Skip to main content

How to share files on Google Drive

Google Drive is one of the best cloud storage services you can find. It's packed full of features and functionality, including the ability to easily share files.

Here's how to share files on Google Drives in just a few quick steps.




5 minutes

What You Need

  • Web browser

  • Google Drive account

Sharing files on Google Drive

You can share files and folders from Google Drive, and the process is the same for both. Here's how to share a file.

Step 1: Go to your Google Drive account. Navigate to the location that contains the file you want to share. Right-click on the file and select Share.

You'll notice in the file properties pane to the right that the file is currently not shared. When you share it, you'll see a list of specific users who have access to the file.

Select Share from right-click in Google Drive.
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

Step 2: To share the file, you'll get a link to it that you can provide to other users to access the file. By default, Google assumes that you want to give access to specific users. In the top box, type a user into the Add People and Groups box.

When you click on the box, you might get a list of recent email recipients to select from. You can also type a name into the box and it will give you options from your Google Contacts list or recent email recipients. You can also simply type in an email address.

Add users to sharing list in Google Drive.
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

Step 3: Select a user or type in an email address. You'll then have the option to notify the user(s) of the share link and to change their permissions. You can set a user as a Viewer (can only view files), Commenter (can view and comment on files), or Editor (can view, comment on, and make changes to files). You can also type in a message.

When you've set all of your options, you click the Send button if you want to notify the user or the Share button if you unclick that checkbox.

Note that if the recipient isn't using a Gmail account, you must click the Notify People checkbox. Also, non-Gmail users don't have to log in to access a file, while Gmail users must do so.

Set user options in Google Drive.
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

Step 4: If you click on the Settings cog, you can further set your sharing options. You can allow or disallow editors from changing permissions and sharing options, and give download, print, and copy rights to viewers and commenters.

Set sharing options in Google Drive.
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

Step 5: You can also create a link that anyone can access. To do so, click on Change to Anyone With the Link in the lower box. This will create a link that you can share with anyone, and it will default to Viewer. You can change that to Commenter and Editor, but remember that anyone with the link will be able to make comments and changes if you deviate from the default.

Notice that the top box will show users that have been specifically shared with, and the file properties pane will now show all users who have access to the file.

When you're ready, click Copy Link and then the Done button.

Create universal link in Google Drive.
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

Step 6: If you want to remove a user from the list, simply open up the Sharing Settings dialog and click Remove from the drop-down list.

Remove user access in Google Drive.
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

Step 7: To disable a link that you previously created that anyone can access, click Change under Get Link and then click Restricted from the Anyone With the Link drop-down list.

When you've made the change, click the Done button.

Remove universal access in Google Drive.
Mark Coppock/Digital Trends

Editors' Recommendations

Mark Coppock
Mark has been a geek since MS-DOS gave way to Windows and the PalmPilot was a thing. He’s translated his love for…
Google’s answer to Microsoft Copilot is finally here
Generative AI in Google Search.

Google is adding to its AI repertoire with a new plug-in that will serve corporate teams for the not-so-low price of $30 per month. It's called Google Duet, and it allows you to translate your documents into various different Google apps with a click.

The Google Duet assistant is now available after being showcased at the Google I/O developer conference in May. The assistant is compatible with Google's Workspace apps, including Gmail, Drive, Slides, Docs, and others.

Read more
Best external hard drive deals: Portable SSDs, game drives & more
A man uses a WD My Passport external hard drive alongside his laptop.

Whether you’re a content creator, a gamer, or you just have too much digital stuff for your computer’s internal storage capacity, an external hard drive is worth adding to your work setup. They’re convenient, often portable, and even the best external hard drives tend to be quite affordable these days. There are a lot of them seeing deals right now, and we’ve done the heavy lifting of tracking them down for you. You’ll find external hard drive deals on brands like Western Digital, SanDisk, and even Samsung among them, with many of them tailor-made for things like gaming and content storage.
Today’s best external hard drive deals
If you’re looking for as much storage as possible, one of today’s best external hard drive deals is on the Western Digital Easystore external hard drive. It comes in with a whopping 22TB of storage space and an impressive price point of just $400. This is a savings of $200 from its regular price of $600. Many of the best SSDs also make a great external storage option, as they’re even more portable than external drives with spinning disks, as well as much faster. The 2TB SanDisk Extreme Pro external SSD is seeing an impressive discount of $120 right now, bringing its price down from $295 to just $175.

External hard drive deals FAQ
How to choose an external hard drive
The first two steps of choosing an external hard drive are setting your budget and determining what size you need. As cheap as storage is per gigabyte nowadays, the classic trade-off of hard drive size versus portability still holds; basically, is your primary consideration storage space or physical size? If your external hard drive is for home and office use at a single workstation and will more or less sit in one place, then storage space is more valuable than mobility. If, on the other hand, you’re frequently ferrying data around from one PC to the next, then a portable hard drive might be a better choice, even if you're sacrificing some storage space for a smaller footprint.

Read more
Google Calendar just fixed one of its most irritating bugs
Google Calendar shown on a computer monitor.

If you like to combine Google Calendar with your Microsoft Outlook account, we’ve got some good news: Google has finally fixed an issue that has been plaguing the two services for way too long.

Previously, if you were to organize a meeting in Outlook, you would frequently find that your name was missing from the list of attendees in Google Calendar. This would obviously be confusing for other users, as it would seem that you weren’t planning on showing up to a meeting you were known to be organizing.

Read more