Do you really know how many people have access to your Google Drive?

August 14, 2014


WhoHasAccess to your Google Drive might freak you out

By now, because you have the internet and a computer, you’ve probably used Google Drive. You’ve shared documents or had them shared with you, and bit by bit, you’ve let people into your Google Drive. Now, this sounds scary, but it’s really not, so let’s take a deep breath.

Now that we’re breathing, let’s take a look at exactly how many real life people (we’re not talking robots or bad guys here) have access to your Google Drive through a new tool called WhoHasAccess. All you have to do is visit the site, log in with your credentials, and it will email you when the report is ready. Below is a quick tour.

Read also: Hidden Google Chrome privacy issues you should know about

After clicking the big blue scan button on the website’s main page, it will ask you for the following permissions (which you should determine whether or not you’re comfortable giving to the site):


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After accepting those terms, it starts digging in your Google Drive, and depending on how large your Drive is (the test for this one was quite large), it will show a progress bar, but you can leave it alone as it emails you upon completion.

When you get your magical email, it sends you to the report which outlines exactly who has access. By clicking on a person’s face, it shows on the right exactly which documents they have access to. Chances are, you meant for them to have access, but you need to check just to make sure (and yes, you’ll probably be shocked at how many people you’ve given access to, but remember – they do not have access to your entire Drive, just specific documents):


Because the project is so young, it’s not exactly fully formed, so for now, when you click the big red “Revoke all access” button, it gives you this jolly pop up:


So how can you revoke access?

Fortunately, WhoHasAccess does tell you exactly which documents each person has access to, so simply go into the documents next to peoples’ faces, and if you don’t want them to have access to the document any more, you’ll do the same thing you did when you shared it – click the blue “Share” button when the specific document is open.

Manually revoke their access just as you manually shared it with them in the first place.

We didn’t find any cases of documents that needed access to be revoked, but your mileage may be different. Perhaps a client doesn’t need access anymore to your intellectual property, or perhaps your family doesn’t need to be included in a work document. It’s better safe than sorry, so get to checking!

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