Tag Archives: Google Drive

Smarter sharing of files with updated Google Drive Access checker

Google Drive makes it easy to share files through Gmail, Calendar, and other apps with a feature called “Access checker.” When you send an email, calendar invite, or other communication that includes a Drive file, Access checker automatically looks to see if the people you’re sending the message to have permissions to view the file. If they don’t, Access checker asks if you want to change the permissions before you share the file.

We’re updating Access checker to:
  • Make it easier to see who needs access. You’ll now see the names or email addresses that don’t currently have access to the file in the Access checker interface. 
  • Support more file types in Drive. Access checker will now support files in a Team Drive. 
  • Share directly with those who need access. Access checker will anticipate who needs access to a file and intelligently default to sharing with those recipients only.


The updated Access checker interface looks like this:



You can share with these intelligent default settings in just one click, or choose a different sharing option for the file. Before, the default share option was “turn link sharing on.” We hope this change makes it easier for you to ensure that only the right people have permission to access your files.

Note that all sharing settings configured for your domain (or OUs) will remain the same. This launch respects the settings you’ve already chosen for Sharing outside your domain, Access Checker, and Link Sharing Defaults. If you’ve chosen to limit Access Checker to Recipients only, link sharing will not be suggested.

These updates are based on your feedback, and we hope they deliver a sharing experience that is simple, secure, and anticipates your users’ needs.

Admin controls for Access checker

As a G Suite admin, you can control how Access checker works for your organization. Specifically, you can select the sharing options that are available to your users. You can choose if your users see the option to:
  • Share with recipients (default), share link within your organization, share link with anyone (no Google account required). 
  • Share with recipients (default), share link within your organization.
  • Share with recipients (default). 



See our Help Center to find out more about how to configure Access checker for your organization.

Launch Details
Release track:
Launching to Rapid Release, with Scheduled Release coming in two weeks

Editions:
Available to all G Suite editions

Rollout pace:
Extended rollout (potentially longer than 15 days for feature visibility). Rollout to scheduled release domains will begin one week after rollout to rapid release domains is complete.

Impact:
Admins and end users

Action:
Admin action suggested/FYI and change management suggested/FYI

More Information
Help Center: Set file sharing permissions for your organization
Help Center: Share files from Google Drive


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Jamboard files now appear in Google Drive

With Jamboard, it’s easy to enrich your team brainstorms with the power of G Suite. For example, you can grab images and content from the web and bring them straight into your “jam,” pull in work from Google Docs, Sheets and Slides, or add photos stored in Drive.

To make the Jamboard experience even more integrated with G Suite, the jam files you own will now appear in your Drive folder. This means you can easily open, copy, and share jam files from My Drive and Team Drives, and save jam files from Jamboard to My Drive.



With this launch you can:

  • Share jam files directly from Drive.
  • Open jam files from Drive in the Jamboard web and mobile applications.
  • Search for jam files in Drive (by entering “type:jam” in the Drive search bar).
For more information on using Jamboard, check out the Help Center.

Launch Details
Release track:
Launching to both Rapid Release and Scheduled Release

Editions:
Available to all G Suite editions

Rollout pace:
Full rollout (1–3 days for feature visibility)

Impact:
All end users

Action:
Change management suggested/FYI

More Information
Help Center: Jamboard and Google Drive

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Helping G Suite customers stay secure with new proactive phishing protections and management controls

(Cross-posted from The Keyword)

Security tools are only effective at stopping threats if they are deployed and managed at scale, but getting everyone in your organization to adopt these tools ultimately hinges on how easy they are to use. It’s for this reason that G Suite has always aimed to give IT admins simpler ways to manage access, control devices, ensure compliance and keep data secure.

Today we announced more than 20 updates to deepen and expand Google Cloud customers’ control over their security. Many of these features will be turned on by default for G Suite so that you can be sure the right protections are in place for your organization. And, even better, in most cases your users won’t have to do a thing. Here’s the breakdown.

1. Helping to protect your users and organization with new advanced anti-phishing capabilities

We're applying machine learning (ML) to billions of threat indicators and evolving our models to quickly identify what could be a phishing attack in the making. Information from these self-learning ML models helps us flag suspicious content. At the same time, updated phishing security controls can be configured to automatically switch on the latest Google-recommended defenses.

These new protections can:
  • Automatically flag emails from untrusted senders that have encrypted attachments or embedded scripts.
  • Warn against email that tries to spoof employee names or that comes from a domain that looks similar to your own domain.
  • Offer enhanced protections against spear phishing attacks by flagging unauthenticated email.
  • Scan images for phishing indicators and expand shortened URLs to uncover malicious links.


With the protections we have in place, more than 99.9% of Business Email Compromise (BEC) scenarios—or when someone impersonates an executive to get sensitive information—are either automatically moved to the spam folder or flagged with anomaly warnings to users.


For more details, G Suite admins should read our related post on the G Suite Updates blog.

2. Giving you more control over mobile devices with default-on mobile management

Securing endpoints like mobile devices is one of the best ways for businesses to keep data safe. More than 7 million devices are already managed with G Suite’s enterprise-grade mobile management solution. With new proactive security settings, basic device management for your mobile devices that access G Suite is automatically enabled.

This means employees don’t have to install profiles on iOS and Android devices. It also means admins get added security management controls to help them:
  • See which devices access corporate data in a single dashboard.
  • Enforce pass codes and erase confidential data with selective account wipe for Android and iOS.
  • Automatically protect Android and iOS devices, with no user intervention or device profile required.

For more details, G Suite admins should read our related post on the G Suite Updates blog.

And you may have noticed we launched updates to Cloud Identity—a way for enterprises to manage users, apps and devices centrally. Cloud Identity includes user lifecycle management, account security, SSO, robust device and app management and unified reporting. Check it out.



3. Offering you more visibility and insights to stay ahead of potential threats

IT admins who operate in the cloud seek tools, visibility and assistive insights to stop threats or gaps in operations before they become security incidents. This is why we introduced the security center for G Suite earlier this year. The security center is a tool that brings together security analytics, actionable insights and best practice recommendations from Google to help you protect your organization, data and users.

Today, we’re introducing additions to the security center for G Suite including:
  • New security charts to show OAuth activity and Business Email Compromise (BEC) scam threats that are specifically focused on phishing emails that may not have links.
  • New mobile management charts to help IT admins examine activity analytics and show when devices have been hijacked, rooted or jailbroken, as well as when other suspicious device activity has been detected.
  • Ways to reorganize the dashboard to focus on what is most important to your organization.
  • Ways to analyze your organization’s security health and get custom advice on security key deployment and protection against phishing scams.



If you’re new to using the G Suite security center, check out these instructions to get started. Note that only admins with G Suite Enterprise licenses can access the security center.

4. Providing built-in protections and controls for Team Drives

Enterprises share and store an enormous amount of content, which means admins need more controls to keep this data protected. That’s why we’re enhancing Team Drives with new security controls to give you more ways to safeguard highly-sensitive content. Now, your data can be protected by Information Rights Management (IRM) controls so you can feel confident that your company’s ideas stay “yours.”



Specific updates include the ability to modify settings for Team Drives to:

  • Limit file access privileges to Team Drives members, or only to users within your domain.
  • Add IRM controls to prevent users from printing, downloading and copying files within Team Drives. 

These new security features for Team Drives will roll out over the next few weeks. Monitor the G Suite Updates blog and G Suite release calendar for more information when these features launch.

Get started

Phishing and mobile management controls are available now across all G Suite versions, and you’ll be able to use Team Drives controls in the coming weeks. If you’re a G Suite Enterprise customer, you can access the security center in the Admin console.



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Improve collaboration in Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides with Activity dashboard

G Suite makes it easier for users to collaborate efficiently and effectively. An important part of collaboration is deciding how and when to follow up with others. To help inform these decisions, we're introducing Activity dashboard in Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides. It’s a feature that lets users with edit access see who has viewed the file and when they viewed it.



For example, a user can check if a coworker has seen a file already and alert them that it’s been updated. Or an account manager can judge the best way to follow up with a partner, depending on whether that partner has viewed the materials they previously sent.

As of March 7th, G Suite administrators have access to new Admin console settings to control the Activity dashboard feature for their domain or the organizational units (OUs) within it. On March 21st, end users will begin to see Activity dashboard in Docs, Sheets, and Slides. See the “Release schedule” section below for more information.

Understand when user viewing data will be visible

A file’s Activity dashboard contains viewing data, which is information on who viewed the file and when they viewed it. The viewing data that’s shown in the dashboard depends on both your organization’s Admin console settings and a user’s individual settings:

  • As an admin, you can determine whether viewing data from your organization’s users is shown in Activity dashboard. Specifically, you can choose to make viewing data for your organization’s users visible, not visible, or only visible within your organization. See the “Review and change your organization’s Activity dashboard settings” section below for more information.
  • If you make viewing data visible for your organization, your users can still choose to exclude their individual viewing data from showing in Activity dashboard via their personal privacy settings. If an admin makes their organization’s viewing data not visible, your end users won’t be able to choose to share their viewing data. See the “End user controls for Activity dashboard” section below for more info.

Users with edit access to a file and who belong to the same domain as the file’s owner will be able to see that file’s Activity dashboard and any viewing data which is available in it.

Review and change your organization’s Activity dashboard settings

Admin controls for Activity dashboard are now available in the Admin console. There are three options:
  • On: Activity dashboards show all user views, unless individual users hide their information.
  • On - Only within your domain: Your users’ viewing information is only visible in Activity dashboards of files owned by users in your domain and to other users within your domain, unless individual users hide their information. Your users’ viewing data will not be visible in Activity dashboards of files owned by users in other domains.
  • Off: Your users’ viewing data will not show up in Activity dashboard for any file. Your users may be able to see whether external users have viewed their files, depending on the Activity dashboard settings of those external users.


Find out how to change the setting for your organization in our Activity dashboard Help Center article for admins.

Note: Activity dashboard and its settings don’t affect the data collected in your G Suite Drive audit log.

End user controls for Activity dashboard

When Activity dashboard becomes available to your users, they’ll see a notification in Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides that explains the feature and their control options. Activity dashboard will only show viewing data for a user after they see this notification. It will not display any activity from before they saw it.



All users will have access to privacy settings that allow them to control whether their views show up in Activity dashboard at any time. For more information and to change settings, users can see the Activity dashboard Help Center article for users.

Release schedule

Admin console settings are available now. Activity dashboard will start to become available to users in two weeks:

  • If your domain is on the Rapid Release track, Activity dashboard will not be available to end users before March 21st. Due to a gradual rollout, all Rapid Release domains may not have access to the feature for up to two weeks after that. 
  • If your domain is on the Scheduled Release track, Activity dashboard will not be available to end users before April 9th. Due to a gradual rollout, all domains may not have access to the feature for up to two weeks after that. 


Learn more about this feature in our Help Center article on how your users can use and control Activity dashboard, as well as our Activity dashboard Help Center article for G Suite admins.

Over time we’ll add features to Activity dashboard to provide more insights into activity on the file and to make it easier to communicate with collaborators directly from Activity dashboard.

Launch Details
Release track:
  • Admin console settings are available today to Rapid Release and Scheduled Release domains. 
  • User-facing feature will begin to roll out to Rapid Release domains in two weeks and to Scheduled Release domains in five weeks. 

Editions: 
  • Activity dashboard access: Available to G Suite Business, Enterprise, Education, and Nonprofit editions only. Users will be able to see the Activity dashboard for a file if they have edit access to that file. 
  • Activity dashboard viewing data visibility settings: All users have access to privacy settings for Activity dashboard, as data from users in all G Suite editions can appear in the dashboard. 

Rollout pace: 
Gradual rollout (up to 15 days for feature visibility) 

Impact: 
Admins and end users

Action: 
Admin action suggested/FYI

More Information
Help Center (admins): Let users see who viewed files 
Help Center (users): See who has viewed Google Docs, Sheets & Slides


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Find shared content with new file organization in Google Drive

G Suite is built for working collaboratively—teams create and share files all the time. When there can be hundreds or thousands of files, though, it can be tricky to find those files later. So we’re improving how you find files that have been shared with you in Google Drive.

The “Shared with Me” section shows the files that have been shared with you. We’re going to start intelligently organizing this section so you may also see people listed, along with files they’ve shared with you. Simply click on a document to quickly open it.



Searching for content by owner is the most popular way to search for content in Drive today. The new interface will use artificial intelligence to predict the people and files that you’re most likely to search for and make them more visible. We hope that this will help you find the files you’re looking for more quickly.

The predictions will improve as the system learns how it’s used. We’re also working on more features which will use artificial intelligence and machine learning to make it easier to find files and collaborate more efficiently in Drive. Look out for more over the next few months.



Launch Details 
Release track:
Launching to Rapid Release, with Scheduled Release coming in 2 weeks

Editions: 
Available to all G Suite editions

Rollout pace: 
Extended rollout (potentially longer than 15 days for feature visibility)

Impact: 
All end users

Action: 
Change management suggested/FYI

More Information 
Help Center: Find files shared with you


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New Drive File Stream settings for your organization’s deployment

Drive File Stream lets you stream files directly from the cloud to your computer and select files to be available offline. Based on your feedback we’re adding several features to Drive File Stream which will help you:
  • Control when changes are synced to Google Drive (all end users) 
  • Customize the cache location (admins only) 
  • Limit the bandwidth used (admins only) 
  • Customize drive letter or mount point (admins only)  

For more details on these features and how to use them, see below.

Control when changes are synced to Google Drive 

End users can now pause Drive File Stream syncing. While paused, Drive File Stream will not upload local changes to Google Drive, and new versions of files made available offline will not download. 

To pause syncing, open the Drive File Stream menu and click More > Pause Syncing.

Customize the cache location 

Admins can now customize the content cache location for Drive File Stream to any directory on a connected APFS, HFS+, or NTFS file system.

For details, see our Help Center on how to configure Drive File Stream.

Limit the bandwidth used 

Admins can now limit the bandwidth of Drive File Stream for uploads and downloads.

For details, see our Help Center on how to configure Drive File Stream.

Customize drive letter or mount point 

In a previous release, we added a feature that allows Admins to customize the default letter drive on Windows, the mount point on macOS, and proxy settings. These configurations can be set at the user or host-wide level, and persist when Drive File Stream restarts.

For details, see our Help Center on how to configure Drive File Stream.

Launch Details 

Release track:
Launching to both Rapid Release and Scheduled Release

Editions: 
Available to all G Suite editions

Rollout pace: 
Full rollout (1–3 days for feature visibility)

Impact: 
Admins and end users

Action: 
Admin action and change management suggested/FYI

More Information 
Help Center: Configure Drive File Stream
Help Center: Drive File Stream release notes


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Email members of a Team Drive

Team Drives make it easier for teams to store, search, and access important files, especially as team members change over time. To improve collaboration in Team Drives, we’re adding the ability to email all the members of a Team Drive.



There are two ways to email members of a Team Drive:
  • From the Team Drive: Navigate to the Team Drive, click the drop-down menu next to the Team Drive name, and click “Email members.” 
  • From within a file that is in the Team Drive: While editing or viewing the document, open the File menu, and click “Email Collaborators.” 
When you select to email members, you can easily customize who your email is sent to. Use checkboxes to include or exclude “Members” who have access to the full Team Drive, “Guests” who only have access to that specific document within the Team Drive, and users with different Team Drive access levels, such as “Full,” “Edit,” “Comment,” and “View.”

For more information on Team Drives, see how to manage Team Drives. For information on user permissions in Team Drives, see our Learning Center article on Team Drives.


Launch Details
Release track:
Launching to both Rapid Release and Scheduled Release

Editions:
Available to all G Suite editions. Team Drives is available on G Suite Enterprise, G Suite Business, and G Suite for Education editions. G Suite Basic users can’t create Team Drives, but can use the feature if they have access to a Team Drive.

Rollout pace:
Gradual rollout (up to 15 days for feature visibility)

Impact:
All end users

Action:
Change management suggested/FYI

More Information
G Suite Learning Center: Get started with Team Drives
Help Center: Get started with Team Drives


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New ways to comment on Microsoft files (and more) in Google Drive

(Cross-posted from The Keyword)

Eric Zhang, Software Engineer, Google Drive
Birkan Icacan, Product Manager, Google Drive


Google Drive makes it easy to store and share files in the cloud so you can collaborate securely with your teams and clients while on the go. And we understand that teams work with all kinds of files and tools to get things done. Starting today, we're making it possible to comment directly on more file types including Microsoft Office files, PDFs and images—without having to convert them into Docs, Sheets or Slides.

When you're collaborating with an external agency, negotiating a contract with a client or coordinating a sales agreement with a supplier, chances are you're dealing with multiple file formats. With this update, you can now comment on those files in Drive the way you're used to in Google Docs. In the Drive preview pane, comment, assign tasks, or mention coworkers and the people you work can reply back, even if they’re not using G Suite. Let’s say your coworker opens a file on her Windows laptop using MS Word, she will see your comment in the file and can reply right from there.


Provide quick feedback on the most popular file formats, including Word, PowerPoint, Excel and PDF files, in the Drive preview pane.

With commenting in Drive preview, you won’t need to open up other tools to complete tasks. Instead, open Microsoft Office files, like Word, Excel and PowerPoint, in Drive preview and give feedback in comments then get back to work.

AODocs, a company that helps enterprises replace their legacy document management applications and automate business processes integrated with Drive, has been testing the new Drive commenting feature for the past few months. As AODocs helps companies transition from legacy systems, they often collaborate across various licensed software.

“We frequently use the comments feature in Google Docs and Slides when preparing specification documents, reviewing project proposals and creating marketing materials,” says Stéphane Donzé, chief executive officer and founder of AODocs. “With commenting in Drive Preview feature, we can now extend the same collaboration, review and validation processes to Microsoft Office Applications, images and PDFs.”


Collaborate on Excel files—as well as other Microsoft files—all within Google Drive.

The ability to comment in Drive preview mode is just one example of interoperability between G Suite and Microsoft Office products. You can also use a Drive plug-in for Outlook to make it easier to insert files stored in Drive to an Outlook email and save incoming attachments to your Drive from Outlook. Our help center has more specifics on how to enable the plug-in for admins.

Of course, you can also convert Microsoft Office files into Docs, Sheets or Slides. Click File > Download as and select the file type you need. Lastly, you can choose to edit Microsoft files without converting them fully using Office Compatibility Mode (OCM).

With G Suite, you can work the way you’re used to working. Get started.

Additional information for G Suite admins

As a part of this launch, we will also change the “Can view” permission setting for MS Office files. This creates further interoperability between Google Drive, Microsoft Office and other popular applications. What is changing?:

  • Users with “Can view” access to MS Office files will start seeing any comments added after the launch of this change, but they will not be able to reply to those comments or create new comments.
  • MS Office files with comments added before this change (i.e. using the Google Drive API, or from an older version of this feature) will not be affected.
  • Comments, actions items and suggested edits in Google Docs, Sheets, Slides and Drawings files will continue to remain invisible to users with “Can view” access.
In addition to making and replying to file-level comments while previewing a file in Google Drive Preview, users can now make new inline (a.k.a. anchored) comments, for example:

  • Draw a rectangle on a PDF, or PowerPoint (.pptx), or image file and make an anchored comment.
  • Select a sentence in a MS Office Word (.docx), or PowerPoint (.pptx), or PDF file and make an anchored comment (similar to comments in Google Docs).
  • Select a cell in MS Office Excel (.xlsx) file and make a cell-based comment.
This new feature also supports importing and exporting comments to the underlying file for certain OOXML file formats such as MS Office file formats(.docx, .xlsx, .pptx) and PDF files. This means that existing comments available in those file formats will be imported and displayed in Drive Preview. Additionally, comments made in Drive Preview will be exported to the underlying file so that when you open up the file using the local client application, you will be able to see the comments made in Drive Preview.

Launch Details
Release track:
Launching to Rapid Release, with Scheduled Release coming in 2 weeks

Editions:
Available to all G Suite editions

Rollout pace:
Extended rollout (potentially longer than 15 days for feature visibility)

Impact:
All end users

Action:
Change management suggested/FYI

More Information
Help Center: Comment on Microsoft Office files, PDFs, images, and other files in Google Drive

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View your Slack activity from within Google Drive

Never miss an important update, on either Slack or Google Drive. We’re adding activity events to allow you to see, in Drive, when a file is shared or discussed from within Slack. Two types of actions are logged as events: someone sharing a file stored in Google Drive, and someone commenting—within Slack—on a Google Drive file that has been shared in Slack.

In these events, you will see information about when the action occurred, who did it, and where it happened. The events in the activity logs are private to only those who have access to both the document, as well as the Slack channel or team where the document was shared or discussed.



This launch follows the previously announced Drive integration with Slack, where we added the ability to see notifications in Slack of activity happening in Google Drive. In order to take advantage of this feature, install the Google Drive integration today.

Whether you’re trying to stay on top of Slack discussions, know what’s being collaborated on, or a new team member catching up on prior discussions, these event logs help you keep track of what’s happening to your files in both locations.

We’re also launching international language support for our Google Drive integration. If you use Slack in French, Spanish, German or Japanese, the Google Drive bot will send messages and respond to you in your preferred language.

Launch Details
Release track:
Launching to both Rapid Release and Scheduled Release

Editions:
Available to all G Suite editions

Rollout pace:
Gradual rollout (up to 15 days for feature visibility)

Impact:
All end users

Action:
Change management suggested/FYI

More Information
Help Center: See Google Drive activity in Slack

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Legacy Google Drive desktop sync client now shutting down on May 12th, 2018

When we launched Drive File Stream last year, we announced that the Drive desktop sync client for Mac and PC—a feature officially known as “Google Drive for Mac/PC”—would shut down completely on March 12th, 2018. In response to your feedback, we’re delaying that shutdown date to May 12th, 2018.

We encourage enterprise organizations still using Drive for Mac/PC to transition to Drive File Stream. For non-G Suite users, we recommend Backup and Sync. For more information on choosing the right sync solution for your users, check out this Help Center guide.

To help with the transition, on January 30th we’ll start showing pop-up notifications to G Suite accounts still using Drive for Mac/PC. These notifications will include instructions on how to install Drive File Stream. They’ll only be shown if your domain both allows Drive File Stream and shows Drive File Stream download links in the Drive interface.

IMPORTANT: This shutdown has no impact on other Google Drive services.

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