How to Check Who Downloaded Files in Google Drive

Google Drive is a good and secure space for storing and managing your important files and databases. Not only that, it even helps you work with your team in real-time as you can easily share files and data over it. However, what if someone unauthorized gets access to your files and they start tampering with them? How would you know that even with shared access, your files on Google Drive are safe and secure?

As good as Google Drive is for maintaining your data, you need to make sure that you monitor its usage well. This calls for you to check upon who is taking what action on your files. This can be actions involving online edits as well as the ones that can equip the users with offline access, i.e., downloading of the files.

Now, considering that Google Drive is a secure platform, it makes it difficult for the users to download files from it. In fact, no one can download a file from your Google Drive.

Unless you have granted them access and shared your personal login details and credentials with them. However, what if you did share the access for some particular purpose, but someone ended up misusing that access?

Well, the bottom line is you need to be strict and proactive with the monitoring of the usage of files on your Google Drive.

The thing is, while you can see the edits made to the files and other actions taken online, it’s really difficult to find out who downloaded files in Google Drive. So, how do you monitor that?

Also, read, Store passwords in Google Drive- Is it Safe?

How to Check Who Downloaded Files in Google Drive?

There are two different ways to check who downloaded files in Google Drive while also keeping track of all other actions taken on your files and folders. Now, one of the methods is paid while the other one is free.

Let’s have a look at both of them.

Google Apps Unlimited/Google Apps for Education Account

If you have a subscription to a Google Apps Unlimited or Google Apps for Education Account, then finding out who downloaded your files in Google Drive becomes extremely easy and swift. In fact, there are just a few simple steps that you need to follow. Let’s have a look-

  • Download Google Apps Unlimited application on your device and log in to your account.
  • Once logged in, you shall be able to see the Google Apps Unlimited admin console on your screen. In this admin console, find the option reading “Reports” and click the same.
How to Check Who Downloaded Files in Google Drive
  • From the list of further options, select the “Audit” option and then click on the “Drive” option.
  • You shall be able to see a list of all activities happening in your Google Drive, right from the edits to the files to the date and time of those edits, etc. You shall also see an option reading “Filter” on this page. This is what you need to use. Click on this option. 
  • In this option, you can create different filters. Create a filter for the users who can download the files. As soon as you create this filter, you will be able to see any user downloading the files from your Google Drive.

Besides that, you can add more filters to limit access and permissions for the users on your Google Drive so that you can be assured of its safety and security.

Orangedox Add-on

Now, while the Google Apps Unlimited Account is a good option, it’s paid, and you might not want to subscribe to it. So, here is a free alternative for you to check who downloaded files in Google Drive.

It’s Orangedox that comes as a Google Drive add-on. So, you can download the extension and add it to your Google Drive. 

Here are the steps that you need to follow for using this extension.

  • Go to the official website of Orangedox, and on the Homepage, click on the “Get Started for Free” option.
Check Who Downloaded Files in Google Drive
  • On the next Sign-in page, select the “Sign-in with Google” option. This will sync Orangedox with your Google Drive.
how to check who downloaded file from google drive
with Google
  • Once signed in, select the “Share Links” option and then click on the “Get Started” button.
how to see downloaded files in google drive
Tap on Get Started
  • As soon as you click on that button, you get the option to share your links. Select the links that you wish to share. This is where you add the filters and protections for your files. In addition to sharing the files, you will see options. Wherein you can enable or disable downloading for the users with whom you are sharing the files. Additionally, you can add passwords and security codes for the downloads.
  • Once done, click on the “Finish” button. 
  • You will see a pop-up asking the platforms where you want your files to be shared. Select the platforms and share the files.
  • Now, move back to the Orangedox dashboard and click on the “Publish” option in the menu. In this option, you get two views for your shared files, viz., “Viewed” and “Created.”
  • Click on the “Viewed” option. Here, you will get a list view of who downloaded your files in Google Drive.

So, it’s that easy with Orangedox. The only limitation is that it works only after you have downloaded it and synced it with your Google Drive, and any past actions and downloads are not reported by this application.

Nonetheless, it’s a good solution if you’re looking for a free option. And it will surely keep you covered for the future.

Related Google Drive tutorials:

Final Words

Keeping your files in Google Drive secure and constantly tracking their usage by the ones who have access to them is very important.

You always need to know who has offline copies of your files, and the best way for the same is to keep monitoring who downloaded your files. You have both paid and free solutions for the purpose. We hope that you found them helpful and will make the right choice!