Setting Folder and Document Permissions in Google Drive

Documents created in Google cannot be viewed by anyone unless we decide to share them with others. When we want to share documents, Sheets or Slides, we need to set permissions. The permission options are the same for any Google Doc, Sheet or Slide. We can also set the permission for folders in the same way.

In this example, we have several documents inside a folder. To share a document in Drive, we’ll click once on the document.




Once we’ve selected a document, a toolbar will appear. In the toolbar we have a share button in the form of a silhouette. Click on this button.


A box will open with share options. The simplest way to share a document is to provide an email. Ideally it should be a Gmail account, but a document can be shared with any email account. Depending on the email account, the recipient of the shared document might not be able to see or edit a document.

Once we provide an email address, we can choose the permission option. The option to edit the document is automatically set. This means that the person can make changes to the document but it does not mean the person can delete the document. Only the owner can delete documents.


If we don’t want the recipient of the document to edit the document, we can change the permission by clicking the permission selector. The other options include comment and view. The comment option provides a way for the recipient to give us written feedback. The view permission will only let the recipient view the document. We can add a note to the recipients, which will appear in the email they receive, along with a link to the shared document.


We can set the permissions for a folder in the same way. Setting permissions for a folder is a convenient way to share several files at once with one or more recipients. In this example we have a folder with several documents. To share this folder from Drive we’ll click on the folder.


Once the folder is selected we will get a toolbar with several options. Click on the silhouette to share this folder.


When the share box opens, we will get the same options for sharing, that we saw with documents. A difference is that the permissions given to the folder will be inherited by each of the files in the folder. For example, if we set the folder with view rights only, then the recipients will only be able to view any of the documents in the folder.


Another difference is that we cannot set a permission to allow comments from the folder permissions selector.

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