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Written by Michael Plis. Your go-to source for smart technology & cybersecurity insights for small business. 

  • Writer's pictureMichael Plis

How to see your public Google Drive files & folders? Cybersecurity Tip

Updated: 6 days ago

Mans hand holding a phone with Google apps
Google Drive and other file storage apps have become essential. Img: Unsplash / Elle Cartier

🧩 Cybersecurity Tip 🧩 Google Drive has very good search options, and I've been trying to figure out whether a client can search all the files and folders they shared with the public or "anyone with the link". This blog explores how to see public Google Drive files so you can lock them down if needed.


After reviewing all the options, I've discovered a few tips that might be useful for you. If you're a OneDrive user, there might be something similar.





See all publically shared Google Drive files and folders


Type this in google drive in desktop operating systems not android or ios. Reveal publicly shared files and folders:


2. See all publicly shared FILES and FOLDERS by you in Google Drive: owner:me sharedwith:public


2. See all publicly shared FOLDERS by you on Google Drive: owner:me sharedwith:public type:folder


And then all you have to do is click on the three dots menu and select Share > Share and remove the "Anyone with the link" under General access section If you don't want it to be visible to the rest of the world. You might have created these links to share it on your website or to a wider audience.




Show all stuff you shared with everyone other than yourself or outside your organisation


I would suggest save these two above links as bookmarks and repeat that for the sharedwith: external to see who else you shared some files with outside the Workspace organization or outside your own account.


Further Options for "sharedwith:" search handle


Find documents a specific Google Workspace account or group has access to. Exclude files the account owns.


Examples:


sharedwith:me - to find files only shared with me


sharedwith:(emailaddress) - to find files specifically shared with a person


sharedwith:external - I'm guessing this is a general search handle to find everything shared externally outside the organisation. "External includes groups where one or more members aren't part of your Google Workspace organization."


sharedwith:public - This is the handle to find all files and folders shared with anyone that has a link or the public.


For more useful nerdy search handles in Google Workspace and personal Google drive:


Advanced search handles listed in Google Help (if reading it on smartphone then switch to Computer tab in Help page and go under Advanced): https://support.google.com/drive/answer/2375114?hl=en&co=GENIE.Platform%3DDesktop&oco=0#zippy=%2Cadvanced-search-in-google-drive


Happy and safe computing


Michael Plis

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About Michael Plis

 

Michael is a technology and cybersecurity professional with over 18 years of experience. He offers unique insights into the benefits and potential risks of technology from a neurodivergent perspective. He believes that technology is a useful servant but a dangerous master. In his blog articles, Michael helps readers better understand and use technology in a beneficial way. He is also a strong supporter of mental health initiatives and advocates for creating business environments that promote good mental health.

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