I have a Google Drive folder shared to anyone with the link. The problem is that when anyone with the link tries to access it, everything on the page is unresponsive (clicking folders does nothing) until they log in to their Google account. Even though the folder is set to "Anyone with the link can view, no sign in required", it still required the person with the link to log on to any Google account. Is there a way to share a folder in Google Drive that would allow anyone to view the content without signing in?

Here are some steps to reproduce:

  1. Click this link to view the test folder I've shared
  2. If you are logged in at the top right, click your name and then "Sign Out"
  3. Attempt to view the contents of the document or navigate into the folder
  • Don't post a duplicate question. Bring more attention to the existing question. Post a bounty; share the question on Social Media, etc.
    – ale
    Commented Apr 6, 2014 at 17:57
  • Sorry, I did not word it properly, I did NOT post it intentionally, When I was typing the question it had just been asked meaning the related questions did not find the duplicate since it was asked just four minutes after my post. I repeat, this was not intentional. Commented Apr 6, 2014 at 18:05
  • Ah, I see. (My fault for not checking timestamps.)
    – ale
    Commented Apr 6, 2014 at 18:15

2 Answers 2


The information that you are giving us is the link to the folder - not the link to the individual files within that folder.

That is why "anyone with the link" can get to the folder, but cannot get to items witin it, ie because they do not have the links to the items in the folder.

Arguably this is a silly distinction: if you want "anyone with the link" to see the folder, then surely you're implying that you've given them the file links, too. But this isn't how Drive is working at the moment, according to testing I just did in Chrome.

Right now, if you want me to see the contents of files in your Google Drive folders, then you have to give me the link to theose files, not just to the folders.

(This may be different if you set permissions to Public on the Web - if you want to test this, set up a folder and I'll take a look.)

  • I will try setting the folder to public to test that. The weird part is that today I tried viewing it in Windows 8 IE rather than from another browser I was using in linux, and in IE explorer I can view the folder contents without logging in? Maybe it's some type of glitch? Commented Apr 9, 2014 at 22:03
  • Drive is not guaranteed to work in IE 8 at all: at the moment only 9 and 10 are supported, as soon as 11 moves out of Beta, it will become supported and 9 will no longer be. (And actually, this is a significant issue in using Drive to share things with "the public") Commented Apr 10, 2014 at 12:04
  • OK, I am using IE 11 and I am able to access the files without logging in. Commented Apr 11, 2014 at 1:38
  • And I can see into the folder now, too. I guess this is because you've set it to pubic. Commented Apr 13, 2014 at 18:25
  • I did not actually set it to public. It is still set to "Anyone with the link". I do not know why it works sometimes now. Commented Apr 25, 2014 at 22:17

The problem is with Internet Explorer. If you share a folder as "public on the web" you will open the files/folder within using Chrome or Mozilla, however with Internet Explorer you only can see the list or files/folder. The click will not work.

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