Working with Files

A File is where you will do all your designing in Figma. 

Files can have many Pages, which you can access via the Layers Panel in the Figma Editor.

Pages are perfect for organizing complex interfaces into smaller collections. This is great for keeping related designs together in a single file, or for iterating on concepts.

I want to:

  1. Create New Files
  2. Search for Files
  3. View and Modify Files
  4. Sort Files
  5. Choose a Custom Thumbnail
  6. Move Files
  7. Delete Files
  8. Change File Permissions
  9. Transfer Ownership of a File

Create New Files

You can create a new File in two places:

In the File Space

You can create a new File in the File Space of any of your Folders. 
This includes your:

  • Recent Files
  • Drafts
  • Team Projects

Click the +New File thumbnail in the File Space. You'll find this at the bottom of the File list:

From the Menu bar

You can also create a new File from the Menu bar. This will add a new File to whichever File Space you currently have open.

Click the + icon to create a new File:In the Desktop app

If you are using the Figma Desktop app, you can also create a new File from the main navigation.

  1. Open the Desktop app
  2. Click the + icon next to the home icon:
  3. A new File will be opened in a new tab:

Tip! You can also import new Files into Figma. Learn more in our Importing Files to Figma article.


Search for Files

You can search for any File you have access to using the Search field. This is particularly handy if you don't recall which Team, Project or Folder a File is located in.

You can Search for Files from:

  • Your Recent folder
  • Your Drafts folder
  • Any Team Projects
  • Any Projects within your Figma Organization

To search for a File:

  1. Click in the Search field at the top of the File Browser:
  2. Start typing a keyword or File name: 
  3. As you type, the Search results will be shown in the File space, sorted by Relevance:

View and Modify Files

Your Files will be displayed in the File Space as individual cards. They will be displayed in this way in your  RecentDrafts and Deleted Files folders. As well as within your Team Projects. 

You can then double-click on the File there to open it.

For every File you will be able to view:

  1. A preview of the first Page in the File.
  2. The File Name.
  3. The Date and Time you last viewed or edited the File.
  4. If you're viewing a File in the Recents File Space, you will be able to see which Project the File is included in.
  5. The avatars of any collaborators currently viewing the File.
  6. The File menu.

You can also use the File menu to access more File actions:

  1. Click the three dots in the bottom-right corner of the File thumbnail:
  2. The will open the File menu:
  3. You can then:
    1. Open the File (in the current tab)
    2. Open in New Tab
    3. Share the File (or move it to another Project)
    4. Rename the File
    5. Duplicate the File within the current Project
    6. Delete the File

Tip! If you are viewing a File in the Recent folder, you will have two additional options:

  • Show in Project to open the File in the current folder
  • Remove from Recent

Choose a Custom Thumbnail

By default, we use the contents of the first page in your File as the thumbnail. You also have the option to choose a custom thumbnail.

This can be any Frame within a Page of your File.

  1. Find the Frame you would like to use as the thumbnail
  2. Right-click on the Frame in the canvas to open the Context Menu.
  3. Select Set as Thumbnail from the options:
  4. We will immediately update your File's thumbnail. We will also display a browser icon next to the Frame.

Want to remove the Frame from the thumbnail? Right-click on the Frame in the canvas and select Restore Default Thumbnail.


Sort Files

You can choose what order you want Files to be arranged in the File Space.

  1. Click the arrow next to the Sorted by... setting. You can find this in the top-right corner of the File Space:
  2. You can then choose to sort Files by:
    • File Name
    • Date Created
    • Last Modified
    • Last Viewed (Recent Files only)
    • Date Deleted (Deleted Files)
    • Search Relevance (when Searching for Files)
  3. Your Files will now be displayed in the order selected.

Move Files

You can move Files between Teams, Projects and Folders:

  1. Moving Files from your Recent folder
  2. Moving Files from your Drafts
  3. Moving Files between Teams or Projects
  4. Moving Files between Figma accounts

Moving Files from your Recent folder

If a File is showing up in your Recent folder, then there are a couple of actions you can perform:

  • Remove the File from your Recent folder
  • Show the File in its current Project
  • Move the File to another Project

Note: You can only move Files to another Project if you have Edit permissions on the folder that the File current lives in.

To remove a File from your Recent folder:

  1. Click on the three dots menu in the bottom-right corner of the File thumbnail:
  2. Select Remove from Recent from the options: 
  3. The File will immediately be removed from your Recent folder. You will still be able to access the File from the appropriate Project or File Space.

Move Files from your Drafts

You can move Personal Files from your Drafts into a Team Project. You can choose an existing Team Project, or create a new one.

  1. Locate the File in your Drafts folder.
  2. Click the three dots to open the File Menu and select Share from the options:
  3. Click the Drafts arrow in the top-right corner of the Share modal and select Move to Project from the options: 
  4. In the Move to Project window you will see the current folder/Project the File is included in. You can then:
    1. Search for the Project using the field provided.
    2. Choose an existing Team Project (only favorited projects will appear in the window).
    3. Click the + New Project link underneath the Team name to create a new Project folder.
  5. Click Move to move the File to the selected location:

Move Files between Teams or Projects

Note: It's not possible to move Files between your Personal Space and Organization Space. To move a File into an Organization you will need to download the File as a .fig File. You can do this by heading to the menu and selection File > Save as .fig.

You can move Files between Projects, even if these Projects are from different Teams.

  1. Click on the three dots to open the File Menu and select Share
  2. Click the arrow next to the current Project and select Move to Project
  3. You can then select which Project to move it to.

    You can:
    1. Search for the Team or Project using the field provided:
    2. Choose an existing Project within another Team (only favorited projects will appear in the window).
    3. Click the + New Project link under another Team's name to create a new Project folder.

Note: If you move a File outside of a Team, then Team members might not be able to access it. Only Team Members that have been directly added to the File will be able to access it.

Move Files between Figma Accounts

There are two different ways you can move a File between Figma accounts:

By Team

  • You can share Files with other Figma accounts within a Team.
  • If Files are currently in a Drafts folder, or in another Team, you can move these into a new or existing Team.
  • You can then invite your other Figma account to join this Team. This will allow you to access those Files from either Figma account.

By Export

You can also export your Files as .fig Files. This allows you to upload the File to another Figma account.

  1. Open the File and head to the Menu:
  2. Select File from the options and select Save as Fig

Note: This will be treated as a new File and won't include any Comments or Version History from the original File.

On re-importing the File, any Components will be treated as new Master Components. Any Instances linked from other Files are considered detached and won't receive any updates.


Delete Files

If you no longer need a File, you can delete it from your account. Anyone with  Can Edit access to a File can delete it.

  1. Click the three dots on the File to open the File menu:
  2. Select Delete from the options:
  3. The File will immediately be removed from its current folder or Project and added to the Deleted Files folder.
  4. To delete the File forever, you will also need to select Delete forever from the File menu in your Deleted Files folder. 

Note: Only the File Owner can delete a File permanently.

Restore Deleted Files

You can also restore a deleted File from this folder:

  1. Click the three dots on the File to open the File menu:
  2. Select Restore from the options:
  3. This will restore to the File to its original location, if that still exists. You can click the Show in Project link to go view the File's in its location:

Learn more about the Deleted Files folder in our Using the File Browser article.


Change File Permissions

You can adjust the permissions that collaborators have on a File. This can be done via the File's sharing modal. This allows you to:

  • Change an individual's permissions.
  • Invite new collaborators to the File.
  • Transfer ownership of the File.
  • Remove access to the File.
  • Determine your Link Sharing settings.
  • Prevent viewers from copying and sharing Files.

Learn more about Permissions in Sharing Files.


Transfer Ownership of a File

When you create a File, you are the File Owner. Learn more about Owner permissions in Understanding Sharing Permissions.

You can choose to transfer File ownership to another collaborator. This is perfect if you are leaving a Team, or hand the File over to someone else.  Only the current File owner can transfer ownership.

You can transfer ownership of a File from the File's sharing modal. You can access the Sharing modal from a couple of places:

  • From the Editor: By clicking the Share button in the top-right corner: 
  • From the File Browser: By clicking on the File menu and selecting Share from the options: 
  1. This will open the Sharing Modal: 
  2. Find the person you would like to transfer ownership to. You can only transfer ownership to someone who is an existing collaborator on that File.
  3. Click the arrow next to their current access level and select Owner from the options:
  4. You'll need to confirm the transfer before Figma transfers the File to the new owner. You can't undo this actionClick the Transfer ownership button to confirm: 
  5. This will immediately transfer ownership of the File to the new owner. It won't change the File's location or affect your ability to view or access the File. 

Note: Deleting the File will also delete it for other collaborators. If you no longer need access the File, you can leave it:

  1. Click the Share button in the File to open the Sharing modal.
  2. Click the arrow next to your current access permissions and select Leave from the options:
  3. You will be removed from the File.
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