How to share photos, PDFs, and other files on Google Drive


You can share individual files or multiple files and folders with Google Drive in a few quick steps.

  • Google Drive allows you to store all sorts of files and folders on a remote server, so you can access them any time from any device with internet access - this includes files made outside of Google, like photos and Word documents.
  • Sharing non-Google files stored in your Google Drive allows another person to access them instantly, making collaborative work much easier.
  • You can customize the settings of a file you share in Google Drive, limiting the way in which recipients can interact with and alter the file.
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Whether you have a slew of vacation photos you want to share with friends and family, a spreadsheet you need your colleagues to work on, or a project your fellow classmates need to add to before a presentation at the end of the week, Google Drive offers the best way to share all sorts of files.

Google Drive allows you to share photos, written documents, PDFs, videos, and all sorts of other files quickly and easily. And better yet, you can limit the ways in which people engage with the files you share, restricting access to viewing only, to commenting only, or granting full permission for the file's recipient to make edits and alterations.

Note that this guide will detail how to share files that were made outside of Google Drive, like PDFs, photos, and Word documents. Google Docs, Slides, and Sheets files require a different process.

How to share singular files on Google Drive

If you only need to share a single photo, PDF, or other file, the easiest way to do it is to first open the file. Then:

1. Click on the three dots stacked in a vertical line found at the top right corner of the page.

William Antonelli/Business Insider

Select a file and click the three vertical dots.

2. Click the word "Share" (there may also be an icon of a person with a + symbol).

3. Enter the email addresses of the people you want to share the file with.

4. Click the pencil icon beside the email address to set the access level you with to grant ("Can edit," "Can comment," or simply "Can view").

Steven John/Business Insider

Enter email addresses you'd like to share the file with.

5. Hit "Done" to share.

And if need be, before entering the names, hit the word "Advanced" at the bottom right of the "Share with others" pop up window, then set the privacy access. This will also present you with a few more options.

Steven John/Business Insider

Clicking "Advanced" will give you more options.

How to share multiple files or folders from Google Drive

Open the folder with multiple files you want to share or locate the multiple folders you wish to share, then...

1. On a Mac, hold down the Command key, then left click on each file or folder to be shared, or hold Shift to select many items at once. On a PC, use the Control key to select a single item, or the Shift key to select many.

2. Right click on one of the highlighted files, then click Share.

Steven John/Business Insider

Click "Share."

3. Follow the steps above as you would for a single file.

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