Problem: Some Google Drive Shared Files & Folders Searchable By Anyone at Pacific


Content you own and share with others in Google Drive may be found and seen by other Pacific University Google users without you wanting that to be possible.


When you share files or folders that you own in Google drive, you can choose to share it such that any Pacific University Google Drive user who has the link can see it.  Within the sharing settings, while using that option, there is an option reading "People in Pacific University Oregon can search for this file."  If this option is checked, it means that any other Pacific Google Drive user (including employees, students and alumni) can find your material in their searches.  Searches for keywords in Google Drive and sometimes even in Boxer Mail can bring up files and folders you own with that text in the file or folder names or in the content of the files themselves. 

The "People in Pacific University Oregon can search for this file" option is currently unchecked by default when sharing content.  However, we have found that this option had previously been turned on for some older content, often without the knowledge of the content's owner.  This means that content that a user does not mean to be found and seen by other Pacific people is currently able to be found or seen.

Video Tutorial


To See Which Content You Have That is Searchable

Go to Google Drive, making sure that you are logged in as your Pacific account.  In the search bar, search for the following text:

source:domain owner:me

All results that show up are searchable and viewable by any Pacific person.

To Change Content to Not Be Searchable

Right-click on a file or folder, then choose "Share" and then, under "Pacific University Oregon Anyone in this group can find and view" click "change" then do one of the following:

  • Change "Pacific University Oregon" to "Restricted."  This will make the content available only to people who you have given individual access to.


  • Click on the gear icon and uncheck the checkbox for "People in Pacific University Oregon can search for this file."  This will leave the content accessible by any Pacific person with the link, but will prevent it from coming up in searches.

Note that changing settings for a folder will typically change content for all files and subfolders within that folder.  So staring by changing top level folders is the most efficient way to change settings.  There are exceptions to this rule, though, so be sure to do another search for shared content after you think you have gotten it all.

See Also

Boxer Mail and Boxer Apps service catalog entry


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Article ID: 138466
Thu 3/10/22 3:20 PM
Tue 3/29/22 5:57 PM