Change Folder Permissions in Google Drive with Apps Script

Published in: Google Apps Script - Google Drive

This Google Apps Script will change the access permissions of the specified Google Drive folder from Public to Private at a custom date and time. When you initialize the script, it creates a time-based trigger that is responsible for change the shared permissions.

Google Scripts has a simple file.removeViewer(user) method to remove one or more users from a shared File but it doesn’t seem to work when the file /folder is shared with Public. Thus the workaround, as used in this script, is to create a copy of the shared folder and delete the original one thus expiring the shared links.

// Enter the full URL of the public Google Docs folder
var FOLDER_URL = "";

// Enter the expiry date in YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM format (local time zone)
var EXPIRY_TIME = "2013-02-15 18:30";

function getFolderID() {

    var search = /docs\.google\.com\/folder\/d\/(.*)\//g;
    var results = search.exec(FOLDER_URL);

    var id = "0";

    if (search.lastIndex)
        id = results[1];

    return id;

function Start() {

    var ID = getFolderID();

    if (ID == "0") {
        MailApp.sendEmail(Session.getActiveUser(), "Error",
            "Check the URL of the shared Google Docs folder : " + FOLDER_URL);

    var time = EXPIRY_TIME;

    var expireAt = new Date(time.substr(0, 4),
        time.substr(5, 2) - 1,
        time.substr(8, 2),
        time.substr(11, 2),
        time.substr(14, 2));

    if (!isNaN(expireAt.getTime()))
        MailApp.sendEmail(Session.getActiveUser(), "Error",
            "The auto-expiry date isn't in proper format. Please use YYYY-MM-DD HH:MM");


function autoExpire() {

    try {

        var folder = DocsList.getFolderById(Initialize());

        if (folder) {

            var name = folder.getName();
            var copy = DocsList.createFolder(name + " (Private)");

            var files = folder.getFiles();

            for (var i = 0; i < files.length; i++) {


            MailApp.sendEmail(Session.getActiveUser(), "Success",
                "Your shared files are no longer public and the new (private) URL is :" + copy.getUrl());
    } catch (e) {
        MailApp.sendEmail(Session.getActiveUser(), "Error",
            "Could not set the expiry date for your file. " + e.toString());
Published in: Google Apps Script - Google Drive

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Web Geek, Tech Columnist
Amit Agarwal

Amit Agarwal is a Google Developer Expert in GSuite and Google Apps Script. He holds an engineering degree in Computer Science (I.I.T.) and is the first professional blogger in India. Read more on Lifehacker and YourStory

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