Google Drive's latest update removes one of its vexing collaboration limitations

Google Drive logo on laptop
(Image credit: Jay Bonggolto / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google has rolled out a new update to Drive that makes it easier for Workspace customers to collaborate with visitors.
  • The new feature will allow non-Google account owners to upload and create files in shared drives.
  • However, the new Drive feature is not available to all users.

Google is expanding its sharing feature in Google Drive, allowing non-Google account owners to do more than just view or edit shared files owned by Workspace customers.

The search giant announced on its Workspace blog that Drive’s visitor sharing feature will now allow non-Google account holders to upload and create files within shared folders. The goal is to make collaboration easier for all stakeholders in an organization through one of the best cloud storage services.

Google initially introduced this feature in 2020 to allow Workspace customers to grant external users viewing and editing access to documents in their Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides. This access was protected by a PIN code for identity verification, but its limitations prevent people outside of an organization from providing their own content.

The latest update removes that restriction, providing more ways for Workspace users to collaborate with third parties. If you've turned on visitor sharing for your organization, the new capability will be available by default.

Google Drive visitor sharing

(Image credit: Google)

Google has begun rolling out the new sharing feature, though it will take a few more days for everyone to see it. While at that, this new capability will not be available to all Workspace customers. According to Google, it is only available to those on the Workspace Essentials, Business Standard, Business Plus, Education Plus, Enterprise Standard, and Enterprise Plus tiers.

This means you won't have access to the feature if you're on a Workspace Business Starter, Enterprise Essentials, Education Fundamentals, Frontline, and Nonprofits, as well as legacy G Suite Basic and Business tiers. Personal Google account owners are also out of luck.

Jay Bonggolto
News Writer & Reviewer

Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.