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Send Google Drive attachments in Gmail

When you send messages in Gmail, you can attach files from Google Drive, such as documents and photos. This is especially helpful if the document is larger than the Gmail file size limit, or if you want to collaborate with others on the document. 

Send a Google Drive attachment

  1. Open Gmail.
  2. Click Compose.
  3. Click Google Drive Drive.
  4. Select the files you want to attach.
  5. At the bottom of the page, decide how you want to send the file:
    • Drive link: This works for files you created using Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, or Forms.
    • Attachment: This only works for files that weren't created using Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, or Forms.
  6. Click Insert.

Sharing settings for Google Drive files

When you attach a Google Drive file to a message, Gmail checks to see if your recipients have access to the file. If they don't, you'll be prompted to change the sharing settings of the file before you send your message.

Share with anyone who has the link

If you choose "Anyone with the link" as your sharing setting, you can choose whether people can view, comment in, or edit the file.

If the message is forwarded or new people are added to the conversation, they'll have the same permissions as the people you originally sent the message to.

Recipients don't need to have a Google Account to see or edit the file.

Share only with email recipients

If you only want your message's recipients to be able to see or edit the file, click "More options" when you're prompted to change your file settings.

If you keep the file private, recipients won't be able to see it if:

  • They don't have a Google Account
  • The email address you used isn't a Google account
  • They got the message through a mailing list (unless the mailing list is managed through Google Groups and the file is shared with the Group)

Note: If a file can't be shared with others, Gmail will let you know and you may have to contact the original file owner to adjust the sharing settings.

Sharing options if you use Gmail through your work, school, or other organization

If you use Gmail through your work, school, or other organization, your admin may restrict which files you can share, and who you can share them with.

Only people with a Google Account can see Google Drive files you attach in Gmail.

Vivian is a Gmail expert and the author of this help page. Leave her feedback about this help page.

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