A Google update for Drive could break some file links

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Many Google Drive links will become inaccessible by mid-September, according to an announcement by the search engine giant. The company announced that it is rolling out an update that would make sharing files within Drive more secure.

However, when the update goes live in September, Drive will add a resource key to links generated for sharing. What that means for old links already on the workplace network, is that those who have viewed the link before the changes take place can continue accessing the resource. Those who have not will need the resource key to open files.

To update or not to update

Workplace admins have been given until July 23rd to decide how the security update will be applied to their respective organizations. They have a choice to apply it with limitations or even to not use the update entirely.

At the same time, personal users will get a notification about the change on July 26th and will have until September 13th to decide what to do. They too can choose to apply the update or not. However, Google recommends that users not opt-out.

The company suggests that if a person decides to make the update, they should probably not apply it to files posted publicly because the links will break and have to be reshared with the resource key.

In addition to that, Google is also planning some changes for its YouTube platform that could break many old links. YouTube has a security measure that makes links to unlisted videos impossible or difficult to find for people that they were not explicitly shared with. This only started in June 2017. Starting July 23rd, all unlisted videos uploaded before 2017 will be made private unless the users choose to leave them as they are.