Google Drive excels at many things and convenience is chef among them. Storing, sync and editing of files personally is one thing, but a lot of the platform’s true power lies in its collaborative aspects, especially if you use some of Google’s paid offers, like Workplace or G Suite Business. For all that power, however, Google Drive’s sharing policy has always been rather liberal in that there is no restriction or second layer of confirmation for actually sharing something with another person. All you need to do is enter a valid gmail in the sharing interface and that resource will appear in the other user’s “Shared with me” section. Naturally, that enables unsolicited spam and other abusive content. Content that you can already press “remove” on, but that can then still, some times re-surface in other places, like while searching. It’s not a great setup.
Well, back in May Google announced what it titled a set of updates for “Arming Google Workspace users and admins with advanced counter-abuse and threat-analysis capabilities”. One of these features is the ability to block another Google Drive user. Now the feature has officially started seeding and luckily, it is not just limited to paying Google customers. Free personal accounts are getting it as well.
To block another user you just have to right click on some of the undesired content, shared by said user and then press the “block” option. This will do a trio of things:
- Block another user from sharing any content with you in the future. This can be a useful control if, for example, another user has a history of sending spam or abusive content.
- Remove all existing files and folders shared by another user. This is an easy way to get rid of all spam or abusive content shared from a specific user at one time.
- Remove another person’s access to your content, even if you’ve previously shared it with them.
Pretty neat, though it should be noted that blocking a particular Google account on Drive might also end up blocking it on other Google services in one way or another. Information is a bit sparce on that front, but it is still worth mentioning. In the vast majority of cases, it is however safe to assume that extra layers of blocking will simply be a bonus, rather than an issue.