Share files and work with others on Android

This information only applies to the latest versions of the Drive, DocsSheets, and Slides apps for Android. To download them, or upgrade to the latest versions, go to Google Play.

You can share files with others from the Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Slides apps on your Android phone or tablet.

You can also work on files at the same time as others only using the Docs, Sheets, and Slides apps.

Share a file or folder

Here's how to share a file from the Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Slides apps:

  1. Open the Drive, Docs, Sheets, or Slides app.
  2. From your file list, touch the grey i next to a file's name. If you're currently viewing or editing a file, touch the grey i icon in the top right corner of the screen.
  3. Touch the Share button at the top of the screen.
  4. Add someone to the file by typing their email address. Assign permissions to that user, selecting whether to grant them viewing, commenting, or full editing access.
  5. Touch Add.
Share a link to a file or folder

To give other people access to a file or folder in the Drive app, you can send them a link to open and access the item.

  1. Open the Drive app.
  2. Touch the grey i next to a file's name. If you're currently viewing or editing a file, touch the grey i in the top right corner of the screen.
  3. Under “Who has access”, touch the Link icon to allow for a link to your file to be shareable. The text should say “Link sharing is ON”.
  4. The link has been copied to your web clipboard and can be pasted into an email or chat to share with others. To view the file, others can click on the link.
  5. To change how visible your file is or to stop allowing others to access your file using the link, touch the Link icon again. Then, choose to allow others with the link to be able to view, comment on, or edit the file, or turn off sharing by link altogether.

Why are others viewing my file when I share it with a link?

When you click the Link icon , link sharing is turned on. This means that the visibility of your file or folder is automatically changed so that anyone with the link can view it, regardless of whether or not you’ve shared the link with them directly. To stop allowing others to see your file through the link, follow step 5 in the instructions above.

I shared the link with someone - why do they have to request access?

If the visibility of your file is set to “Off - only specific people can access” before or after you share a link to the file, the person you’ve shared with will have to request permission to view the file. If you want the user to be able to see the file, open the file and either:

  • Touch the grey i in the top right > Touch the Share icon > Add the user’s email address and choose their access level for the file > Touch Add
  • Follow the steps above to allow sharing by link
Real-time collaboration

You can work on Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides at the same time as someone else. Anyone viewing the file will see edits made in real time, regardless of device. For example, changes you make in the Android app will show automatically for others viewing the file on a desktop computer.

See history of activity for a file or folder

If you want a record of the activity that has taken place in a file or folder, for example who moved a file and what folder they moved it to, you can track activity in the Drive app.

  1. Open the Drive app.
  2. Touch the grey i next to the file or folder you want to see activity for.
  3. Scroll to the “Activity” section. The activity that appears at the top is the most recent.
  4. To see more activity than is currently showing, touch Show more Activity .

Matt is a Docs & Drive expert and author of this help page. Leave him feedback below about the page.

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