How to share folders and collaborate using Google Drive

what to know

  • To share a folder or collaborate on a document, right-click the item and go to Share > Share .
  • Then, enter their name or email and define their access level: Viewer, Commenter, or Editor.
  • You can notify recipients by checking the "Notify people" box. Otherwise, choose Share .

This article explains how to share a Google Drive folder and collaborate on files. These instructions are for the web version of Drive; it works similarly in the mobile app.

Google Drive is great for collaborating on projects with colleagues. It provides fine-tuned control over who can view your files and what they can do with them. Collaborators can be set up to only view or comment on your document, or you can give them full editing access. That's it:

  1. Open Google Drive and find the file you want to share.

  2. Right-click the file and select Share > Share , or open it and select the large Share button in the upper right corner of the page.

  3. Search for the people you want to add as collaborators. You can find them by name or email address.

  4. Select the drop-down arrow and select an access level. Options include Editor, Viewer, and Commenter.

  5. If you want to add sharing restrictions, select the Settings/Gear icon. These options allow editors to share documents with others and allow viewers and commenters to print, download, and copy files.

  6. If you want to notify recipients that you have shared a file with them, check the box next to Notify others and press Send . If the box is unchecked, select Share .

Sharing an entire folder with collaborators works similarly to sharing a single document. You can right-click the folder to find sharing options, or open the folder and select the drop-down menu next to the folder name, then select Share > Share . The next steps are the same as for sharing files (see above).

When you share a folder, every file placed in the folder inherits the same sharing permissions. These are some very powerful collaborations. However, since Google Docs is part of Google Drive, it gets complicated because each file can only exist in one folder, but people who share editing permissions can move the files.

If you use the Google Drive desktop app, you may be tempted to move shared files to My Drive or another folder so that you can organize or access the files in the desktop Google Drive folder. Since files can only exist in one folder, moving a file out of a shared folder means you move the file out of everyone else's shared folder. Moving a shared folder to My Drive means you no longer share it with everyone.

If you accidentally move a file out of a shared folder, move it back and everything will be restored.

If you or someone you're collaborating with accidentally moves a shared folder to a different folder on My Drive, you'll get a warning and a message telling you what you did and offering you an opportunity to undo it. opportunity for this operation. If you ignore these two warnings, you'll need to share the folder again to restore your settings.

If you work with an organization, make sure everyone understands the rules and that you share documents with people you trust to comply with them.

You may receive collaboration requests from people outside your organization. These unsolicited documents may simply be an annoyance, but they may also represent a possible attempt to collect sensitive documents.

You should not open unknown files in Google Drive; instead, you can block the person who sent the file by right-clicking the file and selecting Report or Block > Report . From there, you can choose to block the sender and report the request.