Disable File Download, Printing and Copying

I’ve discussed the sharing of files in quite a number of previous posts – it is, after all, one of the main collaboration features of Google Drive.

Google has just strengthened its sharing system a little more, with the new ability to let owners of shared files lock some functions like downloading, printing, or copying.

Previously, if you shared a file in view-only mode, Google allowed your collaborators to make a copy of the file, download the file on their own machine, or print it. Now you can lock out these options so they become unavailable.

Also, now when you add further editors to a file, you can prevent them from adding yet more people as editors without your permission.

You’ll find the new options at the foot of the advanced sharing options dialog:

Click image to enlarge

Click image to enlarge

To get there, open the sharing dialog by right-clicking any file in Drive and selecting Share…, then click Advanced in the bottom right hand corner.

When this feature is enabled (currently by file owners only, and on the web only), all options for downloading, printing, and copying will be disabled in Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Slides.