How To Kick Someone Out of a Google Doc

Google provides its users an online service, Google Docs, that allows them to create, share, and save a variety of documents. The documents being online makes it so that collaborative efforts are a bit more seamless and efficient between multiple participants. You’re able to provide access to any user with an email, Gmail or otherwise, to take part in a particular document. Those invited are able to do a few different things depending on the access permissions given.

How To Kick Someone Out of a Google Doc

Edit Providing this permission gives the recipient the ability to make changes to the document. Users who can edit can also comment and view the document.

Comment Those with this permission can leave comments on the document, but cannot edit the document itself.

View Users that can view are only granted access for observational purposes. They cannot edit or leave comments.

Sometimes, those who you’ve granted access with the Edit permission, can cause unforeseen issues within the document or decide to leave the project for whatever reason. When something like this occurs, it’s only natural to want to revoke permissions to the document.

If you’re looking to remove someone from being involved in your shared document, then this article has got you covered. I will go over what is needed to withdraw a user’s access, deny them a link to the project, delete a project with other users attached, as well as prevent users involved from downloading, copying, and sharing the document with others.

Removing Users From A Shared Google Doc

There are two ways in which to share a Google Doc with other online users; email invite or direct link. The way someone was invited will be important for the way in which you boot them from it.

Stop sharing with invited users:

  1. Open up either Google Docs or Google Drive in your internet browser. Google Chrome is preferred for obvious reasons but any browser should do.
  2. Select and highlight the file or folder in Google Drive that you are sharing. For Google Docs, you’ll need to open the shared file directly.
  3. The Share icon will differ depending on how you’ve decided to select the file or folder.
    • In Google Drive, the Share icon looks like a human silhouette with a + sign next to it and is located to the far right of the “My Drive” drop-down menu at the top.
    • With the Google Doc open, you can find the blue Share button near the top-right of the screen.
  4. From the “Share with people and groups” popup window, locate the user you want to remove sharing permissions.
  5. Next to the person that you want to exclude from the document, cursor over and click Remove.
  6. Finalize the process by clicking on Save.

Stop sharing the link:

  1. Again, open and login to Google Drive or Google Docs in your web browser of choice.
  2. Either select or open the file or folder being shared.
  3. Open the “Share with people and groups” window by clicking on either the Share icon or blue Share button.
  4. Click the “Change” in the Get link section.
  5. If you want to deny access via the link to everyone other than those you specifically choose, select “Restricted” and then click Done.
    • If you recently put the link out on the web for public consumption, it means that the link can be discovered through a Google search. In this window, you can change it to allow only those with the link or those specifically permitted to be the only users able to access the document.
    • To limit access to those with the link, choose “Anyone with the link”. You can then change the access permissions to “Viewer”, “Commenter”, or “Editor”.
    • To limit access to only those who have been invited, choose “Restricted”.
    • Click Done when finished.

Turning your link restricted makes it so that only yourself and those whose email the Google Doc has been shared with, can see the document.

Prevent Your Shared File From Being Shared With Others

Anyone with Edit access can choose to share the file with anyone they wish. If you’d rather be the only one who can share the file (as the owner):

  1. From the “Share with people and groups” window, click the Cog icon in the upper-right corner.
  2. Below the “Share with people settings” section, you’ll find a checkbox marked “Editors can change permissions and share”.
  3. Un-check the box and hit the back arrow.
  4. Click Done.

If you’re trying to prevent this from happening for a folder, it will only apply to the folder and not the contents within. You’ll need to apply this change to each file that you want to have these settings in place.

Prohibit The Downloading & Printing Of A Shared File

You can make it so that no one, outside of those with the Edit permission, can download or print your shared file. Google enables users who have access to your shared file the ability to share it with others, add or remove other users, and copy, print, or download the file. This is it’s default settings.

To prevent this from happening:

  1. From the “Share with people and groups” window, click the Cog icon in the upper-right corner.
  2. Below the “Share with people settings” section, you’ll find a checkbox marked “Viewers and commenters can see the option to download, print, and copy”.
  3. Un-check the box and hit the back arrow.
  4. Click Done.

This won’t prevent those commenters and viewers from using a screenshot program to copy what is visible on the document. The only way to do this is to remove the availability of the document to those users.

Deleting A Shared File When You’re The Owner (Or Not)

There might be a chance that you no longer want to be in charge of a Google Doc and wish to wash your hands of the whole thing. Just know that if you’re not the owner, all users currently with access to the file will still have access after you’re gone. If you are the owner, all users currently with access to the file will still be able to open it so long as it hasn’t been permanently deleted.

To kick yourself from a Google Doc:

  1. Open Google Docs or Google Drive in your web browser.
  2. If in Google Drive, you can delete a folder or file by highlighting it and clicking on the Trashbin icon toward the top-right of the screen. You can also right-click the file or folder and select Remove from the menu.
  3. If in Google Docs, left-click the More icon (triple dots) located at the right side of the document you want to be removed. From the menu, select Remove.

This will place the file or folder into your trash. The file or folder is still not permanently deleted, though your trash will be automatically purged every 30 days. Even if the Doc is permanently deleted, you’ll have 25 days to reclaim it if necessary.

If you do plan to delete a Google Doc permanently, it would be best to give ownership to another one of the collaborators. That is unless you want it to disappear for good.

2 thoughts on “How To Kick Someone Out of a Google Doc”

Ted says:
I forgot to change the setting on a doc to “viewer” before I shared it. Is it possible to change it retroactively?

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