Hello I am part of an organization that has most of their files on a shared google drive folder. I was recently selected to be part of it (there's an application process) so when I saw a file called "2020-2021 Applications.xls", curiosity got the better of me and I clicked on it. Thing is, my phone screen was broken and glitchy so it ended up making a copy of the file in the same folder.

Now I don't think my coworkers would be too happy if they saw that I was looking at that file (although I suppose it isn't that big of a deal). I deleted the copy immediately.

My question is - did the owner/editors get notified when I made a copy and it shared to them or not?
I ran a test with two accounts and it didn't seem that way but those were between two different email domains so I'm not entirely sure.


2 Answers 2



If files are added into a shared folder, the people who have access to that folder don't get notified about it. As marikamitsos says, they can go to the Activity Pane to see what has happened in the folder. I don't think you can hide events that occur there.

You opened an .xls file, which converted it into a Google Sheets file. Excel files only open as Excel files in the browser if you are using Chrome on a computer, with the Office Editing for Docs, Sheets and Slides Chrome browser extension (if you don't use that extension and you're using a computer, you can still see a preview of the file before downloading it).

By the way, your organisation should be using a shared drive if they have G Suite, instead of a shared folder. That would ensure better file access privileges. See more here: When should I use a Google Team Drive over My Drive? The name of "Team Drives" changed to "shared drives" last year.


Yes they can.
On the upper right corner of the drive one can find the "Details" button where Details and Activity get recorded.

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  • Welcome. Please remember that as per site guidelines when an answer addresses your question, accept it and even upvote it so others can benefit as well. Apr 14, 2020 at 6:42
  • Thank you for the informative response! However my question is if they get notified
    – Jim Bob
    Apr 14, 2020 at 7:22
  • 1
    No they do not get notified. Still. As you can see, even so, they can -at any time in the future- just see (even accidentally) what has happened. Activity cannot be erased. Apr 14, 2020 at 7:29

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