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Docs editors URL format change

To help people use the Google Docs editors when signed in to multiple accounts, the format of Docs editors URLs changed in April 2015. See our blog post to learn more about the reasons for the change.

All previous URLs continue to work under the change. If you click an old URL, you’re redirected to the URL with the new structure.

However, if your organization still uses tools or processes that rely on the pre-April 2015 URL structure, you might need the information below to make sure your tools or processes don't break:

  • Docs editors URLs will no longer use the format: /a/domain
  • The /a/ will be replaced with /u/, and the ordering in the URL will be different. /a/ occurs before the editor prefix and /u/ occurs after:

    • Old format: /a/domain/document/d/DOC_ID
    • New format: /document/u/X/d/DOC_ID

    /u/X represents the appropriate browser session for a user who is signed in to multiple accounts.

  • If there is no /a/ or /u/, a session will be intelligently selected and the appropriate /u/X written. If a user is not signed in to multiple accounts, /u/0 is not written as there is no ambiguity over which session to use.
  • After the document loads, client-side JavaScript will remove the /u/X from the visible URL.

    Requests to the server will still contain /u/X, but the /u/X is removed from user visible URLs to prevent it from being saved (for example, bookmarked or pasted into emails) as this might prevent Docs editors from properly opening the document in a different browser or computer.

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