Google Drive is a cloud storage product that everyone from single users, to enterprises, to educational facilities can use. Recently, Google cleaned up the sharing interface and made it a little nicer for everyday use. Now the company is testing a feature that lets G Suite users share folders that are stored in shared drives, adding a bit more flexibility and privacy controls to the cloud storage.

In a blog post today, Google unveiled improved sharing permissions for its G Suite clientele. Up until now, shared drives had all of their permissions set either at the top level or the individual file level. So you could share an entire drive with someone, or single files with them. For some odd reason, it wasn’t possible to share specific folders within a shared drive. They were left out of the equation entirely.

Starting with this beta, G Suite users will be able to share a specific folder with other users as well as upgrade member access to provide users with additional permissions on specific folders within shared drives. One of the examples Google provides on who can benefit from this change includes a marketing department that has a shared drive accessible by all internal employees, but then shares a specific folder for advertising materials with an external agency.

While this isn't going to solve the problems with syncing shared folders for non-Suite users that Rita wrote a manifesto about last month, it's a simple thing that probably should've been there from the beginning. This feature is rolling out to G Suite Business, Enterprise, Education, Enterprise for Education, and Nonprofits customers. Administrators can request early access here.

The functionality has now exited beta and is globally rolling out to users. For now, it's available through Drive's web interface, API, File Stream desktop app, and mobile apps. It will also be natively integrated with ChromeOS' file system soon. The Commenter role was also added to folders in My Drive, to better align shared drives and My Drive.

The feature is starting to roll out today and will become gradually available to all users by mid-October, depending on your domain's rollout pace.

Google Drive
Google Drive
Developer: Google LLC
Price: Free+