This article explains how to unshare a Google Doc or a set of Google Docs. These instructions are applicable to users of any operating system on a desktop computer, as well as iOS and Android users.
How to Exclude a Google Doc from Sharing
It’s just as easy to unshare a shared document as it is to share one. It just takes a few clicks to unshare it and make it unavailable to everyone other than yourself.
We’ll go through the unsharing procedure for both since there are two main ways that Google Docs documents are exchanged. Instructions for bulk unsharing can be found near the bottom of this list, which can be useful if you need to make many documents private at once.
REMOVE THE Connection SHARING
Follow these steps (if you’re not sure, just follow along and see if it applies to your situation) if you’ve been sharing the document through its connection so that everyone can access it, even if they aren’t logged in to their Google account:
- Open the File > Share menu or pick Share from the top right side of Google Docs while the document is open.
- If you’re on a mobile device, tap the person icon in the upper right corner.
- Change can be found in the Get connection section.
- Mobile users can go to the bottom of the page and tap the Who has access section.
- If this section says “Anyone,” then these are the steps you should take. If it says Limited, you’re sharing it with a particular group of people—follow the instructions below.
- From the drop-down menu, choose Limited.
- This menu can be found by tapping Change in the mobile app.
- To close the sharing settings, choose Done (if you see it).
REMOVE THE EMAIL SHARING
If you’ve added people to the sharing list by email address, do this now. You may choose to share the document only with those people or with anyone.
- To open the sharing settings, open the document and then use the File > Share menu or the big Share button at the top right.
- If you’re using the mobile app, tap the individual icon in the top-right corner.
- Choose Remove from the menu to the right of the person with whom you’re sharing the file.
- If you want to make this document entirely private, repeat this move for everyone on the list.
- Mobile users can go to the bottom of the page and tap the Who has access area, then tap the person’s name to find the Remove option.
- As you can see, there are other share options available, so you might choose Viewer instead of completely unsharing it if you want the individual to have any sort of access.
- If you see it, choose Save.
How to Bulk Unshare Google Docs
Do you have a large number of files to delete? The instructions above are good for a few documents, but if you have a whole folder of documents to make private, you can pick them all at once and perform bulk actions.
If you’re not sure which documents are being exchanged, scroll down to the section at the bottom of this page for instructions.
- On a device, open Google Drive and go to the location where the shared files are stored.
- Select the documents for which you want to change the sharing options. You can do this by selecting one and then pressing Ctrl (equivalent to Command on macOS) to pick the others, or by pressing Ctrl+A to select all of them, or by right-clicking the folder containing the documents.
- Choose Share.
- To delete an email address from a share, select Remove from the menu to the right of the user you want to remove.
- To remove any shared links, go to the bottom of the page and select Change, then select Anyone with the connection under the doc you want private, and then Restricted.
- Choose either Done or Save.