Quickest Way to Check If Your Google Drive Link Can Be Viewed By Anyone


You just added a link to a file in Google Drive and you are finding that both students and parents can’t open that file but you are not having any issues opening it. The fastest way to check to see that your Google Drive link has the proper permissions is to use an Incognito Window.

An Incognito Window or Private browsing(in Safari) is a mode that opens a new window where you can browse the Internet without Chrome saving the sites you visit. You can open many tabs in incognito mode and navigate back and forth between the pages you visit. When you close the tabs, Chrome won’t save the sites you’ve visited.

I use this mode all the time to see how a website looks when I am logged in as a different user. The fact that the Incognito window has no current login for any website, it is a great way to see if your shared Google Drive links are in fact viewable to someone else. Most notably, to parents who do not have FCS Google login privileges.

To open an Incognito window, right click your pasted link in the email you are sending to parents, for instance. You will get a menu that has an Open link in incognito window option.


Choosing that option will do exactly as it says. If you believe your Google Drive share setting is set to “Anyone with the link can view“, then you Google Doc will open right up in the window that pops open. If you are presented with a Google login window, then you need to adjust the share settings on your link and try again.

This feature is great when sending Google Drive links to parents using the Veracross email address and ensuring that they can open it with no problems.

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