Docs, Sheets, Slides logo

Google Drive lets you send a file to others with a link to “Make a Copy” while maintaining the original. The copy is then saved into the recipient’s Drive where they can edit it however they want.

This guide works for Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Drawing files. We’ll be using Docs, but the procedure for each service is essentially the same.

RELATED: How to Copy Google Drive Folders

Fire up the Google Docs homepage and open a file you want to share with someone to make a copy. Right-click the URL in the address bar and click “Copy.”

Right-click the URL in the address bar and click "Copy."

Next, open Gmail and compose a new message to the recipient. Paste the URL into the body of the message with Ctrl+V (Windows/Chrome OS) or Cmd+V (macOS), click on it to bring up the More menu, and then click on “Change.”

Paste the URL into the body, click oin it, and then click on "Change."

At the very end of the URL, change “Edit” to “Copy” and then click “OK” to save the web address.

At the very end of the URL, change "Edit" to "Copy" and click "OK."

Once the URL has been edited and embedded how you like, click “Send.”

Click "Send."

Finally, before the email is actually sent, Google prompts you to give the recipient access to the file. Verify the permissions and click “Send” a second time.

In the prompt that appears, review the permissions and click "Send."

When the other person receives the email and clicks the link, they’re redirected to a page that lets them make a copy of the file, which then saves it to their Drive.

When the recipient clicks on the URL in the email, they are given a link to "Make a Copy" of the file to their Drive.

Brady Gavin Brady Gavin
Brady Gavin has been immersed in technology for 15 years and has written over 150 detailed tutorials and explainers. He's covered everything from Windows 10 registry hacks to Chrome browser tips. Brady has a diploma in Computer Science from Camosun College in Victoria, BC.  
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