How to Share Files or Folders on Google Drive

There are two main ways you can share files and folders on Google Drive:

  • using an email address – this allows you to send the file/folder to an email contact
  • creating a shareable link – anyone that has the link will be able to access the file or folder 

Share files and folders with an email address

On computer

You can use this method to share files on Google Drive if you already know the email addresses of people you wish to share them with. Sharing files this way ensures no one can access the files from any other email address except those you’ve shared the files with. This is the best way to share sensitive files with who you choose.

To share files on Google Drive using an email address, follow the steps below:

  1. Log in to your Google Drive account.
  2. Right-click on the file you want to share and choose Share from the context menu.

    Context Menu in Google Drive
    Click Share in the file’s context menu
  3. In the Add people and groups section, enter the user’s email address you want to share the file or folder with.
    You can also share the file with multiple people by adding multiple email addresses in the Add people and groups section. After you add the email, press Enter before you add another.

    Adding people with email address in Google Drive
    Add multiple email addresses to share files.
  4. Change the file-sharing permissions (e.g., Editor, Commenter, or Viewer) by clicking the dropdown box next to the email address. Editorial access allows people to edit the document. Commenters can add comments, and viewers can only read the document.

    Sharing file in Google Drive
    Add in the email address to share the file.
  5. Type the instructions in the Message box, check the Notify people box, and click Send. By omitting the Notify people box, the people you’re sharing files with will not get a confirmation email that you’ve shared the file.

    Notify Box in Google Drive
    Check the Notify box, add the message, and share the file

Sharing a folder

Sharing a folder is similar – right-click the folder itself rather than the files within it and follow the same instructions.

Sharing multiple files or folders

When sharing multiple files or folders from Google Drive, you need to select them all beforehand by holding CTRL and clicking on them.

Sharing multiple files in Google Drive
Select multiple files

On the mobile app

To share files and folders via an email address on mobile, follow these steps:

  1. Tap on the three vertical dots next to the name of the file or folder you want to share. 

    File options from Google Drive on Mobile
    Click the options button on the right of the file
  2. From the menu, tap Share.

    Sharing file from Google Drive on Mobile
    Select the Share option at the top
  3. Add the email addresses of people you want to share a file or folder in the Add people or groups section.

    Adding Emails to Share File
    Type in email addresses
  4. Choose the relevant file-sharing permissions from the dropdown menu below the email address. 

    Editing Sharing Permission
    Change the file-sharing permissions from the dropdown
  5. Enter a message and tap on the blue arrow icon (send button) in the bottom-right corner to share it.

    Sharing file with a message
    Click the blue Send button after typing the message

To share a file with multiple people, you need to type in each email address and tap on it before adding another. However, since you cannot select multiple files at once, it’s not possible to share various files in one go.

On computer

Making a shareable link is one of the most convenient ways to make a Google Drive file or folder public. Anyone with the link can view, comment, or edit, depending on your specified access permissions. 

This setting allows anyone with the link to access the document even without being logged in to a Google account. While this method is helpful, it’s not recommended when sharing sensitive documents. Moreover, since you must copy the shareable link for each file individually, you cannot share multiple files in one go (although you can share a single folder).

To share files and folders via a shareable link, follow these steps:

  1. Right-click on the file or folder you wish to share and choose Share from the context menu.

    Context Menu in Google Drive
    Click Share in the context menu
  2. Click on Change to anyone with the link under Get link.

    Link Permission in Google Drive
    Change the shareable link’s access permissions.
  3. From the dropdown menu, select your preferred sharing permission (i.e., to allow users to view, comment on or edit the shared file or document).

    Sharing options in the Google Drive
    Change the shareable link’s access permissions.
  4. Copy the link and click Done.

    Finalizing permission change in Google Drive
    Click Done

On the mobile app

Follow these steps to share files and folders via a shareable link on mobile:

  1. Tap the three vertical dots next to the name of the file or folder you want to share.

    File options from Google Drive on Mobile
    Tap the options button at the top-right corner of the file
  2. From the menu, tap Share.

    Sharing file from Google Drive on Mobile
    Select the Share option at the top
  3. Tap the Not shared lock at the bottom-left corner of the screen. 

    Sharing files using shareable link
    Tap the padlock saying “Not Shared”
  4. Tap on Change in the Link settings.

    Changing file shareable link settings
    Tap Change
  5. Tap the Restricted option and then tap Anyone with the link.

    Sharing link permissions
    Tap Anyone with the link
  6. Choose your preferred link sharing access permissions. 

    Changing access permissions
    Select the access permission you want to grant

How to change sharing permissions or restrict access to a shared file or folder

If you accidentally shared a file/folder with someone and want to make it private again, there are several ways to do so.

If you shared the folder or file by sending an email

On computer

To change the sharing permissions of documents shared using an email address on a computer, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to the file or folder you want to modify sharing permissions for and right-click on it. 
  2. In the context menu, click Share.

    Context Menu in Google Drive
    Click Share in the context menu
  3. Click on the dropdown menu next to the email address of the person you’ve shared the files with.
  4. Either change the permission by selecting any other option in the dropdown or remove their access by clicking Remove access.

    Cancel permissions in Google Drive
    Change or remove the shared file’s access

On mobile

Follow these steps to change the sharing permissions of shared documents on mobile:

  1. First, tap on the three vertical dots in the top-right corner.

    File options from Google Drive on Mobile
    Click the options button at the top-right corner of the file
  2. Tap on Share in the context menu.

    Sharing file from Google Drive on Mobile
    Select the Share option at the top.
  3. Click on the Who has access link in the bottom-left corner.

    Who has access to a file
    Tap Who has access
  4. Click on the contact you want to change or remove access from.
    Removing specific access
    Tap the contact you want to remove the access of
  5. To change the sharing permission, select the appropriate option from the menu. 

    Changing access permissions
    Tap the access permission you want to grant
  6. To make the document private, press Remove.

On computer

To remove the sharing access of documents shared publicly, follow the steps below:

  1. Choose the file or folder you want to modify sharing permissions for and right-click on it. 
  2. In the context menu, click Share
  3. In the Get link section, click on Change.

    Changing permissions of shareable link
    Change or remove the access permission of the shareable link
  4. From the dropdown next to anyone with the link option, select your preferred sharing preference to change it. To remove the sharing access, click the Anyone with the link dropdown and choose Restricted.

    Change the Sharing Access to Restricted
    Change the sharing access to restricted.
  5. Click Done.

On mobile

Follow the below steps to change the sharing permissions of documents shared via a shareable link on mobile:

  1. In the top-right corner, tap on the three vertical dots.

    File options from Google Drive on Mobile
    Next, click the options button at the top-right corner of the file.
  2. Then, in the context menu, tap on Share.

    Sharing file from Google Drive on Mobile
    Select the Share option at the top.
  3. From the bottom-left corner, tap on the Who has access.

    Who has access to a file
    Tap Who has access
  4. Now, tap on Anyone with the link in the Link settings.

    Under Link settings, tap Anyone with the link
  5. Here, tap on the Anyone with the link again.

    Change anyone with the link settings
    Tap Anyone with the link again
  6. Finally, tap on Restricted.

    Change file access permissions to restricted
    Tap Restricted to change the permissions

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