You can use googledrive to manage permissions on your Drive files, i.e. grant different people or groups of people various levels of access (read, comment, edit, etc.).

Let’s upload a file and view its permissions.


file <- drive_example_local("chicken.txt") %>%
  drive_upload(name = "chicken-perm-article.txt") %>% 
#> Local file:
#> • /home/runner/work/_temp/Library/googledrive/extdata/example_files/chicken.txt
#> Uploaded into Drive file:
#> • chicken-perm-article.txt <id: 1rwvuYe7g6l7XYym8aQtdBKPIC3rjQQ0R>
#> With MIME type:
#> • text/plain

#> # A dribble: 1 × 5
#>   name                     shared id            drive_resource permissions_reso…
#>   <chr>                    <lgl>  <drv_id>      <list>         <list>           
#> 1 chicken-perm-article.txt FALSE  1rwvuYe7g6l7… <named list [<named list [2]>

shared = FALSE indicates that this file is not yet shared with anyone and, for those so inclined, detailed information on permissions can be found in the permissions_resource list-column. Note that the drive_resource, which is always present in a dribble, typically also contains information on permissions. So if you just want to know about permissions, as opposed to modifying them, you can probably consult drive_resource.

Let’s give a specific person permission to edit this file and a customized message, using the emailAddress and emailMessage parameters.

file <- file %>%
    role = "writer",
    type = "user",
    emailAddress = "",
    emailMessage = "Would appreciate your feedback on this!"

Let’s say we also want “anyone with a link” to be able to read the file.

file <- file %>%
  drive_share(role = "reader", type = "anyone")

This comes up often enough that we’ve made a convenience wrapper:

file <- file %>%
#> Permissions updated:
#> • role = reader
#> • type = anyone
#> For file:
#> • chicken-perm-article.txt <id: 1rwvuYe7g6l7XYym8aQtdBKPIC3rjQQ0R>
#> # A dribble: 1 × 5
#>   name                     shared id            drive_resource permissions_reso…
#>   <chr>                    <lgl>  <drv_id>      <list>         <list>           
#> 1 chicken-perm-article.txt TRUE   1rwvuYe7g6l7… <named list [<named list [2]>

We see that the file is now shared = TRUE.

Now that we’ve made a few updates to our permissions, the permissions_resource list-column has become more interesting. Here’s how to pull important information out of this and put into a tibble with one row per permission. (Permission handling will become more formalized in future versions of googledrive. See the issue). We use other packages in the tidyverse now for this data wrangling.


perm <- pluck(file, "permissions_resource", 1, "permissions")

permissions <- tibble(
  id =    map_chr(perm, "id",           .default = NA_character_),
  name =  map_chr(perm, "displayName",  .default = NA_character_),
  type =  map_chr(perm, "type",         .default = NA_character_),
  role =  map_chr(perm, "role",         .default = NA_character_),
  email = map_chr(perm, "emailAddress", .default = NA_character_)

We’ve suppressed execution of the above chunk but here’s some static, indicative output:

#> # A tibble: 3 x 5
#>   id           name            type   role  email                      
#>   <chr>        <chr>           <chr>  <chr> <chr>                      
#> 1 12345678901… Serena Somebody user   writ…          
#> 2 anyoneWithL… NA              anyone read… NA                         
#> 3 98765432109… Orville Owner   user   owner

Clean up

#> File deleted:
#> • chicken-perm-article.txt <id: 1rwvuYe7g6l7XYym8aQtdBKPIC3rjQQ0R>