Update for Google Drive Shared Links FAQ


U-M Google Drive


On July 26, 2021, Google notified many U-M Google users about an update that will take effect September 13, 2021, that impacts their U-M Google accounts. Google will be applying an update to some Google Drive files to make sharing links more secure. This update will change the shared link URLs created for non-Google files (e.g., Word, Excel, JPG, etc.) shared before November 2017.


Who is impacted by this change?

Any U-M Google account that:

  1. Owns or manages files in their My Drive or shared drives that were created before November 2017
  2. And received an email from Google on July 26, 2021

This change will also affect individuals who have not viewed the impacted file before September 13 and are trying to access the file via the old shared link URL. When these individuals try to access the file after September 13, they will be asked to request access. The owner or manager of the file will then receive an email asking for approval.

What impact will this change have on me?

If you are impacted, you may receive a temporary influx of access requests to files with shared links that have changed. The number of access requests you receive depends on where you share old links to impacted files (e.g., on a public website) and how frequently new individuals view the files.

Individuals you have invited specifically to the file or who have previously accessed the file via the old shared link will not be impacted.

What file types are impacted?

Only non-Google files such as Microsoft Word documents, PDFs, and others shared before November 2017 will be impacted by this security update. Built-in Google file types such as Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Forms will not be impacted. The email sent by Google on July 26 to affected users included a link to view a list of files that the update will impact in their email to affected users.

What steps do I need to take?

If you received Google’s email notification, ITS suggests that you follow the instructions Google provides to view your impacted Google Drive files. Refer to the Google Help Center for more information on the update to Google Drive links.

Note: ITS does not recommend removing this update, even for files posted publicly.

In addition, you should update any impacted shared link URLs you have distributed on websites or documentation to reduce the number of access requests you receive.

Additional Information

Have additional questions? Contact the ITS Service Center.

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Article ID: 6015
Wed 7/21/21 11:08 AM
Mon 8/30/21 2:34 PM