Stop, limit, or change sharing

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After you share a file, you can stop sharing at any time. You can also control if people you've shared with can change or share your file.

Stop sharing a file

Important:

  • If you share a file with people, the owner and anyone with edit access can change sharing permissions and share the file.
  • If you don’t want anyone to publicly access your file, stop publishing the file.
Stop sharing a file or folder
  1. Find the file or folder in Google Drive, Google Docs, Google Sheets, or Google Slides.
  2. Open or select the file or folder.
  3. Click Share or Share Share.
  4. Find the person you want to stop sharing with.
  5. To the right of their name, click the Down arrow Down and then Remove.
  6. To save changes, click Save.
Restrict general access for a file or folder

When you change an item's general access to Restricted, only people with access can open the file.

  1. Find the file or folder in Google Drive, Google Docs, Google Sheets, or Google Slides.
  2. Open or select the file or folder.
  3. Click Share or Share Share and then Get link,
  4. Under “General access”,  click the Down arrow Down.
  5. Select Restricted.
  6. Click Done.
Delete a shared file

If you delete a shared file that you own:

  • People that can view, comment, or edit can make a copy of the file until you permanently delete it.
  • To permanently delete the file, click the file in your trash, and click Delete forever Delete forever. Learn more about deleting files.

If you delete a shared file that you don’t own:

  • The file will be removed from your Drive , but other collaborators can still access it.
  • To get the file back, open a link to the file and then File and then Add to My Drive.

Limit how your files are shared

Prevent people from downloading, printing, or copying your file

People with edit access to your files can:

  • Share the file with others.
  • Add or remove people from the file.
  • Change access permissions to the file.
  • Copy, print, or download the file.

ImportantYou can't apply this setting to a folder, but you can apply it to individual files in the folder.

To prevent viewers and commenters from printing, copying, or downloading your file:

  1. Find the file or folder in Google Drive, Google Docs, Google Sheets, or Google Slides.
  2. Select one or more files you want to limit.
  3. Click Share or Share Share.
  4. At the top, click Settings Settings.
  5. Uncheck Viewers and commenters can see the option to download, print, and copy.

Important: You can limit how people share, print, download, and copy within Google Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Slides, but you can't stop how others share the file content in other ways.

Prevent others from sharing your files

If you’re sharing a file, the owner and anyone with editor access can change the permissions and share the file. To prevent others from sharing your file:

  1. Open the file in Google Drive, Google Docs, Google Sheets, or Google Slides.
  2. Click Share or Share Share.
  3. At the top, click Settings Settings.
  4. Uncheck Editors can change permissions and share.

Important: If you prevent sharing of a folder, it only applies to the folder. To prevent sharing the files inside, you have to change this setting for the files inside.

More options with Google Accounts through work or school

Give someone permissions to a file for a limited time

Set an expiration date for a file

  1. Open a file in Google Drive, Google Docs, Google Sheets, or Google Slides.
  2. Click Share and then find the user you'd like to give temporary permissions to.
    • If you haven't shared the file with that person yet, add the user's email and click Send or Share. At the top right of the document, click Share again.
  3. Next to the person's name, click the Down arrow Down and then Give temporary access.
  4. Next to "Access expires," click a date to set as the expiration date. Choose a date within one year of the current date.
  5. Click Save.

Change share settings for Google Forms

Google Forms often have different sharing options than other kinds of files.

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