Attaching from the drive via:

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Pops up a dialog box that is missing a important button:

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How do I directly send, via Gmail, an attachment from the associated Google Drive with the following constraints:

  1. Without having to go through the two-stage cumbersome ritual of saving it to the local harddisk and then re-uploading it as a regular attachment to that email.
  2. Does not reduce the Drive storage quota because the original document is already stored in Google Drive, so I do not want a duplicate copy in my Gmail account.
  3. When I, the sender, subsequently view the resulting sent email item in the Sent Items folder in Gmail, it should present the link to the original Drive document for that attachment, but recipients should see it as a regular attachment and not a link to click upon that sends them to the Google Drive site. Most important: Not all recipients want or need to subsequently ask for permission to access the document.

It is expected that the recipients copy will not receive updates automatically when the original content in my Google Drive folder changes.


  1. This happens often enough in my workflow that the manual operation is wasteful.
  2. I suspect that I have duplicated copies of documents that exist in Google Drive also as attachments using that manual operation.
  3. Google drive sharing is wonderful in the one use case for collaborative editing and review where all participants already have Google accounts, but is not appropriate to mandate all receivers have Google Drive accounts.

Non-answers I looked at:

  1. What does the Gmail "Send without sharing" feature do when sending an attached file from Google Drive? -- Just explains the mechanics, but does not provide the solution.
  2. Possible to attach a file in Google Document in an email by Gmail -- I'm not interested in using a gadget that seems to be limited by file types. I'm resistant to using a google lab only to find it is removed later by Mr. Google.
  3. Attach files from Google Docs directly from Gmail -- That is also not what I want because of Attach files from Google Docs directly from Gmail
  • 3
    You cannot achieve all of your criteria. It's either a file attachment or a link. You can't have it appear as one thing to recipients and another to you. You can achieve criteria #1. You can get criteria #2 if you delete the sent message. Criteria #3 is simply impossible.
    – ale
    Commented Mar 26, 2017 at 4:27
  • #2: If I delete the sent item, I then no longer have a record of what I sent, so that won't work for me. #3: I would think Google could convert the item in the drive to an attachment and send it on, and store the sent item in my sent items folder, they leave the attachment as a link into the Drive, so I don't understand "impossible".
    – bgoodr
    Commented Mar 30, 2017 at 14:24
  • 1
    You'll need to convince Google to change the interaction of Google Drive and Gmail, then. What you're asking for is not possible as things are today. You should probably look to another solution to achieve your goals.
    – ale
    Commented Mar 30, 2017 at 15:15
  • Agreed. Probably #1 requires a browser extension. I've looked briefly and came up empty, so I'll have to give it some more thought. Thanks very much for your advice!
    – bgoodr
    Commented Mar 31, 2017 at 14:56
  • @ale Post an answer with the above comments and I'll mark it as the answer. Also I found parts of my solution for #1 in webapps.stackexchange.com/questions/95427/… or in my case I would choose a Python-based approach as indicated by softwarerecs.stackexchange.com/a/3247/22173
    – bgoodr
    Commented Mar 31, 2017 at 15:04


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