The Google Drive team is rolling out an update to the web that allows you to preview password protected Microsoft Office documents. The update is rolling out to everyone and should get to your account over the course of the next few days. Once you have it, if you attempt to open a password protected file, you will be prompted for the password and can then preview the file. The key word here is preview. You won’t be able to edit the document nor will you be able to open it up in Google Docs, Sheets or Slides. It is a read-only preview.
While it is limited, this is a nice edition to Google Drive. Many users store Microsoft files on Drive so being able to at least preview a document before going through the process of opening it up in the apps could potentially save some time. Interestingly, the ability to open or preview password protected files is something that even Microsoft does not offer with Office 365 online.
For now at least, this new feature is for Google Drive online only. The mobile app doesn’t have the ability to preview or open a password protected file and the announcement today from the Drive
team does not give any indication if it will be coming later.
As a heavy Google G Suite user, this is a nice feature for sure but it would be great to see Google add the ability to password protect Google Docs, Sheets and Slides files too.
Baby steps and all that I suppose….