Google Drive security update

You may have received an email from Google informing you that a security update will be applied to certain files and folders stored in Google Drive on September 13, 2021. The intention is to increase security of your data by updating shared file links to include a resource key. 

When is this happening?

September 13, 2021, but you may start to see the security update applied now. 

How do I know if my files are affected?

You can view your affected files by following the instructions below:

  1. On your computer, go to
  2. At the top of the page, locate the blue notification banner and click See files.
  3. If you have multiple Drives with impacted files, click on one of your Drives, like My Drive, to see all impacted files in that Drive.

Important: You can only view your impacted files for 30 days from when you receive the security update notification email from Drive. After 30 days, you can use advanced search to find your impacted files.

What does this mean for my affected files?

Once the security update is applied to a file, a resource key included in the URL will be required to access the file. Users who previously accessed or viewed the affected file won’t need the resource key in the URL. Only people who haven’t previously accessed the file will need the resource key to gain access. If they don’t have the URL with the resource key, they’ll need to request access to the file. 

Important: For affected files and folders that you use in internal sites or documentation, make sure to update the links to the new links that include resource keys. You can get the new link from the item’s owner if it’s not shared directly with you. 

How do I access the new sharing link?

  1. Open your Google Drive and click the See files button along the blue banner at the top of the page.
  2. Right click on an affected file in Google Drive.
  3. Click Get link.
  4. Click the Copy link button.
  5. Replace the existing link you’ve shared with the new link you’ve just copied.

Will I know if someone can’t access a file that I shared?

If someone requests access to one of your files with the security update, you’ll receive an email telling you whether they tried to access your file using an old link. You can then send the person a new link with the resource key so that they can gain access.

What files aren’t impacted?

Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Forms aren’t impacted by this security update. Other file types may be impacted.

Additional information on this security update can be found through the following article. 

For questions or concerns please contact the IT Support Desk at (616) 234-4357 or email

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s