How to share files and folders in Google Drive

Updated: 09/03/2019 by Computer Hope
Google Drive logo

Google provides its users with 15 GB of free cloud storage via Google Drive. In addition to automatically backing up files and folders, Google Drive allows users to share and edit documents in real time. This page shows you how to share files created by Google Drive's included software programs (e.g., Google Docs and Google Sheets) as well those uploaded to Google Drive from another source. To proceed, choose an option from the list below and follow the steps.

How to share items directly in Google Drive

This option allows you to share your files and folders directly with other Google Drive users. It is a bit faster than sending a shareable link through e-mail.

  1. Open Google Drive. If prompted, log into your Google account.
  2. Locate the file you'd like to share and right-click it.
  3. Select Share icon in Google Drive. from the drop-down menu.
  4. In the prompt that appears, type the names or e-mail addresses of those you'd like to share with (A).
  5. Click the Privileges icon in Google Drive. icon and select your preferred sharing privileges (B).
  6. When you're finished, click the Send icon in Google Drive. icon (C).

Prompt to fill in file sharing details in Google Drive.

This option is good for sharing e-mail attachments, or when you're not sure if the other user has a Google Drive account.

  1. Open Google Drive. If prompted, log into your Google account.
  2. Locate the file you'd like to share and right-click it.
  3. Select Shareable link icon in Google Drive. from the drop-down menu that appears.
  4. You should see a prompt similar to the one below. Click Share settings.

Link to share settings in Google Drive.

  1. In the next prompt, click the box that says Anyone with the link can view (A).
  2. Select your sharing preferences from the drop-down menu that appears (B).
  3. Click Copy link icon in Google Drive. (C) and then Done icon in Google Drive. (D) button.

Options menu for shareable links in Google Drive.

  1. The link is copied to the clipboard and may be pasted it into a message.