Introduction to Google Drive Activity API

The Google Drive Activity API consists of the DriveActivity resource, which represents changes made to objects within a user's Google Drive, and the activity.query method, which allows you to retrieve information about those changes.


Your app requests a user's activity data using the activity.query method. You can request activity either for a specific Drive item or for everything contained under a Drive folder. For a given request, you can choose to restrict the response by constraints such as time range or action type, and you can choose to have the activity consolidated in the response. For more information, see Make requests in the Drive Activity API.


The response to a request is a list of activities matching the given parameters, where a DriveActivity resource represents each activity:

Drive Activity explanation.

A DriveActivity resource is a collection of Action objects, each of which is self-contained like an event. An Action includes an ActionDetail (such as Create or Edit), an Actor (such as User or Administrator), a Target (such as DriveItem or Drive), and either a Timestamp or TimeRange.

A DriveActivity resource also contains summary information, such as every Actor and Target from all the actions, a unified Timestamp or TimeRange, and either the most important or representative ActionDetail of the Action.

For more information, see the Drive Activity API data model.

Activity history visibility

Some activity on Drive may not be reported when you use this API. Whether the Drive Activity API reports a given change to an object depends on whether the change, or information about the change, is visible to the authenticated user in your application.

Visibility is based on the permissions set for the object. There's several scenarios when files and folders are shared in Drive:

  • If an author shares a document, the activity history for the document is visible to not only the creator, but also to the authenticated users with whom it was shared.
  • If a document was shared with a user and then made private, the authenticated user can see all activity history while they had access and that the permissions are now restricted.
  • If a document was never shared with a user, the user can't see any activity history.

Get started

To get the most out of the Drive Activity API, integrate your app with the Google Drive API first. To get started with the Drive Activity API, learn how to create a project and authorize requests. Or, dive right in and read about activities in the API reference.