Setting expiration date on file access
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Set an expiration date for file access in Google Drive

Sharing files with people outside of your organization is very easy with Google Drive. You can either give them view, comment or edit rights on a file. Where does setting an expiration date for file access in Google Drive come into play?

Let’s say you have an ongoing project for an event with an external contractor.  You give this contractor editing rights on all the files you’re collaborating on. But what happens once that project is over? Would you want to let the contractor access these files indefinitely? That probably wouldn’t be the best approach. You might not want the external contractor to use the data for other clients of theirs.

How could you deal with this situation? We suggest you set an expiration date on file access in Google Drive. You can either watch the video with the demo of how you can set an expiration date on file access (see bottom of this page) or you can read through the step by step tutorial.

How to set an expiration date on file access step by step

When we share files in Google Drive we have the possibility of accessing the advanced settings. In the example below we see that we’re giving Craig Smith editing writes on the file Event Timeline. Craig Smith is the external contractor who’s not part of our G Suite organization.

Set expiration date on file access: Craig Smith has editing rights
Craig Smith has editing rights on this specific file

Under the Who has access section of the settings window hover over the users name to make further icons appear. In our tutorial we’re hovering over Craig Smith’s name to have the clock icon appear.

Set expiration date on file access: Hover over Craig Smiths name to see little clock
Hover over Craig Smiths name to see little clock

Once we’ve clicked on the clock icon we get two default values of 7 respectively 30 days. In our tutorial we want to set the end date of the event we are organizing together with our external contractor. So we choose to set a custom date as expiration for the file access.

Set expiration date on file access: Dropdown with default and custom value
Dropdown with default values for expiration dates

We chose the 30th June 2020 from the displayed date picker. After choosing the expiration date all you have to do is save your changes and you’re good to go.

Set expiration date on file access: Choose date in date picker
Choose date from the displayed date picker

Once the expiration date is reached the person you previously shared the file with automatically looses access to the file. This handy function of setting an expiration date on file access in Google Drive saves you the task of having to keep in mind that once a project is over you withdraw access to files for external collaborators.

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