I recently used Google Drive to share a file with Anyone with the link ("Anyone who has the link can access. No sign-in required."), but did not yet distribute the link to anyone. Thus, I cannot imagine how anyone might be accessing this file yet.

When I double-checked what exactly recipients of the link will see, I was surprised to find "Anonymous Auroch" and a bunch of other weirdly-named critters visiting this page together with me.

A quick Google-search turned up some explanations on Blogger and on TechCrunch.

But these did not help me understand. Are there indeed anonymous users viewing this file that I have shared? How can this be, if I did not yet publicize the link?


1 Answer 1


One possibility is that the other "Anonymous" visitors are actually you visiting the page multiple times. Since it does not require authentication, it typically leaves people as anonymous until they do something that identifies them.

  • 2
    I think that you are correct! When investigating this, I was careful to make sure that I did not have any other browser tabs viewing this file. But I now see that: [1] when not signed into Google Drive, each visit to the page (and even each refresh of the single browser tab) creates a new Anonymous instance. Also, [2] these instances "persist" for a while.
    – Yosi Mor
    Commented Jun 4, 2013 at 14:28
  • 1
    I confirm, I have seen this happen quite a few times, anonymous sessions take some time to clear and can add up if you're multitabbing
    – Luk
    Commented Jun 19, 2013 at 14:13

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