My business model mandates sharing a folder containing a vault of videos with my clients. Unfortunately, when I share the video vault with one client, they can in turn share their Google login with several others, thereby cannibalizing my business since Google allows simultaneous login and usage with the same account from multiple devices. Is there some way to disable simultaneous logins with the same account from multiple devices? If not, are there comparable alternatives to Google Drive that have such a feature?

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    You could share the actual technical business requirement without referencing to Google Drive which you use for storage. For example, are you perhaps selling content, with the idea that a registered user (client) can access the content without restrictions other than that a single device (login) only should be permitted the access at a time? Even if you could restrict the Google Drive login to a single concurrent session/client, you still cannot stop your client downloading content and sharing it with others using other channels.
    – FooF
    Commented Jan 17, 2019 at 15:24
  • Asking about how to do something with an specific web application is pretty on-topic on this site but "sharing the actual technical business requirement without referencing" a web application is not. To ask for software recommendations checkout Software Recommendations. Commented Feb 17, 2019 at 21:10

1 Answer 1


Google accounts are not intended to be used by multiple people, and there are restrictions in place to stop this from happening. Namely, when there is an unusual log-in attempt from an unrecognised device, especially if it is in an unrecognised location, Google will automatically require two-factor authentication, using the mobile phone that is associated with the account. Depending on the severity of the security threat, Google may also implement further measures to make it harder to log in, such as requiring the user to select the number displayed on the phone (out of three numbers), and further steps involve captcha screens with visual and even auditory challenges. These further steps are typically implemented if behaviour similar to a bot is detected.

In short, sharing a Google account with others is problematic. Even though it is possible, it is a security risk, hence, most people shy away from doing it.

  • Google only require two-factor authentication for accounts having it enabled. Commented Feb 17, 2019 at 21:08
  • @Rubén when there is an unusual log-in attempt, and the account is signed in to a mobile device, Google automatically requires authentication from that device. It is mostly to do with the location of the log-in attempt being different, and it is less frequent than accounts with 2FA specifically turned on.
    – ahorn
    Commented Feb 17, 2019 at 21:14
  • It's not mandatory to have smart phone to use Google accounts, actually it's not required to verify a phone number to have one. The purpose of 2FA and other similar measures are intended to protect the account "owner", not to protect users that share content with them. Commented Feb 17, 2019 at 21:16
  • Yes, Google accounts can exist even without a mobile number, but I would think that many people provide a number or alternative e-mail address for Google to contact in the case of a security risk. Some people go all the way to add multiple alternative e-mail addresses, phone numbers, authenticator app, backup codes, etc.
    – ahorn
    Commented Feb 17, 2019 at 21:20
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    KJ Subz is concerned about people sharing their accounts with multiple other people, and I am trying to explain that it is not normal for people to do that, and there are restrictions which makes that behaviour difficult.
    – ahorn
    Commented Feb 17, 2019 at 23:02

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