Google Drive has always had some problems with spammers — no wonder, since there's no way to stop strangers with your email address from sharing files and folders with you in Drive. Google acknowledged the problem and promised that it would work on a solution all the way back in 2019, but has been radio-silent since then — though we assume there was some work in the background, as we've seen much fewer reports in recent times. But now the company is adding a user-facing solution to help against spam, phishing, and otherwise unwanted files: a blocking option.

Google describes how bad actors abuse Drive's sharing capabilities for spam and phishing, making it "important to have the necessary security controls in place to fend off these sharing threats. Today, we’re announcing user blocking in Drive to do just that." When you decide to block someone in Drive, the person will not be allowed to share content with you in the future, and all existing shares will be removed. You'll also remove the other person's access to content you've previously shared with them (assuming they haven't downloaded it, of course).

From what we can gather, the block option will be available in the "Shared with me" section of Google Drive, where you presumably have to right-click a shared file or folder and then select the blocking option.

Since the announcement comes as part of a broader Workspace update, we assume that blocking will first roll out to businesses and other Workspace users before it will be available for everyone. According to Google, the option will roll out "over the next few months," so you might have to wait quite a while until you'll be able to use it, too.

For what it's worth, you can already report abuse on shared files and folders, and we assume that Google uses insights from these reports to remove thousands of Drive spamming attempts every day in the background before they even reach anyone, but giving people a full blocking option is even better. It's also useful in case you need a simple way to cut ties with someone like a former business partner you're no longer working with.

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