How To Share Files and Folders With Anyone Using iCloud Drive

Sharing files with iCloud Drive is often a better solution than sending a file email or message. But it can be tricky to send a file or whole folder if the other person doesn't have an iCloud account.

Comments: 18 Responses to “How To Share Files and Folders With Anyone Using iCloud Drive”

    Sheldon
    5 months ago

    Thanks bunches

    Bob Herwick
    5 months ago

    Gary, in sharing a folder with a Windows user, is it necessary to "copy the link" from the ZIP file? Can't you just email that ZIP file to the recipient? I suppose the link is better if it is is a very large folder. Thanks.

    5 months ago

    Bob: I'm not a fan of emailing zip files or any files if I can help it. If the file is large (or even if it isn't) you don't know the other person's situation for bandwidth. They may have a slow connection, pay per MB for bandwidth, or have limited space in their email server account.

    Dot
    5 months ago

    Thanks for showing us all the steps. It seems to be more complicated to generate a link than it used to be. Another advantage of sharing the file via iCloud is that it’s more secure than attaching it to an email. If you email the link, you can stop sharing as soon as the recipient has downloaded it, and the link will no longer work. If you email the file, it will be stored on both your server and the recipient’s server.

    Jack
    5 months ago

    Great tutorial Gary. One more small tip that saves a step - when you share a file (or zip file) by selecting “Invite with Link”, you don’t need to go back to select “Copy Link”. After the file shows “Shared by Me”, the link is automatically copied to the clipboard. So if you open Messages, Mail, Notes, etc - you can just Paste (Command+V) and the link pops up!

    Ian
    5 months ago

    Gary, thank you. When I've tried sharing a file before, usually for editing, with other iCloud users I've seen a warning saying the recipient will be able to see everything in the folder so I've become very nervous and not shared the file. Is this something you have seen before?

    nick
    5 months ago

    Great tutorial Gary. No need to use a file-sharing site anymore. Cheers.

    5 months ago

    Ian: They definitely won't be able to see more than you shared. Are you sure you were doing iCloud sharing then? Sounds like maybe you were working with old-fashioned file sharing.

    Ian
    5 months ago

    Thinking back to my use case it was sharing a Pages document from within Pages. The first person invited is ok but if I then add a second I get a warning about "New participants will be able to see all items on the folder. Folder containing this item is already shared".

    I'm sharing a document from within Pages and my Pages folder on iCloud Drive is not shared.

    I've found others asking about this warning on the Apple community.

    5 months ago

    Ian: Not sure what that could be. A search for that exact message doesn't turn up any pages in Apple Discussions.

    Lucas
    4 months ago

    I recently tried to send via SMS a simple 1–page PDF to a friend who uses an Android phone of some sort. I don’t know whether he uses a PC. I’ll assume his phone is his only device. He reports that after two attempts at texting this PDF, he has never received it. Messages reports “Failed to send.” Your tutorial I found very helpful. Could you share a few words about sharing files with someone who uses an Android phone. Thanks!

    4 months ago

    Lucas: Sounds like the SMS system he uses can't handle that file. Use the method I show here instead. Always best to share files than send them via text or email.

    Barry
    4 months ago

    Hi Gary,

    Great tutorial, thanks. What’s frustrating is that I can no longer use collaboration for Pages (nor Keynote or Numbers) due to recently changed Mac system requirements. I’m running MacOS Monterey and can’t upgrade further. While iCloud folder sharing has been possible since Catalina, “collaboration” now requires Ventura. Yes, you can still use iCloud.com to collaborate, but that’s useless offline. Worse, this caused lost data in my file on Mac, w/o warning, when iCloud sync failed.

    Kathy
    4 months ago

    Hi Gary, thank you for your wonderful work. Is it possible to password protect a file or folder prior to sharing from iCloud Drive as you've shown? I've only been able to find how to do this with a pages or numbers document where I'd password protect it before sharing. Thanks Gary

    4 months ago

    Kathy: Hard to give a good answer without knowing the details of the situation. But a general solution would be: https://macmost.com/two-ways-to-password-protect-files-on-your-mac.html

    Brian
    4 months ago

    Gary, can this method be used for large (>1GB) video/movie files? I've been using Google Drive.

    4 months ago

    Brian: I suppose. Though if you are doing video work like that, there are specialty services that may be better. Like frame.io

    John
    3 months ago

    One of your best videos. I use these features just infrequently enough that I forget how I made it work (after trial and error) the previous time. I have also had the same issue as Lucas above and will try this. Thank you.

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