Chat and real-time collaboration

You can work on a file at the same time with other people in Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides, and you can chat with each other in the file to make decisions together about what to include.


When you’re working on a file at the same time as others, you can chat with the group viewing the file so that you don’t have to email back and forth while you work. Anyone viewing the file who is signed in to a Google Account will be included in the chat.

Start a chat in a file

  1. Open a document, spreadsheet, or presentation.
  2. Click the button in the top-right corner of the screen.
  3. Begin typing into the chat box.
  4. When you’re finished, click X to close the chat window. To hide a chat in the old version of Google Sheets, click the button again.

You won’t be able to chat if you’re not signed in to a Google Account. If you’re viewing a file but aren’t able to chat, make sure you’re signed in with your account.

All chats in Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides are group chats and they don’t carry over when you open other Google products.

Turn chat sound on and off

To change the chat sound in a file:

  1. Open a chat in a document, spreadsheet, or presentation.
  2. Click the gear icon in the top-right corner of the chat.
  3. Check the box in the menu to turn on notifications. Uncheck the box to turn notifications off.
  4. Click Save.

Work on files at the same time

You can edit a file at the same time as other people with edit access in Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, and Drawings, whether you’re on your computer or a mobile device. When someone makes an edit, their change will automatically appear on your screen if you’re viewing the file, with their name next to their cursor so that you can see who is typing.

The ability to see edits made by others in real time is only available when you and the others working on the file have an Internet connection. Learn more about working on files offline.

If you are working on an Office file and want a document you can work on with others, you can save a version of the file to Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides and share that version with others.

See a history of activity (Google Drive app)

To see the activity that has taken place in a file or folder, like who moved a file and what folder they moved it to, you can track activity using the Drive app on Android or iOS.

  1. Open the Drive app.
  2. Next to the file name, touch the Info icon Activity Information.
  3. Scroll to the “Activity” section. The activity that appears at the top is the most recent.
  4. To see more activity than is currently showing, touch View more activity.

Related topics

Mary is a Docs & Drive expert and author of this help page. Leave her feedback below about the page.

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