Can’t edit a file

If you can’t edit a file, a few things could be wrong:

  • The file owner didn’t give you permission to view the file.
  • You're signed in to a different Google Account.
  • Someone else with edit access removed your permission to edit.

Request permission to edit the file

Request access through Google

To request access, you need to be online.

  1. Open the file.
  2. In the toolbar, click the View only or Comment only button.
  3. Click Request edit access.
  4. If you want, add a note to the owner of the file.
  5. Click Send request.

The owner will get an email notification and can open the file to give you edit access.

Contact the owner directly

If you need access right away, you can contact the owner of the file and ask them to give you access.

Sign in to a Google Account

In most cases, you need to sign in to a Google Account to edit a file. If you have more than one Google Account, you might be signed in to the wrong account.

To switch to another account:

  1. Open a link to the file.
  2. In the top right, if you see your email address, click the Down arrow Down Arrow.
  3. Click Sign out.
  4. Sign in with a different Google Account and open the link to the file again.

If you still can’t edit the file, you should request access for the file.

If you still can’t edit a file

Get more help

If these options didn't help, see some answers in the Google Drive forum.

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

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