Yes, they can. It is just a lot more work. But let's show you how.
We're not going to tell you that unsharing your files natively in Google Workspace is impossible. It's just a bit more complex and time-consuming, and you rely on the end users to make the right decision. But in the spirit of transparency, let's show you how it is done.
Google Workspace native expiration dates
When you share files on Google Drive, you can set expiration dates as long as the person you are sharing with is not an editor of the files.
Let's show you how.
Go to your Google Drive and right-click on the file you want to share. Click Share to open the dialogue.
Enter the email addresses you want to share the file with and maybe write a message. Select the type of access the users need. Please note that you cannot set a time limit on sharing with people who are editors of the shared file.
Once you have completed that step, go ahead and click the Send button.
To define a time limit for the sharing, right-click the file again and go back to the Share menu item. The window that pops up now is slightly different.
You now have an option to select Give temporary access as long as the user is either a Viewer or a Commenter. Click that menu item, and a few lines are added. By default, the file now expires in 30 days, but you can select a different date if required. Once set, click the save button, and you are good to go.
You can also remove the expiration time to keep the file shared beyond this date.
Google Workspace manual unsharing
Now say, for example, you have to go and unshare your documents manually. You browse around Google Drive and see that there is an icon showing two people next to the filename. That means the file is shared.
The next step is to right-click the file to display the menu and click the menu item Share.
For each user, you can now go ahead and click on the drop-down next to their name, which will show what type of user they are. At the bottom of the drop-down, you will find the option to remove the user from the file. Following through with this will unshare the file for that user.
That's why we developed Tricent for Google
As you can see, it is totally possible to unshare files and set expiration dates in Google Workspace. But it's time-consuming and tough to do in an easy and uniform process across the organization.