Working with remote and in-office colleagues? Learn how to thrive in hybrid work environments.

Tips to share your files

Google Workspace productivity guide

On this page

Tips to share your files

Specify who can access a file

Expand all  |  Collapse all

Tips to share your files


Share files and other content with a group

Share your Google Workspace content—such as Google Calendar, Sites, Docs, Sheets, Slides, and files stored in Google Drive—with multiple people at once using Google Groups.

  • Share resources, status updates, and more using a single team email address, instead of multiple individual email addresses.
  • Change access permissions for everyone at once, instead of changing them for each person manually.
  • If someone leaves the team, there's no need to search for everything you've ever shared with them. Just remove that person from the group, so they can't access any previously shared group content.
Learn how

Share content with a group using a single address

Before you begin, create a group and add people to it. Learn how to create groups.

  1. Create a file in Google Drive, or open an existing file.
  2. In the file, click Share.
  3. In the Invite people field, enter the group's address.
  4. Select the level of access you want to provide the group: Editor, Commenter, or Viewer.
  5. Click Send.
Click Share to open the window where you add people, then click Send.

Share documents in spaces

When working with a team, you often need to collaborate on files such as documents, spreadsheets, and presentations. Spaces are workspaces where you can share these files and everyone can find them. And, you can edit documents directly in the space beside the chat conversation.

Click the name of the space, the Files tab, then the file, which opens at right.

Web version



Share links to PDF versions of your files

Sometimes people prefer Adobe PDF files because they’re easy to print, download, and open in existing programs. If you’re working in Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides, there’s no need to convert your files to PDFs every time you want to share them.

Instead, send a link to a PDF version of your file.

  • You don't have to re-share PDFs or update PDF links if you change the source file. The link always goes to the most recent version.
  • Save email storage space and avoid attachment size limits.
  • You don't need multiple versions of your files, such as a PDF and a source file—all the versions are stored in a single file.
Learn how

Share your file

  1. On a computer, go to Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, or Slides.
  2. Click the file you want to share.
  3. Click Share Share.

Copy, paste, and send the PDF link

  1. In Drive, select your file.
  2. Click Share "".
  3. Click Copy link and click Done.
  4. After you paste the link, change the end of the URL before sending it. For example:
    1. Before:
    2. After:
  5. Send the modified PDF link.
    When you click the link, you (or anyone else) can download a PDF copy of your file.

Get notified if a file is shared with you

You can turn on notifications in Google Drive so you know when people share files with you or mention you in a comment. Notifications appear in Chrome Browser. On Android devices, notifications also appear in your Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides apps.

Learn how

Turn on notifications for web

  1. In Chrome Browser, open Drive.
  2. Click Settings "" and select Settings.
  3. On the left, click Notifications and choose an option:
    • To receive updates on your web browser, check the Get updates about Google Drive items in your browser box, and select the items you want to be notified about.
    • To receive updates by email, check the Get all updates about Google Drive items via email box.
  4. Click Done.

Learn more at the Google Drive Help Center


Present to Google Meet from Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides

You can present directly to Google Meet from Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides. This can make it easier to present a document, sheet, or slides to a meeting you are attending. Before you present, join the meeting to know if it is being recorded.

Important: You must use a computer and a Chrome browser to present directly to Google Meet from Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides.

Learn how
  1. Join a Google Meet video meeting.
  2. Open a file in Docs, SheetsSlides, or Jamboard.
  3. At the top, click Meet .
  4. Choose an option:
    • To present to a scheduled meeting, click the meeting name you want to join.
    • To present to a meeting with a meeting code, click Use a meeting code, then enter a meeting code.
  5. Click Just present this tab.
    • Important: If you don't already have a meeting open and you click Just present this tab, you'll present your file but won't be able to view the Google Meet video meeting in the file tab. To view your document, spreadsheet, presentation, or whiteboard, and the Google Meet video meeting in one tab while you present, follow the steps to join a video meeting from Docs, Sheets, or Slides.
  6. Select the tab you’re in.
  7. To share a tab, click Share.
    • Important: When you present a tab from your document, spreadsheet, presentation, or whiteboard, you can’t change which tab you present. To switch between tabs while you present, you can present from Google Meet instead.
  8. Back in Meet, view your presented content directly in the meeting.

Hold audience Q&A during presentations

Engage your audience by inviting them to submit questions during a presentation. They can also vote on the ones that they want answered the most.

  • Save time during your presentation for a Q&A session. If you can’t get through everyone’s questions, just answer the questions with the highest audience votes.
  • Want to know what people are interested in before your presentation? Send your audience the presentation link first so they can submit questions before you present.
  • Encourage shy people to interact by submitting questions in real time, anonymously.
Learn how

Share a presentation and start a Q&A session

Meeting organizers with Google Workspace for Education can prevent participants from sharing their screen. 
  1. Open Meet and join a video meeting.
  2. Go to Slides and open a presentation.
  3. At the top, next to Present, click the Down arrow ""and thenPresenter view.
  4. Go back to your Meet video meeting and click Present now.
  5. Choose what to share:
    • Your entire screen
    • A window
    • A tab
  6. Select Share.
  7. In Slides, click Audience Tools.
  8. Choose an option.
    • To start a new Q&A session, click Start new.
    • To resume a recent Q&A session, click Continue recent.
    • To stop accepting questions, click On in the Q&A window.

Learn more at the Docs Editors Help Center


Mark a shared file as final

When you finish making changes to a shared file, you can make it view only and mark it final. Previous collaborators and anyone new you share the file with will be able to view it, but they won’t be able to see the revision history, add comments, or make changes.

Learn how

Change a file to view only

If you shared the file with specific people or a group:

  1. In Google Drive, right-click the file and select Share "".
  2. To the right of the person or group you want to change, click the Down arrow ""and thenViewer.
  3. Click Save.

If you shared the file with your organization:

  1. In Drive, right-click the file and select Share "".
  2. Under Get link, at the right, click the Down arrow ""and thenViewer.
  3. Click Done.

Rename your file to mark it final or archived

  1. Open the file and at the top, click the file name.
  2. Before the file name, enter [Final] or [Archived].
  3. Press Enter.

Specify who can access a file


Restrict sharing options on Drive files

If you’re sharing a Google Drive file that you own, which has sensitive content, you can stop people from re-sharing, downloading, printing, or copying the file or changing access permissions.

Learn how

Prevent editors from re-sharing and changing access permissions

If you’re sharing a file, the owner and anyone with editor access can change the permissions and share the file. To prevent others from sharing your file:

  1. Open the file in Google Drive, Google Docs, Google Sheets, or Google Slides.
  2. Click Share or Share Share.
  3. At the top, click Settings Settings.
  4. Uncheck Editors can change permissions and share.
Important: If you prevent sharing of a folder, it only applies to the folder. To prevent sharing the files inside, you have to change this setting for the files inside.

When someone with Editor access tries to re-share a restricted file or folder, they get an option to email you for permission to share the file. You can decide whether to share the file. If you do, the user still can’t change access permissions. They’re grayed out and not available.

Prevent commenters and viewers from downloading, printing, or copying files

Note: You can’t restrict these options on Google Sites files. Also, if you restrict these options on audio files, they can't be played.

People with edit access to your files can:

  • Share the file with others.
  • Add or remove people from the file.
  • Change access permissions to the file.
  • Copy, print, or download the file.

ImportantYou can't apply this setting to a folder, but you can apply it to individual files in the folder.

To prevent viewers and commenters from printing, copying, or downloading your file:

  1. Find the file or folder in Google Drive, Google Docs, Google Sheets, or Google Slides.
  2. Select one or more files you want to limit.
  3. Click Share or Share Share.
  4. At the top, click Settings Settings.
  5. Uncheck Viewers and commenters can see the option to download, print, and copy.

When someone with Commenter or Viewer access tries to download, print, or copy the shared file, those options are grayed out and not available.

Important: You can limit how people share, print, download, and copy within Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Slides, but you can't stop how others share the file content in other ways.

To restrict sharing for shared drives, see Get started with shared drives.


Transfer ownership of a file

You can transfer ownership of your Google Drive files and folders to someone else in your organization. If you transfer ownership of a folder, you also have to transfer ownership of each file in the folder.

Edit share permissions to change ownership GIF

Learn how

Transfer ownership of a file or folder

  1. On your computer, open Google Drive.
  2. Find the file you want to transfer then right-click.
  3. Click Share Share.
  4. Next to the recipients name, click the Down arrow Down arrow and then Transfer ownership.

Share a file with the public

You can make files available to the public on the internet, such as case studies, conference programs, and more. You can choose whether people can only view the file, or if they can comment or make changes to it.

If more than 100 people will view your file at the same time, you may want to publish it as a web page instead.

Note: Search engines, archive bots, or other users might store data that you share on the internet. Make sure you’re comfortable sharing documents publicly.

Learn how

You can choose if your file should be available to anyone or restricted to only the people with access. If you allow access to anyone with the link, your folder won't restrict who can access it.

  1. Select the file you want to share.
  2. Click Share or Share Share.
  3. Under “General access”, click the Down arrow Down.
  4. Choose who can access the file.

  1. To decide what role people will have with your file, select Viewer, Commenter, or Editor.
  2. Click Done.

Google, Google Workspace, and related marks and logos are trademarks of Google LLC. All other company and product names are trademarks of the companies with which they are associated.

Was this helpful?
How can we improve it?
Get help from Small Business Advisors

Want to receive one-on-one guidance and tailored recommendations on how to make the most out of your Business Profile? Try booking an appointment with Small Business Advisors.

Important: This service cannot troubleshoot issues, including Business Profile verification or suspension, or Google Ads billing.

Clear search
Close search
Google apps
Main menu
Search Help Center