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Ask HN Googlers: Why is Drive document sharing for Google Domains broken?
43 points by davidw on Nov 26, 2013 | hide | past | favorite | 11 comments

If you share a document with "everyone in your organization" it is not visible to them by default. This has apparently been broken for something like 5 years.

Top 7 reasons for why Google Drive document sharing remains broken for so very long:

7 Google only thinks in terms of very large numbers, starting at a billion. If you were to share a billion documents, and those billion documents appeared in everybody's folders, then (you must admit) that would be a bad user experience.

6 This feature is not part of Microsoft's or Facebook's or any hot-new-startup's core feature set, so there's no incentive to fix this.

5 Writely finished integration long ago. There's no one to do the work.

4 Google is a search company. The current mode encourages users to search for documents (in hopes they're there).

3 Fixing this feature would not increase ad revenue.

2 Google's tech support department left for a dental appointment six years ago, and she never came back.

1 Fixing this problem would not lead to more Google+ logins

Google's recommended workaround: If you want to share your document with your coworkers, and have them see it without searching, post the document on Google+

> 6 This feature is not part of Microsoft's or Facebook's or any hot-new-startup's core feature set, so there's no incentive to fix this.

This seems the most relevant. Without a competitive angle, it's hard to see how this gets prioritized inside the company.

Yes, this annoys me to no end, and I can't for the life of me figure out how one of the KEY selling points for Apps and Drive can stay broken and neglected for so long.

My workaround is to create a folder that is shared with everyone (individually list out each user in your domain) and make sure that all documents are created in that folder or one of its subfolders.

And since there is no technical method by which you can ensure that everyone creates their documents in that folder (and ONLY that folder)... you pretty much have to resort to constant annoying emails "are you sure you created it in $SHARED_FOLDER this time?" when you can't find stuff. Because the search tool is also broken.

Here's the linked Stack Exchange URL in a clickable format:


This discussion started something like 5 years ago:


What kind of workarounds do you guys use?

This bit me on the ass because I did not even know people in my organization did not see these documents.

I've been considering a switch to Office 365 and SkyDrive or even just signing us up for DropBox for Teams because Google Drive is so incredibly unintuitive.

AFAIK it used to work back in the days of Google Docs, and only broke with Drive. So not 5 years, but maybe 2. And yes, it's a massive pain at least for our workflow. At least a couple of times a month somebody forgets to drag a new document into a shared folder, and are blissfully ignorant that nobody else can find it.

I've been using Google Docs / Apps since long before Drive, and sharing within the org has NEVER worked in a sane fashion.

I'm not convinced this isn't working as designed. I think maybe it's just a UI/documentation issue.

If I'm not mistaken people can still find the document with search.

Finding the document with search isn't the issue. The issue is Google Drive not functioning as expected. (Call it un-intuitive or whatever, but the point is "everyone in my organization" to most people means everyone in their organization.)

I support 300 Google users and I have 5 open tickets on Google drive that have been open for months.. One is some files do not sync its like a ghost sync.. They say its a known issues. Two when adding files to a shared drive the user that adds the file gets the storage added to their account not the shared folder. Three moving items from shared to my drive sometimes they become unshared and can only be reshared by the account holder and kinda get lost in space.. Four I have a account that has 2TB some times it will say scanning we for weeks at a time. Five when users have the client installed and work on some docs the same time as others it makes a new file and or the user that saves it last gats the changes saved.. They are all known props and at first I got the run around like reboot and is your computer on but after keeping the tickets open and supplying logs they have said they are working on a fix..

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