iCloud Drive Public File Sharing

A new feature in High Sierra is the ability to share single files with other people. You can choose to share with specific people, or anyone with the link. You can choose to allow others to just view, or also edit the file. This could be a good way to collaborate, or just to distribute a file to many people.

Video Transcript
So a new feature in Mac OS High Sierra is the ability to share a file that you have on iCloud Drive with other people. Before you just share between your own devices but now you can actually select a file and say I want other people to be able to access it. Let's look at an example.

I'll go into iCloud Drive and I will select a file that's deep down in the folder structure here. Let's start with a regular text file. I'll click on the Share button and I can see the normal options like Mail, AirDrop, Messages, etc. I'll see something called Add People. So it's not obvious at first that this is the function you want to use but Add People is basically sharing.

So under Share Options I can choose Only people I invite. So I can invite people specifically using their Apple ID. Or Anyone with the Link. So let's do Anyone with the Link and I can select whether I want them to make changes or can just view. I'm also going to, instead of sending an email, I'm going to go to Copy Link. I can paste that link into an email or a message or whatever I want. I'll hit Share.

You can see now it says Shared by Me. As a matter of fact with it selected I can click Share and it says Show People instead of Add People and I can go in and you can see I have a way to send the link again and I can also Copy Link or Stop Sharing.

So let's go and take a look now that we've copied that to the buffer. I can go into Safari and see what it looks like when somebody pastes a link. I'll paste that in and you can see it's an iCloud Drive link and just a whole bunch of random characters that identify that file and I'll hit Return and the result will be a link that shows this file here. You can see it's a text file. I can Download a Copy of it or I can Add it to My iCloud Drive if this was another account. If I hit Download a Copy I'm going to get a copy of that file.
Of course if I Add to iCloud Drive then I would be able to go in and see it but instead of saying Shared By Me it'll say Shared By Gary and then I'll be able to edit it as well.

So as an example here I've used my main account and I've shared something with this demo account and I've done it by Messages. So I had to type in the Apple ID for this Messages account. You can see I've got a message coming in here and there it is. It is a link, click on it, open it up, and I can see I've got this file now and it's actually the text file. I can add something to it and Save. If I look at iCloud Drive now I can see there, at the top level of iCloud Drive, I've got this file here. This is the one that I accepted sharing on and I can access it anytime I want.

Now I can go in and access this file. I can edit it and so can the other user. So we're sharing this file between us. So this is a really handy function. It could just be used, you could just if you wanted to make some sort of PDF available to people, you know, and post it online. Like say you have a Facebook group and you decide that this PDF here is something everybody needs to get. You can just go and Add People, you can Copy a Link, you can say I want View Only and Anyone with a Link. You hit Share and then go to Facebook and paste that link into a post and now everybody can go and download that PDF directly from your iCloud Drive account.

Comments: 22 Responses to “iCloud Drive Public File Sharing”

    9/28/17 @ 12:07 pm

    Can you share a folder?

    9/28/17 @ 12:48 pm

    Russ: No. Only individual files.

    Brenda Brooks
    9/29/17 @ 10:29 am

    If I share “Anyone with the link” does this mean windows machines will see the file? We’re as “Only people you invite” is restricted to iCloud/Mac/iOS users?

    9/29/17 @ 10:31 am

    Brenda: Windows machines can see the file. To invite people, they need an Apple ID. But Windows users can have Apple IDs.

    10/1/17 @ 4:11 am

    iCloud drive > Share (a file); there is no “Add People” option in the dropdown list.
    System Preferences > Extensions > Share Menu; Add People tick box is greyed out…
    Why? or What does it mean?
    How can I solve this…?

    I’m using MacBook Pro, Late 2011, macOS Sierra Version 10.12.6

    10/1/17 @ 4:36 am

    Sorry I realized that I must upgrade my os to high sierra…
    My apoligize for inconvenient…

    Chamberland Marc
    10/3/17 @ 7:41 am

    What is the maximum size of a file shared ?

    10/3/17 @ 7:45 am

    Chamberland: I haven’t heard of any file size limit. You could always test with the largest file you have in iCloud Drive to see if it works. If not, test a smaller one, etc. Report back with your findings.

    Chamberland Marc
    10/3/17 @ 10:56 am

    Hi again. I did in fact made a test with a video file of 1,2 Go and it worked ! Doesn’t look to have a limit in the size of files !

    10/3/17 @ 11:01 am

    Chamberland: Nice!

    Colleen Boland
    10/7/17 @ 4:41 am

    Okay folks, I need to share 9GB of vid and pic files and the receiver needs them in the resolution/quality that I shot them in. In the case of vids, that is 1080p. I read somewhere that the quality will be decreased going through iCloud. Does anyone know if that is true or false?

    10/7/17 @ 7:08 am

    Colleen: Where did you read that the quality will be decreased? If you share a file, the file isn’t reprocessed. You are sharing the actual file. So that’s just not true. Perhaps you are confusing it with something else, like sharing a photo via email or text where you are given options for compression. But iCloud is not going to change your file when you share it.
    Now if you have a lot of files to share, you may want to consider something that lets you share in quantity. Maybe a Dropbox account or some file sharing service your company (if this is for work) uses.

    John Stires
    10/10/17 @ 2:19 pm

    I shared one file successfully to iOS’s Airdrop (redundantly I guess) and to myself via OS Mail. Airdrop is still active in the Sharing box [↑] but I no longer have the Add People option AT ALL. Clicking “More” brings up Sharing Extensions. The “Add People” and “Airdrop” boxes are ticked and grayed-out (as Ertugrul described) without the blue background as in other checkboxes. This was so strange that I restarted my MBP; no joy.

    10/10/17 @ 2:29 pm

    John: Sorry, I can’t imagine what is wrong. Ertugrul’s issue was not being at High Sierra yet. Are you sure you have a file (not a folder) selected?

    11/9/17 @ 10:08 am

    Good video. Please let me confirm my understanding. I send a person an invitation to collaborate on a Numbers document with the permission to make edits. They make changes and save the file. Does it matter if they save it to their hard drive or their iCloud Drive? So assume they save it to their iCloud Drive. When they open it again in 2 weeks and make changes I assume those changes will be reflected in my document too. Is this correct?

    11/9/17 @ 10:14 am

    Gene: When they save, it just saves to iCloud, where it is. It doesn’t change location. The location is your iCloud account and you both have access to it. The only other option is to create a new copy of that document and save that somewhere else, then it is a new copy and is not shared by anyone.

    11/9/17 @ 10:27 am

    So, how do they get to it a month later? Do I need to re-invite them? Thanks for all of your insights.

    11/9/17 @ 10:41 am

    Gene: No need to re-invite them. Once you are sharing it, you will continue to share it until you stop.

    11/9/17 @ 11:00 am

    And where do they access it? I assume when they click save and save it to their iCloud Drive that’s where they re-open it. Sorry I am being dense.

    11/9/17 @ 11:08 am

    Gene: Think of the file as being in ONE location. You share it. They don’t save it to their iCloud Drive separately. You are both accessing one file at one location. You are both accessing the same file that exists on iCloud Drive.

    11/9/17 @ 1:02 pm

    So, where does my wife (the person with whom I am sharing) click to open the document to make further edits?

    11/9/17 @ 1:15 pm

    Never mind Gary, I found it. Thanks

Comments Closed.