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Stop others from copying, printing shared Google Drive files

Learn how to access the new features for locking down your shared Google Drive files, and prevent access beyond viewing.

Nicole Cozma
Nicole Cozma has an affinity for Android apps and devices, but loves technology in general. Based out of the Tampa Bay Area, she enjoys being a spectator to both sunsets and lightning storms.
Nicole Cozma

Nicole Cozma/CNET

Google Drive allows you to easily share documents, spreadsheets or media files with friends or coworkers. However, the list of options for how you share something has always been a bit too brief, only including the abilities to view or edit. Now there's two new options for locking down your files, and here's how to use them:

  • Sharing from Google Drive is done by clicking the Share button in the top right-hand corner when viewing a file.
  • After clicking the button, click the gray link labeled "Advanced."

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Google Drive sharing menu. Nicole Cozma/CNET

  • Two new check boxes will appear that allow you to:
    • Disable someone with editing permission from adding new people or changing access ranks.
    • Turn off downloading, printing, and copying for those with viewing permission.

While these new security options won't prevent someone from taking a screenshot, they can at least deter those who try to use copy+paste, or those who try saving files to their own Google Drive account. Additionally, these settings aren't available on the mobile versions of Google Drive (yet), but if you change them on the Web, they will apply to files regardless of where they are being viewed.