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Collaborating on files is one of the best features in Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides. However, when you complete the document, you might need to limit someone else’s permissions before you can finalize and close it.

When you finalize a document, it means the last edit has been made and there’s nothing left to add. So, when you’re collaborating with others, you might want to prevent them from making any additional revisions to the final product. Luckily, it’s easy to limit—or stop altogether—sharing a document at any time.

Fire up your browser and open Google Drive. Locate the file you want to finalize, right-click on it, and then select “Share” to open up the Share settings for this document.

Right-click the file and click "Share."

If you’re unsure whether a file is shared or not, look for the icon that looks like the silhouette of two people.

A shared file has a silhouetted icon next to the name.

If link sharing is on, and you want to keep it on while allowing people to view the file, click the drop-down menu and click “Anyone with the Link Can View.”

RELATED: How to Create Shareable Download Links for Files on Google Drive

If you want to maintain a shared link with view-only access, click the dropdown menu, and then click "Anyone with the link can view."

If link sharing is on, and you want to turn it off, click the drop-down menu and then click the “OFF—Only Specific People Can Access” option.

You can turn off link sharing by clicking the drop-down menu, and then click on "OFF - only specific people can access."

Next, click the “Advanced” button.

Click "Advanced" to see a list of all editors and collaborators.

Under the “Who Has Access” section, click the drop-down menu next to a collaborator’s name and select “Can View” to change their permissions to view-only.

Next to each person who can access the file, click the dropdown menu and choose "Can view" from the list of permissions.

If you’re the owner of the file, you can restrict access to the file even further with two settings at the bottom of the window. The first option prevents any other editors—if any still exist—from changing access or adding new people.

The second option disables downloading, printing, and copying the file for people who can view or comment, strictly making the file read-only.

Further restrict your file with these two extra measures, located at the bottom of the Share settings window.

Click the “Save Changes” button.

Save all changes made by clicking "Save Changes."

When you finish, click “Done” to close the Share settings.

Click "Done" to close Share settings and return to Google Drive.

Lastly, to let everyone know the file has reached the final stage of the process, you should put the word “Final” in the name. This tells anyone who accesses the file after you’ve restricted all permissions that the document no longer requires any more edits.

Right-click the file and select the “Rename” button.

Right-click the file and click "Rename."

Type “[FINAL]” at the beginning or end of the file name and click the “OK” button.

Rename the file to include the word "Final" at the beginning or end to tell other collaborators that the file is finalized.


That’s it. You’ve successfully finalized your Google file and limited who can edit or view the document.

Brady Gavin Brady Gavin
Brady Gavin has been immersed in technology for 15 years and has written over 150 detailed tutorials and explainers. He's covered everything from Windows 10 registry hacks to Chrome browser tips. Brady has a diploma in Computer Science from Camosun College in Victoria, BC.  
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