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How to Share Files on Google Drive in 2022

This article explores how to share files on Google Drive, one of the industry leaders in cloud storage services. Google Drive offers a web interface, desktop and mobile app. We will go step by step using all three options to learn how to share files on Google Drive.

Jason Stagnitto
By Jason Stagnitto (Writer)
— Last Updated: 2022-09-12T20:00:00+00:00 Facts checked by Eugenie Tiu

Sharing files, such as Google Docs, through cloud storage is one of the best online collaboration methods. Google Drive remains a popular cloud storage service for personal and professional workspaces. However, there are some differences in how to share files on Google Drive’s website, desktop app and mobile app.

Key Takeaways:

  • Google Drive is user-friendly for sharing folders and files.
  • Options for sharing folders or files include the web, a desktop app for Mac or PC and a mobile app.
  • You can share files with individuals or groups or send a link to a folder or file.

Google Drive is an industry leader in cloud storage. Every Google Drive account comes with 15GB of cloud storage and offers a suite of tools and options. 

Check out our full review of Google Drive and see how Google Drive stacks up to the competition in our 10 best cloud storage services. This article will explore how to share files on Google Drive from your computer or mobile device.

  • 09/12/2022 Facts checked

    Guide updated to include all platforms for which Google Drive is available.

  • You can share files or folders on Google Drive using the “share” icon or the “copy link” feature.

  • Google Drive does not allow you to share access to your entire “my drive.” However, some third-party apps offer this option.

  • You can share any folder you create in Google Drive. It’s up to you!

How to Share Files on Google Drive From a Computer

Navigating to the Google Drive website lets you share files from any web browser. In addition to the web page, Google Drive offers a desktop app that you can download from its website. The download link for the app works for Windows or macOS. Don’t forget to upload files (or a folder) first.

To learn more, check out our article on how to upload to Google Drive.

Whether using the web or the desktop app, connect and log into your Google account to begin sharing your files.

Sharing Files on the Google Drive Web Interface

Google Drive on the web offers a streamlined and user-friendly approach to sharing files. Whether you want to share a Google doc, a PDF or Google Drive files, start by finding your way to “my drive” using any web browser and find the file to share.

  1. Choose the File to Share

    Once you have the file to share, right-click the file to open the dropdown menu and click the “share” icon. When you select a file, the “share” icon also appears in the menu bar above the file. Clicking this icon will open the share options.

    google drive right click
  2. Share a File

    In the gray “add people and groups” box, enter the email address(es) you need to share the file.

    share menu

Sharing Files on a Mac

Sharing files on a Mac works similarly to Google Drive on the web. However, once you download the desktop app and connect it to your Google account, you will see a separate Google Drive folder in Finder.

  1. Open the Google Drive Folder

    You can share files directly from the Google Drive folder on your Mac. In Finder, go to your Google Drive folder and locate the file you want to share.

    google drive mac
  2. Choose the File to Share

    Find the file and right-click it. If you do not see any Google Drive options in the dropdown menu, click “show more options,” then “share with Google Drive.”

    mac right click
  3. Share Your File

    In the gray “add people and groups” box, enter the email address(es) you need to share your file.

    share menu

Sharing Files on a PC

The Google Drive desktop app for PC follows the same functionality as the Mac. After installing the app and connecting it to your Google account, a Google Drive folder becomes part of File Explorer.

  1. Open the Google Drive Folder

    Sharing your files from a PC works almost the same way as it does on a Mac. From File Explorer, open your Google Drive folder. Open “my drive” and select the file you want to share with others.

    google drive pc
  2. Open the “share” Icon

    Right-click the file and click “share with Google Drive.” If you do not see this from the menu, click “show more options.”

    pc right click
  3. Share Your File

    In the gray “add people and groups” box, enter the necessary email address(es) to share your file.

    share menu

How to Share a Folder on Google Drive

Sharing folders with Google Drive works the same way as sharing files. Use the desktop app or access Google Drive from the web. 

Sharing Folders on the Google Drive Web Interface

Sharing folders on the Google Drive web interface works much the same as sharing files.

  1. Choose the Folder to Share

    Once logged in, you will see all the files and folders. Select the folder you want to share with others. From the dropdown, select the “share” icon.

    folder share
  2. Share Your Folder

    In the gray “add people and groups” box, enter the desired email address(es) to share your folder.

    share menu

Sharing a Folder on a Mac or PC

The steps to share a folder on a Mac or PC are nearly identical to sharing a file.

  1. Open the Google Drive Folder

    In Finder or File Explorer, go to your Google Drive folder.

    google drive mac
  2. Select the Folder

    Find the folder you want to share and right-click it. You may have to select “show more options” at the bottom of the menu. Click the “share with Google Drive” option.

    mac folder right click
  3. Share Your Folder

    In the gray “add people and groups” box, enter the email address(es) you need to share your folder.

    share menu

How to Share a File or Folder With Google Drive Mobile App

Google Drive for mobile devices allows you to create, update and share files and folders while on the go. The process works similarly to the desktop app and the Google Drive website. The first step is to download the app from your app store. Once done, log in with your Google account.

  1. Open the Google Drive Mobile App

    Once in the Google Drive mobile app, navigate to the file or folder you want to share.

    google drive mobile
  2. Click the Three-Dot Menu

    On the folder page, or the file, click the three dots to expand the menu. Select the share” icon.

    mobile folder share
  3. Share Your Folder

    On the share” option, you can add as many email addresses as you need in the “add people or groups” section.

    mobile share menu

How to Share Multiple Files on Google Drive

Sharing multiple files works almost the same as sharing individual files. To do this, you only have a couple extra steps compared to sharing a single folder or file. 

  1. Click the “Share” Icon

    Click the “share” icon to the upper right of the files to open the share menu. Add the email(s) for the people you want to share multiple files with in the “add people or groups” text box.

    multi share menu

Sometimes, sharing a file with the link option is a better choice than sharing a file or folder through an email notification. A shareable link sent to a large group might streamline the sharing process instead of adding dozens of email addresses.

Link sharing on the Google Drive web interface varies slightly from sharing a file with email addresses.

Sharing links on the desktop app for Mac or PC begins by locating the Google Drive folder on your computer.

You can send a link on the Google Drive mobile app in a few short steps.

How to Share Large Files on Google Drive

Sharing large files on Google Drive works the same way as in previous sections. The amount of Google Drive storage will limit most people, not the file-size allowance. 

Google Drive caps uploads to 750 GB per day, with a maximum individual file size of 5TB. If you need to send large files and want a deeper dive into that, check out our article on how to send large files.

How to Share Zip Files on Google Drive

Sometimes, it makes life easier to bundle many files — for example, lines of code — into a zip file. Google Drive lets you share a zip file much the same way as other files. Once you’ve uploaded the zip file to your Google Drive, select it to share.

  1. Share on Google Drive

    Choose the zip file and select either the “share” icon or the “copy link” icon. Alternatively, you can right-click the zip file and select “share” or get link.”

    zip share
  2. Share on Mac or PC

    Right-click the zip file, choose “show more options” and select “share with Google Drive” or choose “copy link to clipboard.”

    desktop zip
  3. Share on Mobile

    Find the zip file on the Google Drive mobile app and select the three-dot menu. Choose the “share” icon or “copy link.”

    mobile share

How to Change Permissions on Google Files

Setting the correct sharing options for those who have access to your shared files and folders is essential. However, you may need to alter those permissions at some point. 

Editing permissions happens in real time, even after you’ve sent a shared file or folder. For those invited by email, you can change permissions for individuals or everyone. When sharing files or folders through a link, any permission changes will impact everyone who has access to the link.

There are three permission levels: editor, commenter and viewer. Google Drive defaults all permissions to editor, so make sure you want people to be able to edit files. If you forget to change the permissions on a shared file or folder, or receive a request for access from a colleague, don’t worry. You can edit access to your shared files at any time.

Change Permissions on Google Drive Web or Desktop App

Changing permissions on the Google Drive web interface or desktop app is fast and easy, requiring only a few clicks.

  1. Change Share Permissions

    On the web or desktop app, find the file or folder you want to change permissions for, select it and open the share” menu.

    permissions

Change Permissions on the Google Drive Mobile App

Changing permissions on the Google Drive mobile app starts with clicking “manage access” for any file or folder.

  1. Open Manage Access

    On the Google Drive mobile app, click the three-dot menu. Under the “share” icon, you will see “manage access.”

    mobile permissions
  2. Change Share Permissions

    Once in the “manage access” menu, make the necessary permission changes.

    mobile permissions menu

Final Thoughts

Sharing files with Google Drive is a quick and easy process, whether you access the service through a web browser, the desktop app or the mobile app. You have the flexibility to share folders or files with individuals, a group of friends or colleagues, or anyone with the link. 

Google Drive lets you determine the sharing settings, so you control the type of access people have to your files. Except for the most extreme situations, the folder or file size is only limited by your Google Drive storage size.

Do you use Google Drive for your cloud storage needs? How often do you use Google Drive to share your folders and files? Do you prefer link sharing with a Google group or sending Google docs to individuals? Share your experiences, tips or tricks for using Google Drive to share files in the comments section. Thanks for reading.