Collaborate on encrypted files in Docs, Sheets & Slides

Multiple collaborators can work on the same file at different times, but you can’t collaborate in real-time in encrypted files. If there are other collaborators, their icons appear at the top right as usual.

Work with multiple collaborators

If you open a file and someone is already editing, on the top right, you get a “Wait to edit” notification. To talk to the original collaborator, on the bottom of the notification, click Chat with them. 

If someone opens the file you’re editing, on the top right  you get a “Someone just joined” notification. To talk to the new collaborator, on the bottom of the notification, click Chat with them.

If you see a "Safe to edit" notifications then you can edit without any risk of conflicts.

Avoid changes that conflict

If multiple collaborators make changes that conflict, all collaborators on the file receive a notification at the top. 

  • To refresh and see the latest changes, click Refresh.
  • To compare your unsaved changes by opening the latest in a new tab, click Compare
  • To remove the notification, click Dismiss. You can't continue to edit the old version.

After you click Compare, a new tab opens and you can copy over any edits from the original tab. You can continue to edit in the new tab.

Related articles

Was this helpful?
How can we improve it?
Visit the Learning Center

Using Google products, like Google Docs, at work or school? Try powerful tips, tutorials, and templates. Learn to work on Office files without installing Office, create dynamic project plans and team calendars, auto-organize your inbox, and more.

Clear search
Close search
Google apps
Main menu
Search Help Center