Use iCloud to share and collaborate on files and folders
You can use iCloud Drive to share files and folders with others so you can collaborate on projects together. The people you invite can download the shared items from iCloud to any of their devices, where they can view them and — depending on the privileges you set — collaborate. You can see any updates the next time you open the files on your Mac.
Note: To use iCloud Drive folder sharing, your computer or device must have macOS version 10.15.4 or later, iOS version 13.4 or later, or iCloud for Windows version 11.1 or later.
For information about iCloud Drive and setting it up on your Mac, see Use iCloud Drive to store documents.
Invite people to collaborate on files or folders
To invite people to collaborate on files or folders, do one of the following on your Mac:
Control-click an item on the desktop, then choose Share from the shortcut menu.
Note: To collaborate with others on a file or folder, it must be in iCloud Drive.
Choose Collaborate from the pop-up menu.
Click “Only invited people can edit.” below Collaborate to set permissions for working together, then choose one of the following from the pop-up menu below “Who can access”:
Only invited people: Allow only people you invite to access the file or folder.
Anyone with the link: Allow anyone who receives the link to access the file or folder. If you choose this option, people you invite can share the link and give access to others not included in your original invitation.
Click the pop-up menu below Permissions, then choose one of the following:
Can make changes: Allow people you invite to view and modify the contents of the file or folder.
View only: Allow people you invite to view the contents of the file or folder, but not modify them.
Select the tickbox next to “Allow others to invite” to allow anyone with access to the file or folder to share it with others. Deselect the tickbox so only you can share the file or folder with others.
Share the invitation using Mail or Messages or create and copy a link to the shared item.
To learn more about using the Messages app for collaboration, see Collaborate on projects with Messages.
When the people you invite receive your invitation, they can download the shared file or folder from iCloud to any of their devices. If you allow it, they can make changes to a file and you see the updates the next time you open it on your Mac.
When you share a folder with only invited people, only they can access the files in the shared folder. To add more participants, you must change the settings of the shared folder; you can’t change the settings of an individual file within the folder.
Tip: If you want to send a copy of a file or folder without collaborating on it, Control-click the item in the Finder or on the desktop, choose Share from the shortcut menu, choose Send Copy from the pop-up menu, then choose how you want to share the copy of the item, such as using AirDrop or Mail.
Accept an invitation to a shared file or folder
On your Mac, click the link you received to the shared item, then click Open to view the item in the Finder and have it added to iCloud Drive.
When you accept an invitation to a shared file or folder, it’s available in the following locations:
In iCloud Drive on your Mac
The Files app on your iOS or iPadOS device (iOS 11 or later)
On a PC with iCloud for Windows
You can open the shared item with any compatible app and make changes, if you have permission to edit. Anyone with access to the item sees the latest changes the next time they open it.
Change the sharing settings of a file or folder
You can change the sharing settings of a file or folder you share at any time.
Note: You can’t change the sharing settings for an individual document in a shared folder. You must change the settings of the folder.
On your Mac, click the Finder icon in the Dock to open a Finder window, then click iCloud Drive in the sidebar.
Control-click the file or folder, then choose Manage Shared File or Manage Shared Folder.
Do any of the following:
Share an item with more people: Click the Add button .
Copy a link to the shared item to send to another person: Click Copy Link. You can paste the link into a message, email or other app.
Change who can access the file to download: Click the pop-up menu on the left below Permissions, then choose “Only people you invite” to only allow people you invite to access the item or choose “Anyone with the link” to allow anyone who receives the link to access the item.
Change whether the shared document can be modified or only viewed: Click the pop-up menu on the right below Permissions, then choose “can make changes” to allow others to revise the document or choose “can view only” to allow read-only access.
Change who can invite more people: Select “Anyone can add more people” to allow anyone who can access the item to invite others. If you don’t select this option, only you can invite others.
Change the sharing settings for a specific person: Move the pointer over a person’s name, click , then choose the settings you want.
Stop sharing a file with a specific person: Position the pointer over the person’s name, click , then choose Remove Access.
View and manage your shared files
You can use the Shared folder in the Finder sidebar to easily view files and folders shared by others and by you. To set up your Shared folder to display folders grouped by who shared them, do the following:
On your Mac, click the Finder icon in the Dock to open a Finder window, then click Shared in the sidebar.
Click the Grouping pop-up menu in the toolbar, then choose Shared By.
The window displays the files and folders shared by you and others, grouped by the person sharing them.
Stop sharing a file or folder
On your Mac, Control-click the item in iCloud Drive, then choose Manage Shared File or Manage Shared Folder.
Do any of the following:
Stop sharing with everyone: Click Stop Sharing.
Stop sharing with a specific person: Move the pointer over the person’s name, click , then choose Remove Access.
You can also simply move the file or folder out of iCloud Drive or delete it to stop others from having access to it.
If you stop sharing or delete a shared folder, the files in the folder are no longer accessible to the participants.
Note: If anyone you share with makes their own copy of the item, they can continue to access their copy even after you stop sharing yours.