Tag Archives: Google Drive

Update your G Suite mobile and desktop apps before August 12, 2020, to ensure they continue working

Quick summary

In 2018, we began making changes to our API and service infrastructure to improve performance and security. As a result of these changes, some older versions of G Suite desktop and mobile apps may stop working on August 12, 2020. In particular, versions released prior to December 2018 may be impacted.

To ensure their workflows are not disrupted, your users should update the following Google apps to the latest versions as soon as possible:

Getting started
  • Admins: Encourage your users to upgrade their apps. If you deploy Drive File Stream to your organization, ensure you’re using the latest version.
  • End users: Upgrade the apps listed above to the latest versions as soon as possible.
Rollout pace

Availability
  • This impacts all G Suite customers and users with personal Google accounts.

Share folders in shared drives with a new beta

What’s changing 

We’re launching a new beta program that allows you to share folders in shared drives. Learn more and express interest in the beta here.

Who’s impacted 

Admins, end users, and developers

Why you’d use it 

Shared drives are a powerful way to empower teams and organizations to store, access, and collaborate on files. Until now, all permissions were set at the shared drive level or the individual file level, and it wasn’t possible to share specific folders within a shared drive.

With this beta, you can share a specific folder with other users, or upgrade member access to provide users with additional permissions on specific folders within shared drives. Examples of how you can use this include:

  • For a marketing department, you can have a shared drive accessible by all internal employees, with a specific folder for advertising materials that’s also accessible to an external agency. 
  • For a sales department organized by region, you can have a shared drive that enables team managers and directors to see all activity, with regional teams only able to see the information relevant to their specific area of focus in a shared folder. 
  • For a shared drive used to prepare for a specific event, you can give all members view access to all files, while providing each specific team with edit access to the documents relevant to their part of the event. 

Share a folder with non-members and give members upgraded access on folders 




Additional details 


Manager access level needed to share folders 
Folders in a shared drive can only be shared by managers of that shared drive. Other shared drive access levels (e.g. content manager and commenter) are not eligible to share folders, because they are not allowed to control broad access to content. Folders in shared drives have the same access levels as the shared drives themselves, with the exception of the manager.

These access levels include: Content manager (default), Contributor, Commenter, and Viewer. Note that a Contributor on a folder is an Editor on a file in that folder.

See more details on shared drive access levels.


Folder roles in shared drives 


Folder access levels can only be expanded, not reduced, from the shared drive level
Access levels assigned at the shared drive level represent the minimum level of access users will have to all files and folders within that shared drive. This ensures transparency, predictability, and scalability. As a result, the access level of a user for a folder within a shared drive can only ever be greater than the access level of that user for the shared drive itself; it can’t be more restrictive.

For example, a Commenter on a shared drive cannot be just a Viewer of a folder within that shared drive. However, a Viewer on a shared drive can have their access level expanded to Commenter or Contributor for specific files and subfolders within that shared drive. Therefore, if permission on a file or folder is downgraded, the action will take place on one or more parent folders where the permission was inherited from.

An example of the dialog if access level is reduced for a sub-folder in a shared drive 


What happens with file and folder moves 
When shared files or folders are moved in, within, or between shared drives, inherited access to content will be updated accordingly, and direct access will be preserved. The same is true when shared files or folders are moved from a shared drive to a user’s My Drive.

For example, imagine a document was originally in the Sales team shared drive. All members of the Sales team have Viewer access to the shared drive and so have Viewer access to the document. Additionally, five individual Sales team members have Editor access to the specific document. If that file was moved out of the Sales team drive, the Sales team would lose their inherited Viewer access, but the five individual users would still have Editor permissions.

As these (shared) folder moves can make broad changes to content access, folders moved into or between shared drives are only allowed for users who are managers on both the original as well as the target location.

Note: We will start to enforce the manager requirement with this beta program, and on September 1, 2020, for all G Suite customers. Going forward, it will no longer be possible for Contributors or Content managers on the target destination to move folders in or between shared drives.

Getting started 

Admins: Express interest in the folder sharing beta here. We’ll begin accepting domains into the program in the coming weeks.

End users: Once this feature is enabled for your domain, to share a folder: Select a folder in a shared drive of which you are a manager and click on share in the folder menu (toolbar) to open the share dialog. From there, you can share the folder.

    Availability 


    • Available to G Suite Business, G Suite Enterprise, G Suite for Education, G Suite Enterprise for Education, and G Suite for Nonprofits customers 
    • Not available to G Suite Basic customers and users with personal Google Accounts 

    Resources 



    Roadmap 


    New sharing dialog for Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Forms

    What’s changing 

    We’re updating the interface you use to share files from Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Forms on the web. This will replace the previous interface used to share files and manage members of shared drives. These changes will make it easier to share files only with specific people without expanding access beyond what’s needed.

    Who’s impacted 

    End users

    Why it matters 

    Sharing files is critical to collaboration. This is especially true now, as more workforces are remote and collaborating on files from different locations. By making it easier to share files with specific people, we hope to improve collaboration while reducing the risk of access by unwanted users. 

    Additional details 

    We’ve made several changes to the sharing experience. These make it easier to perform common tasks, avoid accidental permission changes, and quickly see who has access to a file. Specifically you may notice:

    • Separated, task-focused interface: The new sharing dialog highlights essential user tasks like sharing a file, changing permissions, and viewing file access. The redesign also visually separates sharing with people and groups from link-sharing. 
    • Quick “copy link” button: We’ve added a “copy link” button to make it easier to get the link without changing link permissions. 
    • Easily see current access: The new interface more clearly shows who currently has access to the item, making it easier to quickly audit and change permissions. 


    The new sharing interface for Google Drive and Docs editors files 


    The old sharing interface for Google Drive and Docs editors files 

    Getting started 


    • Admins: This change will take place by default. There is no admin control for this feature. 
    • End users: This feature will be ON by default. Use our Help Center to learn more about how to share Google Drive files

    Rollout pace 



    Availability 


    • Available to all G Suite and Drive Enterprise customers, as well as users with personal Google Accounts 

    Resources 



    Roadmap 


    Create pointers to any file or folder in Google Drive with shortcuts

    What’s changing 

    Last year, we announced a beta for shortcuts in Google Drive. This feature is now generally available and has started rolling out to all G Suite customers and users with personal Google Accounts. 

    Shortcuts in Drive make it easier to organize content and point users to relevant information and files across various drives.

    Who’s impacted 

    Admins, end users, and developers

    Why you’d use it 


    Shortcuts are pointers to content that can be stored in another folder or drive, a shared drive, or an individual user's “My Drive.”

    For example, Paul, a marketing manager, creates a “Marketing Strategy” document and shares it with the sales team. Greta, the sales manager, can now create a shortcut to the document in the “Sales” shared drive, enabling everyone on the sales team to quickly and easily access the file.

    Additional details 


    Shortcut visibility and sharing permissions 
    Shortcuts are visible to anyone who has access to the folder or drive containing the shortcut. Even if someone can see the shortcut, however, they can only open it if they have the appropriate access to the original file or folder.

    Simplifying how files and folders appear in multiple locations 
    In order to create a consistent experience for managing and viewing reference files across Drive, we’ve changed the “Add to My Drive” option to “Add shortcut to Drive.”


    Changes to Drive’s folder structure and sharing model starting September 30 
    Starting September 30, 2020, it will no longer be possible to place a file in multiple folders in My Drive, including via the Drive API. Going forward, every file will live in a single location.

    After September 30, 2020, all files already living in multiple locations in My Drive will gradually be migrated to shortcuts.

    No admin or end user action is required. We recommend developers read more about this and other Drive API changes on the Cloud blog.

    Getting started 




    Rollout pace 

    Drive Web



    Drive Android/iOS

    • Gradual rollout starting on March 26, 2020. Requires app version 2.20.10 and up for Android and 4.2020.08 and up for iOS 


    Drive File Stream

    • This feature is already available and requires app version 37.0 and up 


    Backup and Sync

    • This feature is already available and requires app version 3.46 and up 


    Availability 


    • Available to all G Suite customers and users with personal Google Accounts 


    Resources 




    Roadmap 


    New admin controls for third-party app backups in Google Drive

    What’s changing 

    Admins can now choose whether their Android users can back up data from third-party apps, such as WhatsApp, to their G Suite accounts. Previously, admins didn’t have specific controls for third-party app backups—all G Suite users who had Drive enabled could back up this data, and users without Drive enabled could not. With this launch, admins can choose whether their users can back up this data, regardless of whether they have Drive.

    This backup feature is limited to WhatsApp at launch, but other apps could be added in the future. If WhatsApp data is backed up, it can be used to restore WhatsApp conversation and message history if a user gets a new phone or deletes WhatsApp data from the device (e.g. via a factory reset).

    Before choosing to enable or disable the feature for some or all of your users, we recommend that you use our Help Center to learn more important details about managing 3rd-party app backups for your organization. Also note: 

    • Third-party app backups is an additional service, which is not covered under the G Suite Terms of Service. 
    • These backups do not count against any Drive storage quotas. 
    • WhatsApp backups are only available for Android devices. 
    • Backups will automatically expire; WhatsApp backups that haven’t been updated for one year will be removed (learn more). 


    Who’s impacted 

    Admins and end users


    Why it matters 

    This gives admins more control over the content that’s stored in their domain. If enabled, third-party app backups can help users preserve and manage important data.


    Additional details 


    User experience of using and managing backups 
    Users will see a link to Backups in Google Drive within the ‘Storage” section (see image below). This will contain their backed-up data. That data could include third-party apps such as WhatsApp (if enabled by their Admin with this control), as well as Android device backups. Users can delete these backups if they choose. Users cannot see the contents of these backups within Drive; they can only be used to restore data in third-party apps.

    If admins turn third-party app backups off, users may be notified that their backups are not working properly. To avoid these notifications, the user can turn backups off on their device or back up their data to a different account on their device.

    If admins have third-party app backups turned on but have Drive turned off, users may not be able to directly delete their backups through the Drive UI. Backups will continue to be deleted automatically upon expiration. You can also use our Help Center to find other ways to immediately delete backups


    Getting started 

    Admins: Starting on 5 February 2020, there will be a new setting in the Admin Console to control this feature at Admin console > Apps > Additional Google Services > Third-Party App Backups. The setting will initially have the same ON/OFF state as the Google Drive service, and can be controlled at the domain, OU, or group level. Visit the Help Center to learn more about managing backups for your organization.

    Admin Controls for third-party app backups 

    End users: This feature may be available to end users depending on the Admin control. If enabled, backups can be found and managed by users at Drive > Storage > Backups in their linked G Suite accounts. Use the Help Center to find out more about managing backups in Google Drive.

    Users can find Backups in the ‘Storage’ section of Google Drive 


    The new Backups section 


    Rollout pace 


    • Rapid and Scheduled release domains
      • Admin console setting: This setting will appear in the Admin console sometime between February 5 and 12. 
      • User impact: G Suite users may see the “Backups” view starting on February 5 (Rapid Release) and February 19 (Scheduled Release), but no new policies will be enforced until March 4 or later. These policies will go into effect for users between March 4 and 11. 

    Availability 


    • Available to all G Suite customers 

    Resources 


    G Suite Add-ons now generally available in Calendar, Gmail, and Google Drive

    What’s changing 

    Last year we announced the beta of G Suite Add-ons, a new cross-suite platform that connects G Suite to your favorite workplace apps. Beginning today, G Suite Add-ons will begin rolling out to all users.

    With G Suite Add-ons, workflows that require third-party applications can be executed inside G Suite, allowing users and teams to use the applications they want without leaving G Suite. For example, you can install the Workfront add-on for quick access across Calendar, Gmail, and Google Drive.

    Installing the Workfront add-on directly from Calendar


    Access G Suite Add-ons from the side panel of Calendar, Google Drive, and Gmail

    Take action without leaving G Suite


    Who’s impacted

    Admins and end users

    Why it’s important

    G Suite Add-ons connect G Suite with third-party applications so you can work directly from the G Suite app you’re using, rather than toggling from one app to another. They also surface relevant information and suggest actions based on what you’re working on. 

    Add-ons from SignEasy, WebEx, Workfront, Lucidchart and more will be available once this feature has fully rolled out and can be installed from the G Suite Marketplace

    Organizations can also build their own add-ons using Apps Script. Note that the developer feature will be fully available in early February — we’ll provide an update here once it’s fully rolled out.


    Additional Details

    G Suite Add-ons will work across G Suite products, allowing developers to create a single add-on that works across G Suite, rather than building a separate add-on for each application within G Suite. 

    G Suite Add-ons are currently accessible in Calendar, Gmail, and Google Drive, with support for other G Suite products coming later this year.

    Getting started

    • Admins: This feature will be available by default. If you allow users to install only whitelisted applications from the G Suite Marketplace, you can specify those apps within the Admin console. Or, you can install chosen G Suite Add-ons for your entire domain via the listing in the G Suite Marketplace.
    • End users: This feature will be available by default. You’ll be able to install G Suite Add-ons using the “+” button in the G Suite quick access side panel. The add-ons you install will appear in the side panel across G Suite apps.

    Rollout pace

    Resources

    Roadmap

    Restrict the use of Drive File Stream to company-owned devices

    Quick launch summary

    Earlier this year, we gave admins more control over their corporate data by integrating controls for Drive File Stream in Google’s device management interface. The option to restrict the use of Drive File Stream to company owned-devices only is now available to opt into.

    Admins can access the setting by going to the Admin console and navigating to Apps > G Suite > Settings for Drive and Docs > Features and Applications. Then, select “Allow Drive File Stream in your Organization” and “Only allow Drive File Stream on authorized devices (Beta)".

    Availability

    G Suite editions

    • Available to all G Suite editions


    On/off by default?

    • This feature will be OFF by default and can be enabled at the OU level.



    Stay up to date with G Suite launches

    Drive file suggestions in Google Chrome will be generally available beginning in December

    What’s changing

    Earlier this year, we announced a beta for Drive file suggestions in Google Chrome. This feature will start rolling out to customers beginning on December 16, 2019. Prior to this date, we recommend Admins review and adjust the new setting in the Admin console that controls this feature. For more information on this setting, see below.

    Drive file suggestions in Chrome allow users to search their Google Drive files directly from the Chrome URL bar, instead of drive.google.com. Currently, this functionality is limited to files that users have previously opened in Chrome. Starting on December 16, 2019, users who restart their browsers will be able to search for any Drive files that they have access to, including ones they haven’t previously opened in Chrome.



    Who’s impacted

    Admins and end users

    Why it’s important

    Starting December 16, 2019, Drive file suggestions in Chrome will be enabled by default for your organization. There is a new setting in the Admin console that allows admins to control access at the OU or group level for this feature. When “Allow Google Drive file suggestions for signed in users whenever a search is performed” is selected, users can modify their individual search settings in Chrome to enable or disable Drive file searches.

    If you leave Drive file suggestions in Chrome enabled, users who are signed in and opted in Chrome sync will see Drive suggestions in the Chrome URL bar for their synced account (Chrome version 69 and above). To learn what sync settings users can manage and how they’re managed, as well as how to enable or disable Chrome Sync, see our Help Center.

    We recommend reviewing and adjusting the new setting in the Admin console that controls this feature as needed. See below for instructions on how to modify this setting, or visit our Help Center.

    How to get started


    • Admins: 
      • Prior to December 16, 2019, review and adjust the dedicating setting in the Admin console that controls this feature as needed. See our Help Center to learn more.


    • End users: If file suggestions are enabled in your domain, you can turn drive file suggestions on or off in Chrome browser:
      • Open Chrome Browser and go to More > Settings
      • Under People, click Sync.
      • Turn on or off Google Drive search selections.

    Additional details

    This feature will be available to users signed into a Chrome profile on any operating system: Chromebook, Mac, Windows, etc.

    Availability

    Rollout details
    • Rapid Release domains: Extended rollout (potentially longer than 15 days for feature visibility) starting on December 16, 2019
    • Scheduled Release domains: Extended rollout (potentially longer than 15 days for feature visibility) starting on December 16, 2019

    G Suite editions
    • Available to G Suite Business, G Suite Enterprise, G Suite Enterprise for Education
    • Not available to G Suite Basic, G Suite for Education, and G Suite for Nonprofits

    On/off by default?
    • This feature will be ON by default and can be controlled at the OU or group level.

    Stay up to date with G Suite launches

    Google Drive apps and Editor add-ons moving from Chrome Web Store to G Suite Marketplace

    What’s changing

    In the coming weeks, we’ll move all Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Forms add-ons and Google Drive apps from the Chrome Web Store to the G Suite Marketplace. See our Cloud Blog for more details on this change. If an add-on’s developer hasn’t taken action to migrate their listing, new users won’t be able to install it. We’re calling these add-ons “unmigrated add-ons.”


    Who’s impacted

    Admins and end users

    Why it matters

    Existing users of unmigrated add-ons will continue to be able to use them. However, if they uninstall Editor add-ons or Drive apps, they won’t be able to reinstall them. Moreover, if an existing user creates a template with one of these add-ons, any users who don’t already have the add-on installed won’t be able to use the add-on within the template.

    How to get started


    • Admins and end users: No action is required. To check whether an add-on has been migrated, search for it in the G Suite Marketplace
    • Developers: Drive apps and Editor Add-ons must have a G Suite Marketplace listing prior to September 9, 2019. For more information on how to migrate your add-ons, see here for Drive developers and here for Editors developers.

    Helpful links



    Availability

    Rollout details

    • Rapid Release domains: Extended rollout (potentially longer than 15 days for feature visibility) starting on August 28, 2019
    • Scheduled Release domains: Extended rollout (potentially longer than 15 days for feature visibility) starting on August 28, 2019

    G Suite editions

    • All G Suite editions


    Stay up to date with G Suite launches

    Complete basic PDF forms directly in Google Drive on mobile

    Quick launch summary

    You can now fill out structured PDF forms within the Google Drive app on Android and iOS devices. You’ll be able to complete text fields, select options from a dropdown menu, and select checkboxes or radio buttons. After filling out the form, you can save your edits as a new revision of the document, or save a copy.

    This feature makes it quicker and easier to complete business invoices, event registrations, tax forms and other types of simple forms. This eliminates the need to print, fill-in by hand, and re-upload the document, saving you time.



    To begin filling out a form, tap the pencil button in the PDF preview or tap the form field directly. When you’re done, save edits or save a copy of the form.

    Note that this feature is not available on XFA forms, and does not support e-signature.

    Availability

    Rollout details

    • Rapid Release domains: Extended rollout (potentially longer than 15 days for feature visibility) starting on August 22, 2019
    • Scheduled Release domains: Extended rollout (potentially longer than 15 days for feature visibility) starting on August 22, 2019

    G Suite editions

    • Available to all G Suite editions


    On/off by default?

    • This feature will be ON by default.


    Stay up to date with G Suite launches