How to Change Google Sheets from View Only to Edit
If you’re the owner of a specific Google Sheets file, you have a say in who gets to alter it and who doesn’t. This is important. Because accidental changes can often be catastrophic when you’re dealing with important data.
The collaborative quality of Google Sheets is what makes it great, but when a team is too big, most people only get the “View Only” option.
But why would that restriction be put in place? And how can you change the “View Only” to “Edit”? In this article, we’re going to clue you in on every detail.
If You’re the Owner of the File
If you’re the owner of a Google Sheets file where you don’t have an “Edit” permission, the problem could be manifold. The most obvious reason for this inconvenience is that you’ve accidentally signed in to the wrong Google Account. So, make sure that you’re using the correct Google Account before you proceed.
Are You Using the Correct Browser?
As a Google Product, Google Sheets is most compatible with the Chrome browser. But it will also work with Firefox, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, and Safari.
If you’re used to another browser, Google Sheets might work there too, but it’s not going to have all the features other browsers have.
Clear Cache and Cookies
If you’re the owner of the Sheets file and use the correct browser, what else could it be? Well, all browsers save certain types of information from websites in the form of cookies and cache.
Then certain files become corrupted, and it’s best to just clear them all. If you’re using the suggested browser for Google Sheets, Chrome, here’s how you clear cache and cookies:
- Open Chrome and click on the three vertical dots in the top right corner.
- Select “More tools” and then “Clear browsing data”.
- Then you have to select the time range. If you want to remove everything, choose “All time”.
- Now, check all the boxes next to the “Cookies and other site data” as well as “Cached images and files”. Click “Clear data”.
This action should ensure that you have the permission to edit your own files in Google Sheets. But if you’re still stuck in the “View Only” mode, you can look for more answers in the Google Drive official forum.
If You’re Not the Owner of the File
When you find yourself in the “View Only” mode, you don’t own things that are slightly more complicated. The person who owns the file likely never gave you the “Edit” permission.
But another scenario is that someone else who has the “Edit” access has revoked your previously held permission to edit. So, what do you do in a situation like that?
Request Access from Google Sheets
Even though Google Sheets is available on your mobile devices, requesting access to “Edit” can only be done from the computer.
Also, even though Google Sheets supports working on your files offline, you need to be online to ask for editing permission. Here’s what you do:
- Open the file you’d like to edit.
- Select the “Request edit access” option.
- You can add a personal message if you want.
- Select “Send”.
The owner of the Google Sheets file will get an instant email notification. And then can open the file to give you access immediately. That would look like this:
- The owner of the Google Sheets file needs to open the advanced sharing settings.
- Select your name from the list of collaborators.
- And check the “Editor” option next to your name.
They can also choose the “Set expiration date” if they want to that can either be seven days, 30 days, or even customize it.
Ask the Owner Directly
Requesting access to edit a file via Google Sheets is one way to do it. If your coworker is in the office, asking them directly instead of waiting for them to read the email notification might seem quicker.
Same goes when it’s not a workplace collaboration, and calling someone seems like a shortcut. If they’re not sure how to give you access, you can guide them through the process.
It’s Okay to Ask for Permission
Don’t let the “View Only” mode discourage you. If it’s your file, check the cookies and cache, as well as if you’re signed in to the Google Account you’re supposed to use.
But even if you’re part of the team, that can often just be an oversight. In that case, it’s on you to ask for access to edit the file. This amounts to just a few clicks on the owner’s computer. Or, if you can’t wait, reach out to them directly.
Did you ever just open the “View Only” Sheets file? Let us know in the comments section below.
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