Share files from Google Drive

You can share the files and folders that you store in Google Drive with anyone.

When you share from Google Drive, you can control whether people can edit, comment on, or only open the file. When you share content from Google Drive, the Google Drive program policies apply.

Step 1: Find the file you want to share

Share a single file

Tip: If you have a pending request to share an open document, at the top right you'll find a dot next to Share Share.

  1. On a computer, go to Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, or Slides.
  2. Click the file you want to share.
  3. Click Share Share.
Share multiple files
  1. On a computer, go to drive.google.com.
  2. On your keyboard, hold Shift and select two or more files.
  3. At the top right, click Share Share.

Learn how to add files to a folder and share the entire folder.

Send & share Google Forms

Google Forms have different sharing options than other kinds of files.

Step 2: Choose who to share with & how they can use your file

Share with specific people
Important: If you use a Google Account through work or school, you might not be able to share files outside of your organization.
  1. On your computer, go to Google Drive.
  2. Select the file you want to share and then Share Add approver .
  3. Enter the email address you want to share with. If you use a work or school account, you can share with suggested recipients.
    • Tip: To turn off suggested recipients, go to your Drive Settings Settings. Uncheck "Show suggested recipients in the sharing dialog."
  4. Decide how people can use your file. Select one:
    • Viewer
    • Commenter
    • Editor
  5. If you use an eligible work or school account, click Add expiration to add an expiration date.
  6. When you share your file, each email address gets an email.
    • Optional: Add a message to your notification email.
    • If you don't want to notify people, uncheck the box.
  7. Click Send or Share.

Tip: When updating permissions for an item you're sharing from My Drive, if the person you're sharing with does not already have permissions for the folder that contains that item, you can choose to:

  • Update permissions for the folder that contains that item
  • Only update permissions for only the item itself

Most users choose to update the folder that contains that item because to make sharing and folder management easier.

Share with a group of specific people

Share with a Google Group

You can share files with Google Groups instead of specific people. When you:

  • Add a member to a group: That person gains permission to access the files and folders the group has.
  • Remove a member from a group: That person loses permission to access the files and folders that the group has.

To share a file with your Google Group:

  1. Create a Google Group.
  2. Add members to your group.
  3. Share the file with your group.

Tip: Before a file appears in the “Shared with me” folder, you must open that file from an invitation or a link. 

Share with a Chat space

To share files with a Chat space, you can add the file you want to share to that Chat space.

To add a Drive file to a Chat space:

Option 1: 

  1. On your computer, go to Google Chat.
  2. Select the Chat space you want to share the file with.
  3. At the bottom left, click Integration menu > Drive .
  4. Select the file you want to share with a Chat space.
  5. Click Insert.

Option 2: 

  1. On your computer, go to Google Drive.
  2. Right-click on the file you want to share with a Chat space.
  3. Click Share  > Copy link .
  4. Go to Google Chat.
  5. Select the Chat space you want to share the file with. 
  6. In the message field, paste the link you copied.

Tips:

  • When you send a file to a Chat space, a prompt to grant access appears.
    • If you grant access to that Chat space, people who join the space later also gain access to the shared files.
  • When people leave a Chat space, they lose access to the files in that Chat space if they don’t have sharing access:
    • As an individual
    • As a member of another group
  • To grant file access, you must have edit access on the file you want to share. 

Learn more about how others view, comment, or edit files.

Share with meeting attendees

You can share files with meeting attendees if you are a file owner or editor:

  1. On your computer, go to Google Drive.

  2. Select the file you want to share Share .
  3. Enter the meeting name you want to share with.
  4. Decide how people can use your file. Select one:
    • Viewer
    • Commenter
    • Editor
  5. Choose whether the file is attached to the meeting invite. 
  6. When you share your file, each email address gets an email.
    • Optional: Add a message to your notification email.
    • If you don't want to notify people, uncheck the box.
  7. Click Send or Share.
Add an expiration date

The expiration date feature is only available for eligible work or school accounts.

You're currently not signed in.

Sign in to your work or school account

Allow general access to the 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 a file publicly
  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 Anyone with the link.
  5. To decide what role people will have, select ViewerCommenter, or Editor.
  6. Click Copy link.
  7. Click Done.
  8. Paste the link in an email or any place you want to share it.

People who aren't signed in to a Google Account show up as anonymous animals in your fileLearn more about anonymous animals.

Share & collaborate on a file with many people

Important:

  • At any time, a Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides file can only be edited on up to 100 open tabs or devices. If there are more than 100 instances of the file open, only the owner and some users with editing permissions can edit the file.
  • A single file can only be shared up to 600 individual email addresses.

To share and collaborate on a file with a very wide audience:

Publish the file

  • If you need multiple people to open a file, publish the file then create a link to share to people with access. You can give edit access to people who need to edit or comment on the file. Learn how to publish a file.
  • Depending on your account’s settings, publishing a file makes it visible to everyone on the web, everyone in your organization, or a group of people in your organization. Be careful when publishing private or sensitive info.
  • To remove a file from the web, you must stop publishing it. Learn how to stop publishing a file.
  • To stop sharing a file with collaborators, learn how to change sharing permissions.

Create a Google Site

Share files with your site collaborators

  • To ensure files embedded in sites are accessible to all site collaborators and viewers, you must share file access with them when you publish a site. You can update sharing permissions when you embed a file, publish, or share a site.

Collect feedback with Google Forms

  • If you need to gather a lot of information, create a Google Form. Responses will be recorded in a Google Sheet. Give edit access only to people who need to work with the responses. To let more than 100 people open the responses, publish the spreadsheet to the web and create a link to share to people with access. Learn how to publish a file.

Fix problems with documents shared with many people

If your document is shared with many people and it’s crashing or not updating quickly, try these troubleshooting tips:

  • Instead of allowing people to comment on a document or spreadsheet, create a Google Form to collect feedback. Learn how to create a Google Form.
  • If you’re making a copy of a document, don’t include resolved comments and suggestions. Learn how to make a copy.
  • Delete older information or move data into a new document.
  • Ask people with access to close the document when they aren’t using it.
  • Include only the most important information in a published document. Shorter documents load faster.
  • Reduce the amount of people with edit access to a document.
  • If collecting information from multiple documents, create a new, access-only document to share with a large number of people.

Limit how a file is shared

Choose if people can view, comment, or edit

When you share a file with someone, you can choose their access level:

  • Viewer: People can access, but can’t change or share the file with others.
  • Commenter: People can make comments and suggestions, but can’t change or share the file with others.
  • Editor: People can make changes, accept or reject suggestions, and share the file with others.
Change the general access for your file

You can allow broad access to your file. These options depend on if your Google Account is through work, school, or Gmail.

  • Public: Anyone can search on Google and get access to your file, without signing in to their Google Account.
  • Anyone with the link: Anyone who has the link can use your file, without signing in to their Google Account.
  • Restricted: Only people with access can open the file.

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