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Technology at SCU

Google Drive Security Update for Link Sharing

To make file sharing more secure, Google is releasing a security update that changes the links (URLs) for some Google Drive files and folders.


  • Starting on July 26, 2021: Google will send an email message directly to members of the SCU community who own or manage impacted files. The message from Google will include the list of impacted files, and instructions for how to update the links for those files in advance.
  • Starting on September 13, 2021: Google will begin to enforce the security change for link sharing.

What is the impact?

  • This change impacts only files that are in a non-native Google format; that is, only files in  (for example) Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word, or PDF format. Documents in native formats like Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides are not impacted.
  • This change impacts only files shared before November 2017. Files created or shared after November 2017 are not impacted.
  • This change impacts only users who have not already viewed an impacted file.

Once Google begins to enforce this change, a user who clicks (for the first time) on a link to a shared file, using a link that has not been updated, will be presented with a page to request access. The owner or manager of the file will get an email requesting approval.

Reducing the impact of this change

You can reduce the number of the approval requests you get by following the instructions from Google for your impacted files, and then updating any links you have posted on websites or elsewhere. This should be completed before Google begins to enforce this change on September 13, 2021.

If you don't update the links for your impacted documents or folders, users will be presented with a page to request access from you. When you get the email, you can grant approval.

Starting on July 26, 2021, you can see your impacted files in your My Drive. At the top, you should see the security update banner; in the banner, click See files.

This banner will only appear for 30 days.

After that time, you can use this keyword in the search box in Google Drive: is:security_update_applied