Chad Brown

4 min read

Secure Sharing

5 FAQ on Secure Document Sharing for Google Drive

In today's fast-paced business environment, the need for secure and efficient data management solutions has never been greater. With the rise of remote work and global collaboration, organizations of all sizes are seeking reliable platforms for sharing sensitive documents while maintaining stringent security measures.

Amidst this landscape, Google Drive has emerged as a prominent tool for secure document sharing and collaboration. 

Additionally, we will delve into the role of plugins like Orangedox in enhancing the security and tracking capabilities of Google Drive, empowering organizations to meet their specific needs for security, accessibility, and compliance.

Can anyone see if someone has opened their file in Google drive?

Yes they can. But it depends.

If they’ve shared the file using a document tracking plugin for Google Drive like Orangedox then they’ll be able to see whenever someone previews or downloads that file. Plus they’ll be able to tell who the person was.

If they haven’t shared the file, but rather opened it on a computer which has access to the synced Google Drive folder, then no you won’t be able to know it was opened.

Is there a way for Google Drive shared folder owners to know if I either save to my drive, download or make a copy?

Yes, if the owner uses a document tracking plugin like Orangedox. They’ll be able to track whenever their shared folders are accessed by recipients like you. They will be able to see what files you’ve downloaded or viewed, plus they can disable document downloading if it’s something sensitive and disable access at any time.

If you’re both in the same organization and your using Google Drive for Business then all files shared with internal employees is audited with the Google Drive Audit log

Will the Owner of the Folder Receive a Notification if I Download a File From his Shared Google Drive Folder?

Yes they can.

Out of the box Google Drive doesn’t provide any notification or tracking ability when you’ve shared a folder using a share link.

However, if the owner is using Orangedox with their Google Drive they will be notified whenever you’ve downloaded or previewed a file within the folder. Plus they can see when you’ve forwarded the folder to others.

Is it Possible to Track the Number of Downloads of a File in Google Drive? 

Yes it is.

Using a document tracking plug-in for Google Drive like Orangedox you’ll be able to track the number of times your file was downloaded and previewed. Plus you’ll be able to track when each recipient of your file downloaded or previewed the file and revoke access at any time.

Can I See When an Anonymous Person has Viewed my Google Doc?

Yes. But not out of the box.

Google doesn’t let you track when someone views your shared Google Docs, instead you’ll need to use a third party plugin like Orangedox which will let you track whenever someone views your shared Google Docs. Plus you’ll also be able to see who the person is who viewed the document, allowing you to capture their email so they become not so anonymous.

Bonus: Is there a Way to See Sharing History in a Google Doc

Yes there is.

If the Google Doc was shared, or access was changed, within your organization then your Google admin can use the audit tool (Drive log events) to check when it was shared or the access changed. 

However, if you want to know who forwarded your Google Doc when shared outside your organization then you’ll need to use a plugin like Orangedox. You’ll be able to see how many people the Google Doc was shared with and you can limit the document to be only accessible by the intended recipients, especially helpful if it’s something secure you're sharing. 


Google Drive stands as a powerful solution for secure document sharing and collaboration in today's business landscape. With its user-friendly interface and robust security features, Google Drive empowers organizations to streamline their data management workflows while ensuring the confidentiality and integrity of their sensitive documents. Moreover, plugins like Orangedox enhance the functionality of Google Drive by providing advanced tracking capabilities and additional security measures, allowing organizations to meet their specific needs for security, accessibility, and compliance.

As businesses continue to navigate the complexities of remote work and global collaboration, leveraging the capabilities of Google Drive as a secure document sharing tool becomes increasingly essential. By implementing granular permission settings, tracking document access, and integrating plugins like Orangedox, organizations can optimize their data management processes and foster seamless collaboration across teams and stakeholders.

Start your 14-day free trial of Orangedox Virtual Data Rooms and see what Orangedox can do for your business.

Orangedox provides one-click create virtual data rooms that are directly synced with your Google Drive folders.