New Pincode Collaboration in Google Drive

Google has announced secure, pincode-based collaboration with people who do not have a Google account.

Google has announced secure, pincode-based collaboration with people who do not have a Google account. This means UAlberta G Suite accounts can share items with non-Google accounts (any email address such as a company address, or,, etc), enabling them to view, comment on, or edit content in Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Sites using a secure pincode.

Why would you use it

UAlberta G Suite users often collaborate with external partners for research, teaching and learning, and administrative work. These external collaborators don’t always have Google accounts, making it more difficult for UAlberta G Suite and non-Google users to collaborate seamlessly and securely. Note, this feature applies to the web version of Google Drive and may not be immediately visible in all UAlberta G Suite accounts.

The new pincode feature will enable smooth and secure file sharing through: 

  • Rich collaboration, including commenting and editing⁠ on Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Office files and more (in My Drive and shared drives)
  • Reduced need to download, email, or create separate files to work with external partners 
  • Ability to revoke access and remove collaborators as needed
  • Keep track and view past activity of changes with collaborators

How to get started

Sharing Google Drive files with non-Google accounts is done the same way as with UAlberta G Suite accounts. External collaborators will be able to edit, comment on, or view a shared file for 7 days after they verify their email address using the pincode. If they need to collaborate longer, they can use the link from the original sharing email to receive a new pincode and verify their identity again. Access or permissions of shared files can be changed or removed at any time.

Note, If an external collaborator has been given edit access, they can re-share the file to another G Suite or Google user. External collaborators cannot create, upload, or own files and folders. 

Where can people get more information?

Keep an eye on IST’s G Suite news to learn the latest tips, tricks, and updates for UAlberta G Suite. Additional information can be found at Google Drive Help: Share documents with visitors.