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How to Lock Down Google Drive Files

Google yesterday (July 14) quietly added a powerful security and privacy feature to Google Drive. File "owners" now can prevent others from copying, printing or downloading any document, spreadsheet or presentation — even people with whom they've shared the file.

To enable this feature, which Google calls "Information Rights Management," you'll need to access Google Drive through a Web browser — it can't be turned on via a Google mobile app.

Here's how to turn on Information Rights Management in Google Drive:

1. Open or create a Google Drive document, spreadsheet or presentation.

2. Click the Share button in the upper right corner of the screen.

3. Click the Advanced button in the lower right corner of the resulting pop-up dialogue box.

4. Check the box labeled "Disable options to download, print, and copy for commenters and viewers".

5. Click the Save changes button.

6. Click Done.

Do you care whether anyone prints out your files? Let us know in the forums.

Paul Wagenseil is a senior editor at Tom's Guide focused on security and gaming. Follow him at @snd_wagenseilFollow Tom's Guide at @tomsguide, on Facebook and on Google+.

  • Nasir Hazary
    really helpful post.
    thanks & regards,
  • ggcmtoffice
    I have our employees log into a mutual email to get a Google Drive, they then edit the drive after saving it and then send it to a different email address. Sometimes though, they forget to save as before editing the document and overwrite it. Is there any way to set up the Google Document to only be able to save before editing. Thank you