Access Control

Sites and Files Access Control

Users with files on Google Drive that embed them in a Google Site frequently ask why their files are not visible on their Site.

The sharing settings for files in Drive are separate from the Site sharing settings and need to be set separately - usually to be the same as the Site - they are not 'inherited' from the Site they are shared in.

Fortunately this is easy to do since it is possible to share both Sites and files on Drive - including folders - with Google groups.

Using Google Groups for Access control

If you have a Site that you want to share with a specific group of people and documents on Drive embedded or linked to from your Site that you want to share with the same group of people, you could simply share the Site with those people and do the same with any docs or folders on Drive.  (This can be simplified by making sure that any shared documents are in a single shared folder).

However, if that group of people changes you will need to remember to make the changes in multiple places.
An easier method is to create a Google Group for those people and then share the Site and documents with that Google Group.

It is easy to share Google Sites (and Google Docs, folders and Calendars) with Google Groups in a secure manner. All you need is the Google Group's email address shown on your group's "about group" page.. 

You can set up a group so that people can ask to join it. Once their membership has been approved, they will have access to anything shared with that group.


If you are a member of a group and the group has access to a Site, the Site will not appear in your Sites list but you will still have access to it

Logged in or not logged in

If a user has zero logged-in accounts and visits either a non-existent site or a site that is not public they will be redirected to a login page. If they have at least one logged-in account they are no longer redirected to login 

Account Chooser 

If you want to ensure a user is prompted to sign in to the correct Google account when sent a link to a Google Site then use a link in the form:


An alternative version is with  /signinchooser added:[domain]%2f[sitename]

Note: don't add /home to the end as that may not be the page path of your site's homepage, but stop /sitename will always work 

I/signinchooser is included and the user is signed in to an account that can access the site it doesn't make them choose an account.

But if /signinchooser is not there the user will always be asked to pick an account, even if they are only signed in to one account and it has access.

(You should URL encode the site URL after continue hence the  %3a and %2f you see in the example above.)

Sites Service disabled for a domain 

If users are signed in to an account from a GW domain for which the Sites service has been disabled domain users they will not be able to access ANY Google Site