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Access revoke

 When I give a individual file public access and then revoke it, even after 5 mins of revoking the access the file is accessible. Why is it so ?

1 Answers

Hello, Aparna.

In their documentation, Google does say that it could take up to seven minutes for changes to take effect:

Note: In general, any policy changes will take effect within 60 seconds. However, under certain circumstances, it may take up to 7 minutes for such changes to fully propagate across the system.

But in my experience, this is usually not the cause of what you’ve described.

Usually, I think what causes this is that something along the way has cached the file so Google is not actually being asked for it, when you refresh. Think about the data flow. If your browser–or a computer-level cache, or a corporate proxy, or something–1) remembers that you recently requested this file, 2) has a copy of that file, still, and 3) doesn’t think it needs to check for a new version, yet, then it will just give you back the same one it successfully got (because it was authorized), last time, and the request for the now-blocked file does not get to Google.

To avoid caching like this, you can again think of the data flow and try to access the file in some way that avoids it. For example, if you think your Firefox browser may be caching it, try using Chrome, instead. Or if you think that a corporate network proxy might be the culprit, then try connecting with a non-corporate device from a non-corporate location.

Another (maybe easier) thing you can do is to signal that you want a freshly requested copy of the file. If you open Chrome’s developer tools, there’s a checkbox on the "Network" tab that says to "Disable cache". Next time you hit this situation, if you turn on that checkbox and re-request the file, does it more-quickly show you that the access has been revoked?

I’m curious to hear back about what you find. Please let us know! 🙂


Aparna Sen

It does seem like that . When I use a different browser, it does says unauthorized. Thanks for the explanation.

Mattias Andersson

I really appreciate your reporting back. Thanks! And I’m glad the explanation was helpful. 👍

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