Google Chat "rooms" are being renamed "spaces." It may take time for the name change to appear everywhere. Learn more.

Manage your files in Gmail spaces

To use spaces and files in Gmail, turn on Google Chat in your Gmail settings. Learn how to turn Chat on or off in Gmail.

View and manage files in a Gmail space

You can view a list of files shared in a space, open a file, and add a file to Drive. Image files aren't listed in spaces. If you delete a chat message with a shared file, it's also deleted from the space.

If you delete a file in Drive, the file link remains in the space until you delete it from the chat message where it was shared. When you delete the file from the chat message, the file link is removed from the chat and the Files tab of the space.

Attach a file to a discussion

  1. Open Gmail.
  2. Select the space.
  3. At the top, click the Files tab.
    • Tip: If the Files tab isn’t visible, expand the space to full screen. Files are sorted by date and show when history is on.
  4. To open a file, click the file name.
    • For Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides: The file opens next to the conversation in the chat window.
    • For other Google files: The file opens in a new browser tab. 
    • For all other types of files: The file opens as a full-screen preview.

Tip:  If a file isn’t added to Drive, click the file name to download. PDFs and video files open in a new browser tab.

Collaborate on existing Google Docs, Sheets & Slides in a space

You can collaborate on shared Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides with team members directly in a space. The document or spreadsheet opens in the chat window, next to the conversation, where you can chat while you collaborate on the file together. When you collaborate with your team members, you can edit, format, share, and rename files without leaving Gmail. To work with comments or use other features from Docs, Sheets, or Slides, open the file in a new tab. 

  1. Open Gmail.
  2. Select a space and expand it to full screen if it’s not already.
    • To open an already shared document, point to it in the chat and then click Open in chat "". The document opens to the right where you can make edits directly without changing tabs.
    • To create a shared document within a space, in the reply area of the conversation tab, click Create new document "".
  3. At the top right, click Close .
  4. Optional: To open the document in a new browser tab, at the top right of the conversation preview, click Open in new tab "".

Tip: You can also collaborate on existing Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides in direct chat messages.

Attach a file

You can attach files up to 200-MB in these formats:

  • .bmp
  • .gif
  • .jpg
  • .png
  • .wbmp
  • .heic

You can attach a file in a few different ways in a space. You can attach files in the Chat tab or the Files Tab of a space.

Attach a file from the Chat tab

In the Chat tab, you can either attach a file from your computer or from Google Drive.

Attach a file from your computer

  1. Click Upload Import.
  2. Select the file you want to send and then click Send Send Arrow.

Tip: The file is not added to Drive. Other participants get the file directly in the message.

Attach a file from Google Drive

  1. Click Google Drive .
  2. Select the file you want to send. This can be a file on your Drive, or a file you upload from your desktop or downloads.

Tip: After you select the file to add to the space, you’ll be asked to choose access settings for the members in the space. If you can edit the file, you'll see an option to grant View, Comment, or Edit access to everyone in the space. If you grant access to everyone in a space, it will apply to people who join the space later.

  1. Click Send Send Arrow.

Attach a file from the Files Tab

You can also can add files directly to the Files Tab of a space.

  1. Click Add file .
  2. Select the file you want to add to the space.

Tip: When you send the file, you'll be alerted if the space or someone in the space doesn't have access. If you can edit the file, you'll see an option to grant View, Comment, or Edit access to everyone in the space. If you grant access to everyone in a space, it also applies to people who join the space later.

  1. After you choose a file to add to the Files Tab, a draft message is created with the file in the chat window. You can add a message with the document link before submitting.
  2. Click Send Send Arrow.

Files blocked in Chat

There are several reasons why you might get an upload error in Google Chat. Chat blocks files or links that might spread viruses, such as executable files. To keep up with harmful software, Chat regularly updates the file types that aren’t allowed.

You can’t attach certain types of files. These include:

  • ADE, ADP, APK, BAT, CAB, CHM, CMD, COM, CPL, DLL, DMG, EXE, HTA, INS, ISP, JAR, JS, JSE, LIB, LNK, MDE, MSC, MSI, MSP, MST, NSH, PIF, SCR, SCT, SHB, SYS, VB, VBE, VBS, VXD, WSC, WSF, and WSH.
    This list includes any compressed form, such as GZ or BZ2 files, or files found in archives, such as ZIP or TGZ files.
  • Documents with malicious macros.
  • Password-protected archives whose content is an archive.

If a blocked file isn't listed above and you're sure the blocked file is safe, upload the file to Drive and then send the file as a Drive attachment.

Remove a file

  1. Open Gmail.
  2. Select the space.
  3. At the top, click the Files tab. In Gmail, you might have to expand the space to full screen to see the Files tab.
  4. Click View in chat   and then scroll to the chat message where the file was shared.
  5. Next to the file, click More More
  6. Click delete Delete.

Tips:

  • If you delete a file in Drive, the file link remains in the space until you delete it from the chat message where it was shared.
    • If you don't delete it from the chat, Drive actions will be disabled for the file and the file link will show a "File in Trash" message when clicked.
    • If you don't delete it from the chat and you empty your Drive trash, the file link will show a "file has been deleted" message when clicked and the file title will revert to the original title it had when first shared.
  • When you delete the file from the chat message, the file link is removed from chat and the Files tab of the space. 

Create a document

You can create a shared document in a space without the need to switch windows.

When a Docs, Sheets, or Slides file is created, it’s shared with the people in the space, it's added to the space's file tab, and it appears in the chat window, next to the conversation.

  1. Open Gmail.
  2. Select the space.
  3. In the reply area of the conversation tab, click Create a new document .
  4. Choose the type of document you want to create.
  5. Name the document.
  6. Click Share.

Tip: When the doc is created, a notification is sent to the space.

Organize & manage your files in Google Drive

  • To add a file to Google Drive, click Add to Drive Add to My Drive.
  • If you have permission to move a file in Drive, click Move .
  • If you don’t have permission to move a file in Drive, click Add shortcut to Drive .
  • If you created a shortcut to a file, click Add another shortcut to Drive .

Tip: To open a chat message with a shared file, click View in Chat .

Learn more about managing shortcuts for files within Google Drive

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