How to Secure Google Drive With Face ID or Touch ID on iPhone and iPad

How to Secure Google Drive With Face ID or Touch ID on iPhone and iPad

We often store files in Google Drive. If you leave your iPhone or iPad unlocked, anyone can access the app and its contents. Securing important Google Drive files with Face ID or Touch ID authentication on your device is crucial.

How to Secure Google Drive With Face ID or Touch ID on iPhone and iPad

Google Drive should include an additional layer of security to protect your files. This is where the Privacy Screen feature comes in. In this article, we will explore how Privacy Screen works, how to enable it on your iPhone or iPad, and what to keep in mind once it’s turned on.

How Privacy Screen in Google Drive Works

Privacy Screen prevents unauthorized access to Google Drive on your iPhone or iPad. Activate it, and users must authenticate with Face ID or Touch ID every time they open the app.

How to Secure Google Drive With Face ID or Touch ID on iPhone and iPad

Note: You can choose to delay Privacy Screen authentication prompts if you wish. Instructions are provided below.

Furthermore, the app switcher on the iPhone and iPad will also hide the standard snapshot of Google Drive to prevent others from seeing the files or folders in the cloud storage service.

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What if Face ID or Touch ID fails to register? After two attempts, Google Drive will automatically prompt you to use your Lock screen passcode instead. So don’t worry about being locked out of the app due to face-wear or a sweaty finger.

Privacy Screen is available in Google Drive app version 4.2020.18 and newer. If you have an older version on your iPhone or iPad, update it via the App Store before following these steps:

Step 1: Open the Google Drive app and tap the hamburger menu icon in the upper-left corner.

Step 2: Tap Settings.

Step 3: Tap Privacy Screen.

How to Secure Google Drive With Face ID or Touch ID on iPhone and iPad

Step 4: Turn on the switch for Privacy Screen.

How to Secure Google Drive With Face ID or Touch ID on iPhone and iPad

Step 5: Perform a Face ID or Touch ID scan.

How to Secure Google Drive With Face ID or Touch ID on iPhone and iPad

Privacy Screen is now active. Your iPhone or iPad will prompt you for Face ID or Touch ID authentication whenever you access Google Drive. If you want to disable this additional authentication, follow the steps above and turn off the switch next to Privacy Screen.

How to Delay Privacy Screen in Google Drive

Privacy Screen by default is designed to request Face ID or Touch ID authentication every time you open Google Drive. This occurs even when switching back to Google Drive from another app.

How to Secure Google Drive With Face ID or Touch ID on iPhone and iPad

On the screen that follows, you can pick the delay time of 10 seconds, 1 minute, or 10 minutes.

How to Secure Google Drive With Face ID or Touch ID on iPhone and iPad

Google Drive only requires Face ID or Touch ID authentication when opening or switching back to the app, based on the selected duration.

Things to Consider While Using Privacy Screen

Enabling Privacy Screen in Google Drive for your iPhone or iPad comes with a few functional and privacy-related concerns.

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Google Drive Becomes Unusable With the Files App

Google Drive functions as an integrated cloud storage location for the Files app. However, enabling Privacy Screen disables the display of the contents of that Google Drive folder.

How to Secure Google Drive With Face ID or Touch ID on iPhone and iPad

The Authentication Required screen appears instead. However, you cannot authenticate the Files app to connect to Google Drive when Privacy Screen is enabled. To use Google Drive in the Files app, you must disable Privacy Screen.

Search Suggestions Will Include Google Drive History

Your Google Drive history will still appear in searches on your iPhone or iPad. If you’ve accessed files in Google Drive, typing relevant keywords will display those files in the search results. To block Google Drive search results, go to Settings on your iPhone or iPad, select Drive, then Siri & Search.

Google Drive Notifications Remain Unaffected

Enabling Privacy Screen will not prevent Google Drive notifications from showing up.

How to Secure Google Drive With Face ID or Touch ID on iPhone and iPad

To stop notifications about shared files, comments, or requests from appearing in front of others, simply disable them in the Notifications section of Google Drive Settings.

You Can Still Access Files With Apps Connected to Google Drive

Google’s productivity apps (Docs, Sheets, Slides) let you access supported documents stored in Google Drive without any restrictions. If that poses an issue, you may want to remove those apps from your iPhone or iPad.

Private and Secure

Privacy Screen is a great implementation in Google Drive that helps ramp up document security. If you don’t rely heavily on using Google’s cloud storage service via the Files app, it’s worth using this feature to secure your files.

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What about something like OneDrive’s Personal Vault? That would make securing sensitive files in Google Drive even more convenient. We look forward to that in future updates for Google Drive.

Next up: Running out of storage in Google Drive? Find out what you can do to free up storage.

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