Google Drive Private Sharing Requires a Google Account

Everybody says, “It’s easy, just use Google Drive. It’s free.”

And I’m sure Google wants you to think that.

And it is easy except for one type of sharing:

  • Password protected sharing to people who do not have a google account.

To be specific, here are the layers of sharing:

  1. Public. AKA Publish to the web. Everyone can view. Even strangers.
  2. Sharing with people by emailing them a link
    • Good News: do not need to have a google account
    • Bad news: ANYONE who has the link can view the file.
  3. Sharing with specific people only–ie only people who have the password
    • Bad news: REQUIRES a google account. In fact, the password to their google account is what protects the file from unauthorized eyes.

So the premium feature is sharing with ONLY SPECIFIC PEOPLE – WITHOUT a google account. can do it with paid subscription only. As little as $10 or $5 / month.