t access the root folder of a shared drive.
  • Visitors can't be added to a group in Google Groups or edit in Sites. However, they can be Published Viewers of a site.
  • If you restrict sharing with personal Google Accounts in your organization, visitor sharing is also restricted. If you (or one of your users) try to share with these accounts, you'll get an error message.
  • A visitor can't download folders.

Related topics


Google, Google Workspace, and related marks and logos are trademarks of Google LLC. All other company and product names are trademarks of the companies with which they are associated.

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