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How to share a document using the Files app and iCloud Drive on iPhone, iPad, and Mac

Files app
Files app (Image credit: Joseph Keller/iMore)

You've been able to share and collaborate on iWork documents for a while, but iPhones, iPads, and Macs can share and collaborate on documents in real time, directly through iCloud Drive. Here's how it works.

Note: iCloud Drive is found inside the Files app on iPhone and iPad.

How to share a document for collaboration in iCloud Drive

You can share a document with someone else that also uses iCloud and the same app on an iPhone or any Apple device. You can also invite someone to collaborate on those documents without having to open the original app directly.

How to share a document for collaboration on iPhone or iPad

  1. Launch the Files app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap iCloud Drive.
  3. Tap the folder for which you would like to select the document.

Open iCloud Drive: Open Files, then tap iCloud Drive, then select a folder (Image credit: iMore)
  1. Tap Select in the upper right corner.
  2. Tap a document on which you would like to collaborate.
  3. Tap the Share icon.

Select and share: Tap Select, then select a file, then tap the Share icon (Image credit: iMore)
  1. Tap Share File in the Share Sheet.
  2. Select how you would like to invite others to collaborate.
  3. Enter a contact.
  4. Tap Send to send the invitation.

Share a document: Tap Add People, then select a method, then send the invite (Image credit: iMore)

How to share a document for collaboration on Mac

  1. Launch a Finder window on your Mac.
  2. Select iCloud Drive from your sidebar.
  3. Open the folder that contains the document you want to collaborate on.
  4. Right or Control + click on a document on which you want to collaborate.

Open iCloud Drive: Click on iCloud Drive, then select a folder, then right click on a file (Image credit: iMore)
  1. Click on Share from the drop down menu.
  2. Click on Share file.

Adjust Permissions: Click on Share, then click on Manage Shared File (Image credit: iMore)
  1. Select how you would like to invite others to collaborate.
  2. Enter a contact.
  3. Tap Send to send the invitation.

Share a document: Select a method, then send the invite (Image credit: iMore)

How to adjust permissions for a document in iCloud Drive

You may want to allow some people to make changes to a document, while only allowing others to view the document. You can adjust your permissions per person or for everyone.

How to adjust permissions for a document on your iPhone and iPad

  1. Launch the Files app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap iCloud Drive.
  3. Tap the folder containing the desired document.

Open iCloud Drive: Open Files, then tap iCloud Drive, then select a folder (Image credit: iMore)
  1. Tap Select in the upper right corner.
  2. Tap the document for which you would like to adjust permissions.
  3. Tap the Share icon.

Select and share: Tap Select, then select a file, then tap the Share icon (Image credit: iMore)
  1. Tap Manage Shared File in the Share Sheet.
  2. Tap Share Options to change the permissions for everyone
  3. Tap a contact to change the share permission for an individual.
  4. Tap the permission settings.

Adjust permissions: Tap Manage shared file, then tap Share Options or select a contact (Image credit: iMore)

How to adjust permissions for a document on your Mac

  1. Launch a Finder window on your Mac.
  2. Select iCloud Drive from your sidebar.
  3. Open the folder that contains the document you want to select.
  4. Right- or Control-click on the document for which you want to change permissions.

Open iCloud Drive: Click on iCloud Drive, then select a folder, then right click on a file (Image credit: iMore)
  1. Click on Share from the drop down menu.
  2. Click on Manage Shared File.

Adjust Permissions: Click on Share, then click on Manage Shared File (Image credit: iMore)
  1. Click on Share Options to change the permissions for everyone
  2. Select a contact and click on the More icon to change the share permission for an individual. It looks like three white dots.
  3. Select the permission settings.

Adjust permissions: Click on Share Options or the More button next to a contact, Select permissions (Image credit: iMore)

How to remove someone from collaborating in a document in iCloud Drive

If you no longer wish to collaborate with someone on a document, you don't have to open the original app to un-invite collaborators. In iOS 11 and later, you can do so right from iCloud Drive.

How to remove someone from collaborating in a document on iPhone and iPad

  1. Launch the Files app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap iCloud Drive.
  3. Tap the folder that contains the document you'd like to modify.

Open iCloud Drive: Open Files, then tap iCloud Drive, then select a folder (Image credit: iMore)
  1. Tap Select in the upper right corner.
  2. Tap the document you no longer wish to collaborate on.
  3. Tap the Share icon.

Select and share: Tap Select, then select a file, then tap the Share icon (Image credit: iMore)
  1. Tap Manage Shared File in the Share Sheet.
  2. Tap the contact you wish to remove from collaboration.
  3. Tap Remove Access.
  4. Tap OK.

Tap Manage Shared File, then select a contact, then tap Remove Access (Image credit: iMore)

If you are collaborating on a document with multiple people and would like to remove access for everyone, you can tap Stop Sharing at the bottom of the invite list.

How to remove someone from collaborating in a document on your Mac

  1. Launch a Finder window on your Mac.
  2. Select iCloud Drive from your sidebar.
  3. Open the folder that contains the document you want to modify.
  4. Right- or Control-click on the document on which you no longer wish to collaborate.

Open iCloud Drive: Click on iCloud Drive, then select a folder, then right click on a file (Image credit: iMore)
  1. Click on Share from the drop down menu.
  2. Click on Manage Shared File.

Adjust Permissions: Click on Share, then click on Manage Shared File (Image credit: iMore)
  1. Select the contact you wish to remove from collaboration.
  2. Click on the More button next to the contact. It looks like three white dots.
  3. Click on Remove Access.
  4. Click on Done.

Click on the More button kext to the contact, then click on Remove Access (Image credit: iMore)

To share or not to share

iCloud Drive is the simplest, most convenient way to share files and keep them updated among family and friends. They will always stay up to date on the cloud, so everyone sees the latest version. This works for any type of document, file, or image on iCloud Drive.

Updated May 2022: Updated steps for the latest version of iOS and macOS.