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Sharing settings for files inserted from Google Drive

When you send a file to somebody by inserting files using Drive (instructions for desktop users), Gmail checks to see if your recipients have access to the file and will prompt you to adjust the sharing settings on those files if they don’t.

When sending your message, if Gmail detects that your recipients don’t have access to your files, you’ll be given options to change your sharing settings. Here’s how it works:

Sharing with 'Anyone with the link'
You can adjust this setting so anyone with the link can view, comment, or edit the file. This setting works a lot like sending links to news articles or websites via email--if you’ve allowed anyone with the link to view the file, people who have the link will be able to access the file. This means that if the message is forwarded, or if new people are added to the conversation, those people will be able to access the file and won’t need a Google Account to view it.
Sharing with email recipients
If you’d prefer to share the files with only select people, you can click More options to adjust this setting. If you choose to keep the file private, it's important to keep in mind that recipients won't be able to view the file if:
  • They don't have a Google Account
  • The email address they receive the message at is not associated with their Google Account
  • They receive the email through a non-Google email list (Note: if you are sending the file(s) to a mailing list that is not a Google Groups mailing list, you will need to share to "Anyone with the link" instead.)

Aside from deciding who can access the file, you can also decide if they can edit, comment on, or just view the file. Learn more about access levels

Note that there may be files from Drive that you won’t be able to grant others access to. If this happens, Gmail will let you know and you may have to contact the original file owner to adjust the sharing settings.

Sharing options for Google Apps customers

If you’re a Google Apps customer, your domain's default setting might be different, but you will also have sharing setting options allowing people at [] with the link to access the file, or you'll be able to share the file with your email recipients. You will be able to click More options to share the files with select recipients. With either option, users must be using a Google Account or Google Apps account to view the files.

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

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