How to Access Your Google Docs Files From Outlook

This tutorial explains how to access your Google docs (and all of the files on your Google Drive) from within Microsoft Outlook, so you can send them as attachments etc.

Overview

This process used to be a bit more complicated, but Google and Microsoft seem to have decided to play nice. Now it’s actually pretty easy to quickly attach your Google Docs files to an email in Outlook, although the process is a bit different depending on which version of Outlook you’re using. We’ve got you covered for each scenario though – with instructions for Outlook in Windows, Outlook in macOS and via Outlook.com.

Attach Google Docs From Outlook in Windows

By installing Google Drive for Desktop, a completely free app from Google, you can access your Google Drive files and folders right from within Windows. One of the cool features of Google Drive for Desktop is that you don’t actually have to store all of those files on your computer as well as on your Google Drive, although you can select files to make available offline if you want. Another cool feature is that it integrates directly into Outlook, which is how we’ll be using it.

  1. Before you do anything, exit out of Outlook. Just for a few minutes. Then download Google Drive for Desktop. Once the download has completed, double-click the file to launch the installer.
  2. The setup process takes about a minute in total and when it’s done you’ll have a new “drive” – your Google Drive. You can view it by opening a File Explorer and looking at the drives listed in the This PC column.
  3. Windows File Explorer with Google Drive added

  4. Now open up Outlook again. The first time you open it after installing Google Drive for Desktop you’ll be asked if you’d like to use Google Meet – you can click the X in the upper-right corner of the panel. If you do want to use Meet, you can always set it up later.
  5. the Google Meet requesting access to Outlook screen

  6. Click the New Email button to bring up the “Compose a new email” window. In the “Ribbon” you’ll see two new buttons – click the one named Insert files using Drive
  7. the Insert files using Drive button in the Outlook ribbon

  8. Select Insert as Attachement
  9. an arrow pointing to Insert as Attachment



  10. Choose your newly added Google Drive.
  11. selecting Google Drive as a location in Windows

  12. Locate the file you want to send as an attachment, select it and then click the Open button.
  13. selecting a file in Windows an an arrow pointing to an Open button

  14. The file will appear exactly the same as any other attachment.
  15. an email in Outlook for Windows with an attachment from Google Drive

  16. When the recipient receives the file it will appear exactly as any other email attachment, with no indication that it was actually attached via Google Drive.
  17. a received email with an attachment

  18. That’s it! For more information on Google Drive for Desktop, check out the article What can you do with Google Drive for desktop.

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Attach Google Docs From Outlook in macOS

By installing Google Drive for Desktop, a completely free app from Google, you can access your Google Drive files and folders right from within macOS via the Finder. One of the cool features of Google Drive for Desktop is that you don’t actually have to store all of those files on your Mac as well as on Google Drive, although you can select files to make available offline if you want. Outlook & Google Drive for Desktop the macOS versions aren’t quite as tightly integrated as the the Windows versions are (no comment), but the functionality is identical. Here’s how to attach Google Docs files to emails in Outlook for macOS –

  1. Start by downloading Google Drive for Desktop. The installation only takes a minute or two, but a reboot is required at the end, so make sure to save any open work before you proceed.
  2. After you’ve rebooted, open up a Finder window and look in the Locations section of your Sidebar – you’ll find a new item named Google Drive. It contains all of the files on your Google Drive, but they are not stored locally, so they’re not taking up any space.
  3. Finder in macOS with Google Drive as a remote drive

  4. Launch Outlook and compose a new email as you normally would. Click the Attach File button.
  5. Outlook for macOS with an arrow pointing at the Attach File button

  6. Choose your newly added Google Drive and select the file you want to send as an email attachment.
  7. access Google Drive docs from within Outlook to attach

  8. It will appear as an attachment in your email the same way any other file would – even though it’s actually from your Google Drive.
  9. docs attached to an email in Outlook from Google Drive

  10. The recipient won’t be able to tell that the file has come from your Google Drive either, it’ll appear the same as any other attachment.
  11. a received email with a Google doc sent via Outlook

  12. That’s it! Now you can access your Google Drive files without having to open a browser. For more information on Google Drive for Desktop, check out the article What can you do with Google Drive for desktop.

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Attach Google Docs From Outlook.com

  1. Start by heading over to outlook.com and sign in as you normally would. Compose an email (or reply to an existing one), click the Attach button and select Browse cloud locations
  2. the outlook.com compose email with an arrow pointing at Attach

  3. Select + Add an account
  4. an arrow pointing to a link titled Add an account

  5. Click the Google Drive box.
  6. a box with the Google Drive logo in it

  7. Select the account you want to access the Google docs from.
  8. selecting a Google account to allow access to Outlook for sending docs



  9. Now you can select Google Drive from the list of cloud locations and all of the files on your Google Drive will be accessible.
  10. Google Drive listed in the Outlook cloud locations

  11. You’ll be prompted to share the file itself, or a link to the file on your Google Drive. As long as the file is relatively small (outlook.com allows for attachments up to 34MB) you should select Attach as a copy
  12. the attachment options for outlook.com emails from Google drive

  13. The file will attach itself to your email the same way any other file would.
  14. an outlook.com email with a doc file attached

  15. The recipient won’t be able to tell that the file has come from your Google Drive either, it’ll appear the same as any other attachment.
  16. a received email with a doc sent via outlook.com

  17. The next time you want to attach a file from your Google Drive (it doesn’t have to be a document file) you won’t need to go through the ‘setup’ part again, you’ll be able to select Google Drive from the cloud locations.

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