Access link-shared Drive files using resource keys

You can share Google Drive files and folders with others using the Drive UI or through the Google Drive API. When you share from Drive, you can control whether people can edit, comment on, or only open the file.

A resource key helps protect your file from unintended access. Resource keys are an additional parameter that are passed so users can access certain files that have been shared using a link. Users who haven't viewed the file before must provide the resource key to gain access. Those who have recently viewed the file, or have direct access, don't need the resource key to access the file.

A Drive file that's shared with a link can only be discovered by users that can access the file as a result of a type=user or type=group permissions resource. Requests from users that only have access to these link-shared files using a type=domain or type=anyone permission might require a resource key.

For more information about permissions, see Share files, folders and drives. For a complete list of roles and the operations permitted by each, see Roles & permissions.

Read the resource key from the file

The Drive API returns a file's resource key on the read-only resourceKey field of the files resource.

If the file is a Drive shortcut, the resource key for the shortcut target is returned on the read-only shortcutDetails.targetResourceKey field.

Fields in the files resource that return URLs, such as exportLinks, webContentLink, and webViewLink, also include the resourceKey. Clients that integrate with the Drive UI can also use resourceKeys within the state parameter. For more information, see Download and export files.

Set the resource key on the request

Resource keys for any files referenced by requests to the Drive API are set on the X-Goog-Drive-Resource-Keys HTTP header.

Requests to the Drive API can specify one or more resource keys with the X-Goog-Drive-Resource-Keys HTTP header.


A file ID and resource key pair are set on the header using a forward slash (/) separator. The header is built by combining all the file ID and resource key pairs using comma (,) separators.

For example, consider a request to move file fileId1 from folder fileId2 to folder fileId3. Assume the resource keys for these three files are resourceKey1, resourceKey2, and resourceKey3, respectively. The header built from these values using a forward slash and comma separators is:

    X-Goog-Drive-Resource-Keys: fileId1/resourceKey1,fileId2/resourceKey2,fileId3/resourceKey3