How to Grant and Revoke Permission to Edit Google Docs on Mobile and Web

Google Docs is an excellent tool for writing long-form documents. You can create full-fledged documents, including pictures and other graphics, as in Microsoft Word, but you can also allow others to edit your documents. Wondering how to give your friends or colleagues permission to edit your Google Docs document? Check out the step-by-step instructions to grant and revoke editing permission in Google Docs on PC, Android, iPhone and iPad.

In this post, we covered how sharing permissions work in Google Docs, followed by instructions for granting, changing or removing edit permissions on mobile and computer.

Lets start.

How Google Docs Share Permissions Work

You can share your Google Docs document in two ways. First, the document can be shared with a select few just by adding their email ID. This type is called Restricted. Second, anyone with the link to the document can view the file. Either way, the edit permissions depend on what you set them manually, as shown in this post.

When it comes to view and edit permissions, there are three types:

  • audience: Users can only view the Google Docs document. They cannot edit the document or make comments/suggestions. Also, they will not be able to share the file with more people.
  • commentator: Users can view the document, make comments and suggestions. However, they cannot edit or share the document.
  • Editor: Users can edit the document, add comments, accept or reject suggestions, and even share the document with more people.

So, if you want others to edit the document, you need to set the Docs share permission to Editor.

Let’s start with PC first, then mobile.

How to Give Permission to Edit Google Docs on PC

Since a Google Docs document can be shared in two ways, the steps to grant or revoke editing are slightly different. That’s why we considered it separately.

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Method 1: Allow Editing Google Docs for Only a Selected Few Users

Stage 1: Open the Google Docs document whose permission you want to change.

Step 2: When the document opens, click the Share button at the top. You can also click File > Share from the top menu bar.

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Stage 3: The share popup will open. If you are granting sharing permission for the first time, you must choose how you want to share the file.

If you only want a few people to access the file, make sure Restricted is selected in the Get link section.

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Step 4: Then add the email ID of the people you want to share the document with in the ‘Add people and groups’ box.

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Step 5: When you enter the email id, a popup box will appear. Click on it and choose Editor. Finally press the Submit button. You can later change or revoke the consent as shown below.

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Fly: If you don’t want users with edit permissions to change permissions or share the document, click the Settings toggle in the share popup.

How to Revoke or Change Editing Permission for Selected Users

Open the Google Docs document and click the Share button at the top.

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The share popup will open. Here you can see the names of the people you shared the file with. Click the dropdown box next to the people’s email id to change the permission – select Viewer or Commenter. Click Remove if you don’t even want the user to view the file. Finally, click the Save button.

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Fly: See our detailed guide on adding and managing comments in Google Docs.

Method 2: Allow Editing Google Docs for All Users

Click the Share button at the top of your Google Docs document. If you want anyone with the link to have edit permission, click ‘Replace with anyone with the link’ under the Get link section.

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Then click the Viewer drop-down box and select Editor. Press the save button. Copy and share the link.

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Note: If Permission is set to Editor, anyone who can access the link on the internet can edit your document. Make sure you only share the link with trusted users.

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How to Revoke or Change Edit Permission for All Users on PC

To revoke the permission, click the Change button under the Get link section that appears when you click the Share button of your document.

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Click on the Editor drop-down box to change the permission to Viewer or Commenter. If you only want to share the document with a select few people, click the drop-down box next to ‘Anyone with the link’ and select Restricted. Click the Done button to save the changes.

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How to Give Permission to Edit Google Docs on Android, iPhone, and iPad

Stage 1: Open the Google Docs document.

step 2: Tap the Share icon at the top. Alternatively, tap the three-dot icon and select Share & export > Share.

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Fly: At the bottom you will see how the file is shared.

Stage 3: By default, the permission is set to Restricted. Therefore, you will need to enter the email addresses you want to share the document with. Tap the dropdown box below the email address to select Editor. Press the submit button.

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If you want someone with the link to view and edit the file, click the text at the bottom under the Who has access section. If the file hasn’t been shared yet, you’ll see Not Shared. Otherwise, you will see the profile pictures of the users the file was shared with.

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Click Change under ‘Only added contacts can be opened with this link’. If you want someone with the link to edit the document, select Editor from the list.

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How to Revoke or Change Editing Permission for Google Docs on Mobile

Open the required document and tap on the Share icon. Tap the area under Who has access.

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Tap Editor below the email address to revoke editing permission for selected users. Select Viewer or Commenter from the list.

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Tap Change under ‘Anyone on the Internet can have this link’ to revoke editing permission for everyone. Select Viewer or Commenter.

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Fly: Learn how to add and edit images in Google Docs.

careful permission

As mentioned earlier, if you’re selecting Anyone with the link can edit, make sure you only share the file with trusted users. Also, only 100 people can work (view, edit, or comment) on a Google Docs document at a time. If you want more people to work at the same time, you should publish the file.

Next: Struggling with various Google Docs settings? Learn how to reset Google Docs settings from the next link.

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