If I happen to have many people individually editing a shared folder in Google Drive, how can I easily downgrade everybody's access on files that I add?

The situation in which this would be needed is as follows. I recently shared a link to a Google Drive folder, with edit access, to about 50 people. (I know that this isn't a good idea to share it with so many people, but I would still need to get them on board with the idea that we should be using a Team Drive (under our institution).) The problem is that when I initially sent out an e-mail with the link, I wasn't aware that some recipients are not part of the class. I would have wanted to renew the link (as with our WhatsApp group), but that is not possible. So, it seems that the next-best solution is to add everybody individually, then downgrade the link from edit access.

A benefit of sharing a regular folder, as opposed to having a Team Drive, is that I (and others) can add personal files in there (Shift + Z), and carry on working on those files from my own folder structure, whilst preventing others from editing them. However, when I share my files there in future, they will automatically take on the sharing settings of the folder it is in. I will find it tedious to change around 40 people from "edit" to "comment" individually, every time I share a file, so my question is how to change all the people's access to one setting at the same time.

  • Is the [security] tag appropriate? Because, documents that are editable by too many people can be defaced.
    – ahorn
    Commented Mar 1, 2019 at 20:40

1 Answer 1


You can create a folder specifically for your files, then the files you add in there will take on the sharing settings for that folder by default.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.