With the new compose experience, you can now attach a Google Drive file to your Gmail message, just like your traditional email services.

To get started:

1.) Open a Gmail message with the new Compose Window

2.) Hover your cursor over the paperclip and + at the bottom of the window

3.) Click on the Google Drive icon (says ‘Insert files using Drive’ when you hover over it’)

4.) If you’ve installed Drive on your desktop, you can select files from your computer

5.) If not, select the ‘My Drive’ option on the left-hand side of your screen

6.) Choose your file and you’re all done!

Screenshot of the new icon in your Gmail:

 

If the file that you are sending is not shared with the person you are sending it to, you will receive a pop-up when you try to send the email. There, you will be able to specify the sharing policy, and you can either make it view-only, or you can allow them to edit the file.

Click here to watch this video on YouTube.

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26 Comments on "Adding Google Docs as Email Attachments Using Google Drive"

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Jesse Miller
Guest
July 1, 2012 4:00 pm

Good post! I also wanted to point out that if you’d like another quick way to insert a shared link from your Google Drive, you can use Attachments.me. They provide a Chrome extension that will add an “Insert from Google Drive” link right underneath “Attach a file”.

Matt
Guest
Matt
September 9, 2012 5:52 pm

Interesting extension. It seems a bit weighty, though, if all you want to do is attach from Drive rather than having a full attachment organization utility.

david dawson
Guest
July 9, 2012 2:07 pm

seems a bit silly that there is no right click command on google drive that lets you email it using gmail.

I mean google drive online^

MichaelM
Guest
October 23, 2012 1:17 am

Thanks guys.
HOWEVER, take the following scenario:
– You’re travelling without your own pc.
– You have access to your webmail account and google drive.
– You want to use your webmail account, and send an email with a file from your Google drive/ docs attached to it.
– And the answer is … (screwed if i know, but if you know I’d love to hear it from you …)
Cheers, Michael

Renee
Guest
Renee
November 5, 2012 6:42 pm

I’m really quite disgruntled that this isn’t implemented in Gmail/Drive yet. It’s got to be something focused on right away. My company pays for the business solution, but Drive isn’t a business solution used to the best of its ability if the Gmail can’t be integrated with it fully.

Get on this!! There have been inquiries about it for nearly 3 years from ME alone!!

I don’t want to have to use an extension. I want native support.

Cheers,

Renee

Ron
Guest
Ron
November 19, 2012 8:48 am

Renee, you are right on! Also, like the Google Gooru mentions, it would be nice if all you had to do was put someone’s name in the “To” box in an email to have it automatically shared with that person. I mean, if you are sending it to them you obviously want to share it with them. Why is the separate step necessary?

dmp
Guest
December 5, 2012 10:39 pm

from an email: when I go to ATTACH A FILE, nowhere does my GOOGLEDRIVE pop up…I see FAVORITES, DOCUMENTS, PICUTRES, ETC, and searched the DESKTOP, but nowhere do I see GOOGLE DRIVE….why isn’t it an option?
DMP…thanks

Alan Geer
Guest
December 11, 2012 2:13 pm
Hi there – Just found your site – like it! I have a company and we use google apps; I want to migrate users from dropbox to drive, but experiencing a couple of issues: – When attaching a file in gmail, we dont want to send a file that needs permissions to share (like typical drive protocol), we want to always send as an attachment – do you know if this is possible? – The little drive icon appeared in our gmail for attachments a week or so ago, but is not on our android device. Google apps issue do… Read more »
Chris
Guest
Chris
December 17, 2012 8:20 am
Hi there, I like to add to MichaelM concern. I would prefer if Google developed a facility to allow me to attach a file stored in Google Drive to a mail message that I compose in Gmail or google apps. Imagine the following scenario: 1. You are travelling without your PC. 2. A head hunter is calling you about a job you are interested in and he asks you to send your C.V. 3. You find nearest internet cafe, airport lounge PC, or similar, and compose e-mail in your gmail or google apps account. 4. You want to attach your… Read more »
meg
Guest
meg
February 5, 2013 11:42 pm

When i open my gmail and click compose I do not see a plus sign anywhere

Markd
Guest
Markd
April 5, 2013 9:16 pm

When will this be available on Jelly Bean. I have a ph and tablet and not being able to attach a doc from my Google Drive is diving me nuts.

Benjamin Peikes
Guest
Benjamin Peikes
April 11, 2013 5:52 pm

This doesn’t actually send an attachment. It’s very misleading and extremely dangerous. It sends a link which by default makes the document available to anyone who gets the link.

I understand that Google doesn’t want to send files around, but they should make it very clear that this is not an attachment. Its sending a link to your document and changing the sharing options for it.

Taylor
Guest
Taylor
April 11, 2013 5:59 pm

I understand your point, and I try not to share documents using “anyone w/ the link”, but how is doing that any different from sending an attachment? If you send an attachment, the recipient can do anything they want with it. At least with a Google Drive doc, you retain ownership and can change that sharing setting whenever you want. Also, you don’t have to choose “anyone w/ the link”, you can share it with the individual recipients themselves when using this “Attach from Drive” dialog.

henry
Guest
henry
August 23, 2013 5:22 pm
Listen, sending the actual doc (attaching) versus a link (linking) are different things, serving different purposes. For one, recipient cannot use the e-mail for archiving purposes when linked. They have to go to the file and download it on to their own storage. If you send an attachment, the recipient always has the attachment, If you send a link, and the sender deletes or changes permissions on the file, the recipient may no longer have access. Sometimes, I want to send the actual file for a variety of reasons (for example, I may need to have a copy of a… Read more »
Taylor
Guest
August 23, 2013 8:58 pm
I don’t know about your phone, but if I send an email to myself with a document attached, the document is not automatically downloaded to my phone. I have to open the email and download the attachment to my phone in order to have access to the file while offline. You could just as easily find the file in your Drive app and make it available offline. The point of using “Insert files using Drive” and using the Google Drive native file formats anyway is to put more control in the hands of the document owner, not the recipient. If… Read more »
henry
Guest
henry
August 23, 2013 5:18 pm

Please note that this DOES NOT ATTACH THE FILE. It only sends a LINK to a Drive doc. If the Drive doc is later deleted or user rights changed, recipients may not have access. It is annoying that there does not seem to be a convenience way to ATTACH drive docs (as opposed to just a link).

Denise
Guest
August 28, 2013 8:40 pm

I can’t attach a google document via gmail, I do not get the pop up you show. It attaches the google doc as an attachment and the person getting it can’t see it. How do I get the pop up to come up to allow me to share? I am using a Samsung Chromebook, could that be the problem? Thanks.

Stephanie
Guest
Stephanie
March 23, 2014 2:09 am

This video is great, and the process seems really intuitive. But I am having a problem with the documents in my drive not populating when I click on “my drive” in the attachment selection pane. Can you advise? Thank you so much!

soumya
Guest
April 21, 2016 4:08 am

can docs be shared with webmail users?

Dylan Press
Admin
Dylan Press
April 27, 2016 7:38 pm

Yes, although depending on the doc permissions they may not be able to view it.

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