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Home / Tips and Tricks / Google Drive has a serious spam issue, and Google does not seem to care

Google Drive has a serious spam issue, and Google does not seem to care

Google Drive has a pretty serious spam problem and it seems Google does not care. Spammers can share files that automatically appear in your drive, and there's no way to stop them.

What happens is what happens

Google Drive's sharing system is the problem. Since it does not allow sharing, all files and folders shared with your account are automatically available in Drive. They are only displayed. If you only have "View" permission, you will not be able to remove yourself from the share. It is a mess. And to make matters worse, this is not a new problem, but Google has still not done anything to fix it.

Here's the scenario: A spammer (or someone else) tells you a file or folder. This file or folder appears immediately in the Quick Access pane of your drive and in the Shared with you section. You can not prevent this ̵

1; you do not have to accept the approval. It shows up, whether you like it or not. The good news is that the files are not automatically added to your drive and therefore are not automatically downloaded or synced to your devices.

These were all given to us without request or permission. But here they are.

Now you can right-click on the object and choose Remove to prevent it from appearing in the Shared with Me section. However, it still displays in the Quick Access section and search results. If you accidentally open the file or folder, it will be taken back to your drive on the web.

Why is this a problem?

There are some scenarios where this is a pretty big problem. The first is, as already mentioned, for spam. Users can (and will) be bombarded with crap that they do not want – all the time.


The second problem may occur even more frequently: If you do not want to be part of a shared file / folder longer. Since there is no way to get out of the share, stick with it. This can be particularly disturbing if the shared file or folder comes from an ex with whom you no longer have or want contact .

In addition, Google Drive does not provide a lock-out feature. Even if you block someone in Gmail, they are not blocked in Drive. This seems to be common in Google services. Just because you block someone in a service does not mean that they are blocked in one of the other services (but sometimes?). It is a mess.

Yes, that's old. Like, "from a previous marriage" old.

All in all, Google Drive offers spam reports, but when we tested the feature, it referred to a 404 page halfway through. If it worked, the document was still not removed or blocked by Drive. Not a good look for Google in both cases.


Google could easily solve the problem

The most frustrating part of this problem is that the solution is simple: Google needs it Add an acceptance function and a removal function that works. If you share a file with Dropbox, you must accept the share before it appears in your dropbox. If you never accept the file, you know what? It will never appear in your Dropbox folder.

Also in Dropbox, the user can remove themselves from a shared file or shared folder even if the status is "View" . That's a big advantage over Drive and something Google should steal from Dropbox.

What can you do now?

That's hell: there's nothing you can do. You can not prevent people from sharing files or folders with you, and you can not remove yourself from shares as they come in (even if the file is set to View Only).

You can can right-click on the file and select "Remove" to hide it from the "Shared with me" list. However, as mentioned earlier, the file or folder will still be displayed in the search results and in the quick access area. It's better than nothing, but not much.

How to Check Share Permissions

So how do you know what permissions you have for a given share? First, right-click the file in Google Drive, and then choose Show Details.

If you see your profile picture next to the one who shared it, you have Editor permissions and can remove yourself from that portion. If you only see her profile picture, you can only see the share and stick to it.

How to Flag a File as Spam

You can also try to flag shared files as spam. However, the use of is very limited . It only works with Google Docs files (Docs, Sheets, etc.). Any other type of file is not allowed.

To do this, open the document in question and click Help. From there select "Report Abuse / Copyright".

On the next page, select "Spam" as a violation you report. Click "Send Report". The file is still in your drive and it is not clear what Google is doing with this information. I reported a file that was in my drive four days later, so do it the way you want.

Otherwise you just will not be lucky. We contacted Google to say something but have not heard anything yet. We will update if we do that.

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