How to Unshare a Google Docs Once You’ve Shared It

In this blog post, I'll save you from a humiliating situation where you've shared a Docs with your friends only to realize you've shared the wrong document.

How to Unshare a Google Docs Once You’ve Shared It
Photo by Firmbee.com / Unsplash

So you've ended up in a horrible situation. You've accidentally shared the wrong document with your friends, and you want it unshared! 😬

In this blog post, I'll save you a trip down humiliation lane and teach you everything you need to know to quickly unshare the Google Docs document.

If you're in a total rush, then here's how to unshare a Google Docs document in no time: click the Share button and remove the contributors that you've shared it with. They won't have access to the document anymore.

If that doesn't fix your problem, then let's dive into some of the other things you can do to successfully unshare a Google Docs document.

Don't worry, I've got you covered...

A quick overview of what I'm going to cover

Before we're diving straight into the part of the blog post where I'm saving your ass, here's a quick overview of what I'm going to cover:

When that's out of the way, let's get you out of the danger zone, shall we? 😎

How to unshare a Docs shared by email

Email has really changed the way we communicate with each other. It's so incredibly easy to quickly mail over pictures of your cat, your two-week old homework, or a link to your favorite Minions movie.

However, it's not always a bed of roses. You've just shared a Google Docs document through email, and you're in trouble.

Well, fear not. Here's what to do:

At the top right-hand corner, you'll see a little blue Share box. Next to it was a symbol of a lock but now you'll see a circle with the people you've shared your document with. Hit it!

To the right of the names, you'll see a dropdown list. Give it a wack, scroll down, and hit Remove on their names. Remember to hit Save.

If you're seeing the lock symbol instead of the people you've shared it with, well friend, then you're in the safe zone again! 🥳

But what if you're the type of person that just doesn't use email and you've decided to send a shared link to your friends over Messenger instead?

Uhm, then you're screwed basically...

..nah, you're good.

However, there's a little twist. When you're sharing the document by using a link, you're left with two options:

  • A restricted access link
  • An unrestricted access link

Restricted access allows only the people you've added to use the link and visit the document. And an unrestricted access allows basically everyone to access the document... which is a bummer if you'd like to unshare it.

If you've shared a restricted access link then use the exact same method as covered above (click here to read it) which is a really easy fix.

However, things take a turn if you've used an unrestricted access link. Then you're left with no other choice than to make a copy of your document, and then delete the original document so no one can access it.

That's basically it. You can now return to whatever you did before having your near death panic attack.

Are people notified when you remove them?

Just how embarrassing would it be if your friends found out that you removed them? Then your entire rescue mission would go to waste!

Well, as you probably know, people are notified when you're sharing the document with them. However, what they won't know is the fact that you're removing them.

So if you're doing it super quickly and almost ninja-ish, then you might just get away with it without anyone noticing it. They might just think it was an error!

Signing off

Well, that's pretty much everything you need to know about unsharing Google Docs documents. So, what are you waiting for? Get that damn document unshared!