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/docs/community?hl=en
2/15/12
Original Poster
Google user

Google Docs Insists in sign-in required even though I selected "Anyone with a Link"

I have been attempting to share document links via Google Docs with non-GMail accounts. Earlier they were getting the "Not Found Error 404" message, and now they are now getting a Google Sign-On screen, even though the level of access I granted states "Anyone with a link can access. No sign-on required". Can anyone suggest something I might be overlooking, or is this a problem with Google. I can't work see any answers in the "Help" documentation. 

At the moment, all I can do is send the document file from Google Docs, which does work but which defeats the whole purpose of Goggle Docs.
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All Replies (17)
Elysse
2/15/12
Elysse
I initially made my document "anyone with a link" but then changed it to "public," and the person to whom I sent the link says it still asks for a password.  This is very embarrassing!  If this isn't resolved, I'm not sure we can continue using Google Docs for professional purposes.

I sent the link to a dozen people when the document was set as "anyone with a link" but then changed it to public--will that original link still work or does the document now have a new web address??
Bas Braams
2/16/12
Bas Braams
<<If this isn't resolved, I'm not sure we can continue using Google Docs for professional purposes.>> That is my response too. The problems with sharing to anyone with the link and people being required to sign in anyway go back a long time; here is something that I wrote on 2011-06-20 (CET):

<<It is a true statement that the sharing via "Anyone with the link" is not working. I think that the most detailed description of how it is not working may be found in this conversation [1], in which Google staff participated. The user forum cannot solve the problem, we can only describe it, and sometimes suggest workarounds. One workaround is to stop using GDocs for your cooperative work if the sign-in issue is too much of a hassle. I think that that is a very reasonable workaround. Another workaround is to alert your collaborators that they may have to create a gmail account in order for the collaboration to work. Maybe someone else can offer additional workarounds. Maybe the Google staff can follow up on their earlier recognition [1] that sharing to anyone with the link is not working.>>

That was in this conversation [*] and I'll repeat the reference to [1] here as well, with a caution that it goes back 10 months and the precise manifestations of trouble with sharing change over time, although they never disappear. At present I would not say that ref [1] provides the most detailed description of how sharing is broken.

[*] Anyone with the link is not working

[1] When sharing, entered email defauts to unknown email
2/16/12
Original Poster
Google user
Thanks for sorting that out for me Bas Braams. I wasted a lot of time reading through Google's instructions trying to figure out what I was doing wrong. It would be a big help if Google would either fix the problem or remove the option, as it is just a big time waster at the moment. In the meantime, Google Docs is obviously useless as a document sharing and collaboration tool. And a real bloody nuisance.
dziegman
2/23/12
dziegman
Hi!

This 404 error is about to be fixed!  Stay tuned to this forum post for more info!

Hope it works soon! :)

dziegman
newtogoogledocs
3/1/12
newtogoogledocs
HI
I also have the same problem and have wasted a lot of time trying to sort this out. It indeeds defeats the whole purpose of sharing docs with anyone if they actually can't get in!!
11 MORE
SimonG88
2/24/14
SimonG88
I found a solution: clear out cookies!

Tested this a few moments ago. GOOGLE doesn't seem to allow anonymous edit access to a doc if it detects that the user has previously logged into a GOOGLE account on that PC. Instead it will redirect them to a login page. Once cookies are cleared, the link took me straight into the doc and it was editable.
 
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