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 view the file. When you share content from Google Drive, the Google Drive programme policies apply.

Step 1: Find the file that you want to share

Share a single file

  1. On a computer, go to Google Drive, Docs, Sheets or Slides.
  2. Click the file that 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 and share Google Forms

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

Step 2: Choose whom 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 your organisation.
  1. On your computer, go to Google Drive.
  2. Select the file that you want to share and then Share Add approver .
  3. Enter the email address or Google group that you want to share with. 
  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 expiry to add an expiry 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, untick the box.
  7. Click Send or Share.

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

Add an expiry date

The expiry 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 that 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 that 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 where 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 and collaborate on a file with many people

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.

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

Publish the file

  • If you need many people to view a file at once, publish it and create a link to share to viewers. 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 organisation or a group of people in your organisation. 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 

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 view the responses, publish the spreadsheet to the web and create a link to share with viewers. 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 viewers 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, view-only document to share with a large number of people. 

Limit how a file is shared

Choose whether people can view, comment or edit

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

  • Viewer: People can view, 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 whether you have a work, school or Gmail Google Account.

  • 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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