Google is finally doing something about Google Drive spam
A notification appears on your phone: “Click here for some XXX action!” “
It’s Google Drive again. Someone shared a document with that title on it, and now your phone is begging you to look at it. Even if you prohibit Google Drive from generating phone notifications, you will still receive emails. If you block emails, you should see spam when you click on the “shared” section of Google Drive. The problem is that Drive document sharing was designed without spam management tools.. Anyone who gets their hands on your email is considered an important sharer of valid documents, and there’s nothing you can do about it until now.
Google officially recognized the problem in 2019, and the company has said it is making spam control “a priority.” Now, more than two years later, Google is finally rolling out the most basic spam tools for Google Drive sharing – you can block individual email addresses! The company announced the feature in May, but the tool will roll out to users over the next 15 days. Soon, once the spam arrives in your Google Drive, you will be able to click on the menu button next to the item and choose “block user”.
Drive sharing works like email spam. Anyone can share a Drive file with you if they know your address. Documents that have been shared with you always automatically appear in your Drive collection without your consent. There is no way to turn off sharing, limit sharing to approved users, or limit sharing to existing contacts. It’s a melee.
It’s like email, but while Gmail has many spam controls, Drive historically has very few. Gmail gets AI-powered Google-side filters for obvious scams, a “spam” inbox for questionable items, and advanced filtering rules anyone can write down. For years, Drive has been an out-of-control spam mess for some users, and the only solution has been to use the entire service less and prevent it from sending emails and notifications.
With the new feature, blocking a user will prevent them from sharing content with you, remove all shares between you and the blocked person, and block them on several other Google services. The ability to block individual email addresses is a start, but obviously any spammer can just create a new account and quickly bypass this fix. Since Google made Drive’s sharing security work like email, it doesn’t appear that full email-like checks (or a share allow list) solve the problem.
As with regular spam, some people get tons of it and some people very little, depending on who has your email address. For people who have been impacted by Google Drive spammers, it has been very frustrating to have almost no way to stop it. This feature will at least give some control.