I'm trying to attach some files, shared with me in Google Drive, to an email by using my iPad.

It looks like I can not find that files when searching them from the dialog it is shown to select the files to attach. There is no problem if the files that I want to attach are from my Google Drive (instead of shared with me).

It looks to happen the same when I try to make that search from the ios Files app directly. Of course, if I try to make the same search from Drive app, I can find all files and open them.

Please note that all apps and iOS are up to date, and I have only one Gmail account set up on the Drive app.

I'm not sure if that problem id due to a misconfiguration or a limitation of the Apple Files app. In that case, is there a workaround to make me able to attach multiple files shared with me through Google Drive? Probably a workaround could be to copy that shared files to my private Drive or to store them locally on my iPad, but because they are dynamic files, I could not consider that as a solution.

With my old iPad (not using Files app to make the file selection when attaching files) that was not a problem, and I could do that with any problem.

PD. I'm using Apple's Mail.app, not Gmail.app.

  • Are you using Google's Gmail.app, or Apple's Mail.app? In Gmail.app I'm able to browse my Google Drive to attach any number of files using the Attach (paperclip) method. Conversely, I'm able to select a document in Google's Drive.app and open it as an attachment in Gmail.app.
    – IconDaemon
    Aug 2, 2018 at 11:50
  • I'm using Apple's Mail.app, not Gmail's one. Thank you anyway. Not the best for my case, but probably if there are any other solution, I will try to switch to Gmail.app
    – xarmengol
    Aug 2, 2018 at 12:33
  • Personally, I tried to use Apple's Mail.app with the assortment of Gmail addresses I maintain, but Google's Gmail.app handles these accounts much better.
    – IconDaemon
    Aug 2, 2018 at 17:37

1 Answer 1


AFAIK, there are two methods that work :

1st method

Share the file to the people of your choice from Google Drive app (or website), this will send them an email.

For more information and guidance on this, see Share files from Google Drive.

Method 1-bis

To avoid sharing the original and therefore keep a secure version (backup) (or share a document when you're viewer), you can duplicate the files you want to share and share them via Mail.

2nd method

Click on the three dots at the bottom right of a Google Drive file and click Open In.

Three dots Open in

You can then choose how to share it or how to open it, click on Save to Files.

Save to Files

It will ask you where you want to save it in Files, choose where you want it to be and hit "Save". After having saved the file, go to Mail and compose a new email addressing the people/person of your choice, then click on the document icon in the top menu of the soft keyboard, it will propose you to choose a file in Files, choose the file you have imported earlier, it should upload without interaction.

keyboard import from Files button (in Mail app)

(Click images to open full size)

All of those methods work for me but I find the 1-bis better since it does not care about sharing rights (for example, if you are viewer of the files you want to share, the 1st method will not work but the 1-bis will). The 2nd method works perfectly and is neater; the inconvenient is that it takes more time.

If anything is unclear, feel free to ask for clarification.

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