We often need to share documents, folders, and files on Google Drive with collaborators, both inside and outside the organization. But what about the scenarios when you might only want to share something for a limited time?

Maybe you want to allow a co-worker access to documents pertaining to a shared project, but you also want their access to expire after the project is over. Maybe you want to allow a volunteer to have access to relevant files, but you don't want them to continue to have access after their term of service is over. Regardless of your reasons, you could simply try and remember to update the sharing permissions on the correct date, but, of course, there's an easier way. 

Google drive allows you to set an expiration date when you share a file or folder.  If you sharHere's how:

1. Right-click on the file or folder that you want to share, then 

2. Enter the name or email address of the person or group you want to share the Drive folder/file with, then select 'Commenter' or 'Viewer' from the options. Note that you can only set an expiration date for Viewer and Commenter roles. Click on the 'Add expiration' option at the bottom.

3. A small notification will appear below the sharing permission that shows when this person's access will expire. To edit it, click the pencil icon:

4. You can select a date (but not a time) from the calendar window that pops up. Note that there is a limit of 1 year for expiration dates. You can't set an expiration date that's more than 365 days in the future.

5. Decide if you want to send the recipient a notification, then click the blue button in the bottom right corner. It will be labeled 'Send' or 'Share'.

6.  If you open the sharing settings for that document in the future, you'll see a little stopwatch next to the person or group that has an expiration date:

If you click on the stopwatch icon, you'll be able to modify or remove the expiration date for that email address.

Final Notes

It's worth noting that anyone who has Owner or Editor access to a file or folder in Drive can modify the sharing permissions. That means that if you set an expiration date for a share for a particular file, another editor can come in and change or remove that date.

Also, expiration dates are not available for documents or files in Shared Drives.