storage systems

Cloud storage is becoming more and more popular as a way of storing personal files securely, and attracts a large number of users due to its high security levels and peace of mind that files cannot be destroyed even if the hardware that they were created on breaks. There are a number of different cloud storage options available, including Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, and iCloud for Apple device users. However, cloud storage isn’t limited to simply storing your own files, it’s an effective way of sharing files quickly and efficiently with others, making it an excellent option for business and telecommute staff. If you’d like to learn more about sharing files within the cloud, we’ve put together a list of the most popular cloud storage options and how to use them to share documents and files with others.

Google Drive

Google Drive allows you to save documents such as word documents, spreadsheets, and presentations online, as well as share these other files with other Google Drive users. It is widely used in modern business, according to professionals like Louis Hernandez Jr. You can also use Google docs, sheets, and presentations to create files that are automatically saved to the cloud, making it an excellent option for users who don’t have access to Microsoft Office software or users who would like a secure method of creating files without having to worry about regularly saving the file to their computer or losing their work in the event of a system crash or loss of computer memory. Sharing files with others on Google Drive is a relatively simple process. By default, files in Google Drive are private and only available to be viewed by the creator, however you can change the settings to choose who you’d like to share the file with – a much more convenient way than emailing files back and forth.

To change your sharing settings in Google Drive, you will need to first access your files and right click the file that you wish to share which will bring up a sharing dialog. You can share the file with specific people by entering their email addresses, or you can share the file with anybody who you provide with the link. There is also an option to make the file public, in which case it may show up in search results. You can also share PDF files on Google Drive, however if you’d like to input the data from your PDF onto a spreadsheet in order to share it, you can convert PDF to Excel like a pro using Cogniview’s converter. If you don’t want your sharers to edit the file, you will need to select the option for view-only sharing.


If you use Dropbox to store your files in the cloud, you will find that their sharing settings are quite similar to that of Google Drive. Open your files either in your Dropbox folder or on the web, and right click on the file(s) that you wish to share. If you are using your desktop Dropbox folder you will need to click the ‘share’ option, whereas if you’re doing it on the website click the ‘Invite to folder’ option. You will be redirected to the Dropbox website where you are able to add the email addresses of specific people that you’d like to share the file with.

However, it’s important to note that the people you’re sharing with will need a Dropbox account in order to access the file, so it’s important to make sure that they’re aware of this beforehand. Once they have accepted the file, it will be then visible and accessible from each of their Dropbox accounts. Anyone who the file has been shared with is able to edit the file, and changes will sync automatically to each sharer’s account. Dropbox offers many features, making it easy for businesses to improve operations, using support software, creating backups and much more.

Unlike Google Drive, if you do not wish the people you share your files with to be able to edit the file, you will need to upgrade to Dropbox Pro or Dropbox for Business account where you can activate the option for ‘view-only’ sharing. If you only have a standard Dropbox account, note that anybody who you share the file with will also be able to make changes to it.

Microsoft OneDrive

Microsoft OneDrive offers all the same sharing settings as Google Drive and Dropbox, however you are not able to share files from your desktop file explorer and will need to use the Microsoft OneDrive website if you plan to share files with other users. If you are using Windows 8.1, you can access the files in the OneDrive folder to begin sharing them. Right click on the file, select ‘Share to’, and you will be redirected to the file on the OneDrive website. Alternatively, you could go straight to the OneDrive website, sign into your account and access the files from there.

In order to share a file you will need to click on the ‘Share’ button on the website which will allow you to invite specific people to view the file by entering their email addresses. You can also choose whether or not the users you are sharing the file with will need to login with a Microsoft account in order to view the file. You can also use the ‘get a link’ option, which will allow you to create a link to your file or folder, and anybody who you share the link with will be able to access it. As with Google Drive, you can also opt for public sharing making the file accessible in search engines. You can also choose whether or not to allow people to edit the file – if you do not want any modifications to be made to the file other than by yourself, choose the view only option in the sharing settings.

The above instructions are for users of a Windows operating system, however if you’re using another platform such as Linux or Mac, the process should be quite similar. Do you benefit from sharing files within cloud storage, whether for personal or business use? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.