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I have to share a self-taken video to a large number of people via Google Drive. I think the easiest way is to use "Share" -> "Anyone with the link can view" option. However, under this option, further settings are disallowed. Hence I am not sure whether people with the link can only view the video, or they can download it via some ways and/or applications (which I don't want them to). I know there may be applications that can do this anyway (like those YouTube Download apps and websites for YouTube videos), but at least I hope they won't be able to download the video automatically or within a few clicks.

I tried in my own computer, when I entered the shareable link obtained to a web browser, Google's video player opened the file and played it as a stream. However, if the browser does not support that player (or any player), will the user be prompted to download it instead?

I found the settings to disallow people from downloading the file only applied to "Share with people", but nothing is mentioned about whether downloading can be prohibited (or automatically prohibited) under the "Anyone with the link" option.

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The "Anyone with link" option will allow them to download the file.

It is very hard and effectively impossible to stop someone from downloading something that they are able to view as it has to be downloaded onto their computer to view it in the first place.

If you want to prevent people from downloading a video but still want them to view it, you may need to tackle it a different way and encrypt or encode the video in a way such that only your web-app viewing the file can decrypt and/or decode the video, this way the file is useless to other people.

This is a large job though so if you need this your best bet is to look for third party software.

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  • Thanks for the answer, this leads me to another question, in apps such as Zoom, where they provide cloud storage of recorded meetings and can disallow viewers from downloading the video, do they have this encode / decode facility, or they just try to make the download a bit harder by not providing the download link? – GreenPenguin Sep 7 at 21:52
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From the question

I have to share a self-taken video to a large number of people via Google Drive.

I don't think that it's a good idea. There are several posts complaining that the access to a file hosted on Google Drive is blocked when "too many" people are viewing downloading them.

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Why don't you upload the video to YouTube, instead? YouTube makes it easy for people to stream and watch the video (and the quality adjusts to their internet speed). It is very difficult for people to download YouTube videos, so that part of your problem will be solved.

Lastly, the video does not need to appear in the YouTube feed or search results if you make it "unlisted". That way, others will only be able to watch the video using the URL that you give to them.

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