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Share and collaborate in My Drive

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After you share Google Drive files or folders, you can work on them with teammates or even people outside of your company.

In this section, you learn how to:

Share files and set access levels and visibility

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Note: If visitor sharing is on for your organization, you can invite someone who doesn't have a Google Account to collaborate on your Google Drive files and folders. See Share documents with visitors.

Tip: If you are collaborating with a group of people on many files, you might want to set up a shared drive instead. See What are shared drives? 

On the web

Share a file or folder with specific people and set access levels:

  1. Select the file you want to share.
  2. Click Share or Share Share.
  3. Enter the email address or Google group you want to share with.
  4. To decide what role people will have on your file, select Viewer, Commenter, or Editor.
  5. If your account is eligible, you can add an expiration date for access.
  6. Choose to notify people.
    • If you want to notify people that you shared an item with them, check the box next to Notify people. If you notify people, each email address you enter will be included in the email.
    • If you don't want to notify people, uncheck the box.
  7. Click Send or Share.


Allow general access to a file:

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.

Share files in Drive


See who a folder is shared with:

  1. In Google Drive, double-click a shared folder to open it.
  2. At right, click View details "".
  3. Under Who has access, hover over a profile icon.

Change permissions on a shared file or folder you own:

  1. In Drive, click a file or folder, then click Share Share.
  2. Change permissions as desired.
  3. Click Save.

Stop sharing a file or folder you own:

  1. Find the file or folder in Google Drive, Google Docs, Google Sheets, or Google Slides.
  2. Open or select the file or folder.
  3. Click Share or Share Share.
  4. Find the person you want to stop sharing with.
  5. To the right of their name, click the Down arrow Down and then Remove.
  6. To save changes, click Save.

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Restrict general access to a file or folder:

  1. Find the file or folder in Google Drive, Google Docs, Google Sheets, or Google Slides.
  2. Open or select the file or folder.
  3. Click Share or Share Share and then Get link.
  4. Under “General access”,  click the Down arrow Down.
  5. Select Restricted.
  6. Click Done.

Make a file searchable in your organization:

  1. Open Drive and right-click the file you want to share.
  2. Click Share "".
  3. Under General access, click [your organization].
  4. To give access to the selected organization, select Viewer, Commenter, or Editor.
  5. To make the file searchable in your organization, click the role and under Searchable, click Can find in search results.
  6. Click Done.

View Drive activity and file details

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On the web

You can keep track of changes to items created in or uploaded to Drive. You can also see specific information about your files and folders. To view the activity for a specific file or folder, select the file or folder and click Information "".

See Drive activity on the Activity tab:

See changes made to your files in Drive and keep track of who made those changes. You might see changes when someone:

  • Edits or comments in Google Docs
  • Renames a file or folder
  • Moves or removes a file or folder
  • Uploads a new file to a folder
  • Shares or unshares an item

See Drive activity on the Details tab:

  1. In Drive at the top of the Activity pane, click Details to see information and changes, such as:
    • File type and owner.
    • Folder size and number of items.
    • Person who last modified, created, or opened the item.
  2. Click Edit "" to add a description of the item.

See a file

Collaborate with Google Docs editors

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On the web

In Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, and Google Sites, you can work together in the same document in real time. Commenting on any file brings a conversation into context so you avoid back-and-forth email and lost time.

Just click New and select one of the file types below. Now all you need to do is share the file with your team to collaborate on a draft or key issue.

Editor Description Example uses
Docs Google Docs Text documents Proposals, reports, shared meeting notes
"" Google Sheets Spreadsheets Project plans, budget sheets
"" Google Slides Presentations Pitch decks, training modules, team presentations
"" Google Forms Surveys Customer satisfaction surveys, group polls
"" Google Drawings Shapes, charts, and diagrams Flowcharts, organizational charts, website wireframes, mind maps
"" Google Sites Websites Team sites, project sites, resume sites

Cascading Slides, Sheets, and Docs files opened

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