Share folders in Google Drive

Want to get more out of Google Drive for work or school? Sign up for a Google Workspace trial at no charge. 

Here’s what people can do with folders after you share it with them:

  • Can organize, add, & edit: If they're signed into a Google account, people can open, edit, delete, or move any files within the folder. People can also add files to the folder.
  • Can view only: People can see the folder and they can open all files within the folder.

More about folder sharing:

  • If you share or unshare folders with a lot of files or subfolders, it might take time before all permissions change. If you change a lot of edit or view permissions at once, it might take time before you see the changes.

Tip: In the meantime, to provide folder access for new collaborators, use the Sharing URL of a file nested deeply inside the folder.

  • Storage is counted against the person who uploaded the file, not the owner of the folder.
  • When you manage large folder structures, child and parent folder permissions can be different. You can override inherited permissions of child folders to be different than the parent folder. You can also remove parent permissions from a child folder.

Choose who to share with

Share with specific people
  1. Go to drive.google.com.
  2. Select the folder you want to share.
  3. Select Share Add approver .
  4. Enter the email address or Google Group 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.”
  5. To decide what role people will have with your folder, select Viewer, Commenter, or Editor.
  6. If you use an eligible work or school account, click Add expiration to add an expiration date.
    • Tip: Expiration dates for folders are available for Viewer and Commenter roles in My Drive.
  7. 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 is included in the email. If you don't want to notify people, uncheck the box.
  8. Select Send or Share.
Allow general access to the folder

You can decide if your folder should be generally available or restricted to only the people with folder access. If you allow access to anyone with the link, anyone can open the folder.

  1. On your computer, go to drive.google.com.
  2. Click the folder you want to share.
  3. Click Share Add approver .
  4. Under "General access," click the Down arrow Down arrow.
  5. Choose who can access the folder.
    • Tip: If you use your Google account for work or school, you can choose to only share files and folders with a specific audience, like your department. You might see a description of each audience when you hover over the group name.
  6. To decide what role people will have with your folder, select Viewer, Commenter, or Editor.
A group of specific people

Share with a Google Group

You can share files and folders with Google Groups instead of individual people. When you add to or remove members from the group, they will gain or lose permission to the files and folders that the group can see or use.

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

Note: Group members will have to open the file or folder from an invitation or a link before it will appear in "Shared with me."

Change sharing permissions of shared folders

Edit, comment, or view shared files

When you share a folder, the files and subfolders inside are updated with the new sharing settings. Depending on how you shared the folder, the people you shared with will have access to the files inside:

  • Editor: People can open, edit, delete, or move any files within the folder. People can also add files to the folder.
  • Commenter: People can make comments and suggestions for files in the folder, but can’t change or share items in the folder with others.
  • Viewer: People can see the folder and they can open all files within the folder.

After you share the folder, you can change how the files inside are shared.

Add an expiration date
Make someone else the owner of a folder

When you transfer ownership of a folder, the files inside keep their original owner. To change the owners of more than one folder:

  1. On your computer, go to drive.google.com.
  2. Select the folder that you want to change owners.
    • To select multiple folders, hold Shift and click the folders you want.
  3. At the top right, click Share Add approver .
  4. To the right of the person’s name, click the Down arrow Down arrow.
  5. Click Transfer ownership.
  6. Click Yes.

After you make someone else the owner of a folder, you can edit the folder until the new owner decides to change your access.

Files deleted from shared folders

When someone deletes a file from a shared folder, only the owner can access it.

To retrieve a deleted file back from a shared folder:

  1. On your computer, go to drive.google.com.
  2. At the top, click Search Drive.
  3. Type in the name of the file.
  4. Right-click the file.
  5. Click Add to my Drive Add to My Drive.

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