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.
- Open Gmail.
- Select the space.
- 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.
- 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.
- Open Gmail.
- 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 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 Integration menu Google Docs .
- To close an opened document, in the top right, click Close .
- Optional: To open the document in a new browser tab, in 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 of up to 200 MB in these formats:
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
On the Chat tab, you can either attach a file from your computer or from Google Drive.
Attach a file from your computer
- Click Upload .
- Select the file you want to send click Send .
Tip: The file is not added to Drive. Other participants get the file directly in the message.
Attach a file from Google Drive
- Click Google Drive .
- Select the file that you want to send. This can be a file on your Drive, or a file that 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.
- Click Send .
Attach a file from the Files tab
You can add files directly to the Files tab of a space.
- Click Add file .
- 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.
- 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.
- Click Send .
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 that the blocked file is safe, upload the file to Drive and then send the file as a Drive attachment.
Remove a file
- Open Gmail.
- Select the space.
- At the top, click the Files tab. In Gmail, you might have to expand the space to full screen to see the Files tab.
- Click View in chat scroll to the chat message where the file was shared.
- Next to the file, click More actions Delete .
- 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 Bin' message when clicked.
- If you don't delete it from the chat and you empty your Drive bin, 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.
Organise & manage your files in Google Drive
- To add a file to Google Drive, click Add to 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.