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You can share items (folders or documents) with:
  • everyone publicly on Internet: your shared items may be indexed by search engines;
  • anyone with the link: your shared item become available to anyone you give the link to; note that every item stored in Google Drive has a unique permanent link, and this is the link you provide people with in this case;
  • privately with some Google account users: this is called adding collaborators.
You can give users various access permissions to folders or documents. For efficient sharing and collaboration, we strongly advocate explicit sharing for folders only, since documents automatically inherit access permissions from folders they belong to: for this reason, we only consider folders in the sequel.

Share a folder by means of a contextual menu
  1.  Mouse over the right of the folder you wish to share (Test Sub in this example), in the browsing area; when a small triangle shows up, click on it, and this will display a contextual popup action menu; mouse over the Share... entry of this menu, and display a second popup menu, with two options: Share..., and Email collaborators;
  2. Click on the Share... entry: this will trigger a popup Share window, go to Sharing publicly or privately section for specific guidance.

Share a folder by means of a check box

Instead of using the contextual menu to select the Share... action, you can use the check box to the left of your folder in the contents area.
  1.  Check the box to the left of the folder you wish to share (Test Sub here) in the Contents area: this will trigger additional action buttons, to the right of the  +  folder creation previously unique button;
  2. Click on the Share button: this button displays a person with a + to its right. As a result, a popup Sharing settings window will show up, see next section.

Share publicly or privately, Get a link to shared folder

Whether you have triggered the Share action by means of a contextual menu or by means of a check box and Share button, you are now faced with a Sharing settings popup window.
 First observe the contents of this window:
  • Link to share: displays a link (URL) which identifies the folder (Test Sub here) and will never change, so that you can copy it and paste it as a reference to your folder;
  • Private - Only you can access: this message indicates that the folder can currently only be accessed by the (unique) collaborator, the owner, identified by status can be changed by clicking on the Change link (pointed by the arrow labeled 1): go to Sharing settings visibility options Section below for more information;
  • Invite people: this text area pointed by arrow labeled 2 allows you to enter Google identifiers of collaborators you wish to add for sharing this folder, go to Add collaborators or change access permissions Section for more information;
  • Editors will be allowed to add people and change the permissions: this is the default, which you can change at any time for preventing editors from changing access permissions or adding new collaborators.
Here are the changes you can perform:
  1. [Optional]: By clicking on Change link, you will get the opportunity of changing the Status to Anyone with the link or Public on the web;
  2. [Optional]: You can add the Google identifiers (separated by commas) of collaborators you wish to share the folder with; you will then to let them know by a personal message, with copy to yourself, see Add collaborators or change access permissions Section for more detail;
  3. [Optional]: By default, editors are allowed to add collaborators, and change access permissions; by clicking on the Change link, you can remove this standard authorization;
  4. Click on the   Done   button when you have performed the changes: this will validate your changes and close the Sharing Settings window.

Sharing settings visibility options

Beware that changing the visibility options from the default (Shared privately) may be risky, for sensitive or confidential information. It may however be convenient, as it allows you to share information, and eventually collaborate, with people you trust, but do not have a Google account.
  1. Select Public on the web or Anyone with the link, or keep Shared privately (safest option);
  2. Assuming you have selected Anyone with the link (as pictured) or Public on the web, an Access option, defaulting to Can view, shows up: click on this option if you wish to set the edit permission, and a popup menu will be displayed;
  3. Select Can edit by clicking on this entry from the popup menu, or leave the Can view default;
  4. Validate your choice by clicking the    Save   button, or cancel using the   Cancel   button. The window will be replaced by the previous general Sharing settings window, allowing you to add collaborators or change access permissions.

Add collaborators or change access permissions
  1. Add Google identifiers (each one must be a valid email addresses effectively associated with a Google account), separated by commas, of the people you wish to invite to share your folder;
  2. Leave the Can edit permission, if you trust your future collaborators, or change it to Can view if you don't trust them (which is bad!);
  3. Check the Notify people via email so that your future collaboration are notified of your invitation by email;
  4. Check the Send a copy to myself box, so that you get a record of your invitation;
  5. Click on the Add message link to add a short personal message to your future collaborators: this will display a text area for your message, see next screenshot.

Make sure that you have entered the correct Google identifiers of your future collaborators, and checked the Notify people via email and Send a copy to myself boxes (see previous screenshot and procedure) before continuing:
  1. Enter your personal message in the text area;
  2. Click the   Share & save   button to validate the invitation and warn your future collaborators.

Observe that mgr AT and alexandre.dabrowski AT have been added to the list of persons who have access, and have edit permission on the folder you have shared with them:
  1. If needed, you can change access permission (not recommended if you trust your future collaborators);
  2. Click on the   Done   button if you are done.

Sous-pages (2) : access permissions efficiently