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Tips on Sharing Files and Folders with Google Drive

The ability to share documents and work collaboratively is one of the most useful things about Google Drive! Here are some tips on how to get started.

This content is borrowed from Google's full help site on sharing and Get started with shared drives

Share a single item with specific people

Use this method when you know the email address (Hampshire or otherwise) of everyone with whom you are sharing.

  1. Open a file in Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides.

  2. In the top right corner, click Share.

  3. Under "People" in the "Share with others" box, type the email address (Hampshire, or otherwise) of the person or Google Group you want to share with. Tip: Search for Hampshire contacts by typing a name in the box.

  4. To choose if a person can view, comment, or edit the file, click the Down arrow next to the text box down arrow icon.

  5. Click Done. The people you shared with will get an email letting them know you've shared a file.


Share a single item using a link

Use this method when you don’t know everyone’s email address, aren’t sure if they all have a Google account, or simply want a document to be more widely available. You can have the link only available to the Hampshire community, or to the whole world.

  1. Open a file in Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides.

  2. In the top right corner, click Share.

  3. Click "Get shareable link" in the top right of the "Share with others" box.

  4. To choose whether a person can view, comment, or edit the file, click the Down arrow next to "Anyone with the link." down arrow icon.

  5. Note that the link will default to be viewable by Hampshire College accounts only! To expand access to outside of Hampshire, click the Down arrow next to "Anyone at Hampshire College…” and select “More” for additional options.

  6. A file link will be copied to your clipboard. Paste the link in an email or anywhere you want to share it.


Sharing a Folder

If you plan to collaborate with a group of people on a recurring basis, such as within a department or for a class, we strongly suggest creating a shared folder or a shared drive (see below). Then every item placed in this folder will automatically be shared with the group.  

Create a folder

  1. Go to drive.hampshire.edu

  2. On the left, click New > Folder.

  3. Enter a name for the folder.

  4. Click Create.

Then, share the folder:

  1. Select the name of the folder in Google Drive. At the top, click Share Share. Tip: You can also right-click the folder and choose Share.

  2. Under "People" in the "Share with others" box, type the email address of the person or Google Group with whom you want to share. Tip: Search for contacts by typing a name in the box.

  3. Make sure their access level is set to “Can Edit.”


Shared Drives

Shared drives are shared spaces where teams can easily store, search, and access their files anywhere, from any device. Unlike files in My Drive, files in a shared drive belong to the team instead of an individual. Even if members leave, the files stay exactly where they are so your team can continue to share information and get work done.

Not sure whether to use My Drive or a shared drive?

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Are the files of interest to most or all members of a particular project team?
  • Do the files share a consistent theme?

If you answered "yes" to both questions, creating a new shared drive is a good idea. If the files are for a variety of projects, create multiple shared drives. For a comparison of My Drive and shared drives, see Differences between My Drive and shared drives.

View What can you do with shared drives? to get started


Changing ownership of a file or folder

You may want to assign someone else to be the “owner” of a file or folder. The owner has full control over access, visibility, and can choose to delete the file.  

How to change owners

You can change who owns a file or folder in Drive.

  1. Go to Drive or a Docs, Sheets, or Slides home screen.

  2. Open the sharing box:

    • In Drive: Select the file or folder and click the share icon at the top share icon.

    • In a Docs, Sheets, or Slides home screen: Open the file and click Share in the top-right corner of the file

  3. If the new owner already has edit access, skip to Step 4. Otherwise, follow these steps:

    • Type the email address of the new owner in the "Invite people" field

    • Click Share and save.

  4. Click Advanced in the bottom-right corner of the sharing box.

  5. Click the drop-down menu next to the name of the person you want to own the file or folder.

  6. Select Is owner.

  7. Click Done.

Transferring ownership to or from a non-Hampshire Google account

Some of us may have Hampshire-related documents “owned” by a personal Google account. A best practice would be to transfer these items to be owned by your Hampshire account. While you can transfer ownership between Hampshire College accounts, you can’t transfer ownership to or from a non-Hampshire account! Unfortunately, the only workaround at this time is to download all the files from your personal account onto your computer, and then re-upload them when logged into your Hampshire account.

If you're thinking about transferring files, have a look at Google's Takeout service; it provides options for downloading an archive of all your data, including Drive files.

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