Google to add security resource key to certain Drive files, YouTube video links

To make file sharing more secure, Google is adding a security resource key to non-native public Drive files and unlisted YouTube videos. 

File owners can opt out of the security update for each file. If the update is applied, the file will be updated with a resource key, a group of characters added to the end of its url. This key will make the file more difficult to locate by users who don’t have shared access to it. 

Drive Files

If applied, the security update will impact non-native public Drive files and publicly shared folders in Drive created prior to 2017. Non-native files are those created outside of Google Workspace (e.g., Microsoft Office files, pdfs) and uploaded to Drive. Users who previously viewed the file will still have access, but other users will not be able to access it via the original link, so file access requests may increase. 

YouTube Videos

If applied, the security update will impact only unlisted YouTube videos created prior to 2017. It will change a video’s status from unlisted to private, and viewers may no longer be able to access it. If the owner opts out of the security update (not recommended), the video will remain in its current state.


  • Beginning July 26, owners of impacted Drive files will receive an official email from Google with a list of specific files that need to be addressed.. A blue banner will also appear in Drive to announce the impending changes. Users can opt out of the security update, but neither the Google Service Team or Google recommends doing so unless the file is in the public domain, available for anyone to view. 
  • Owners of YouTube unlisted videos should have already received a notice.

Opt Out Deadlines 

  • July 23 for unlisted YouTube video owners 
  • Sept. 13 for Drive file owners 


For more information, see: