Google Docs logo on a white background

If you shared a Google Docs document with someone, but you no longer want them to have access to that document, you can stop sharing it with them by simply adjusting the sharing settings. Here’s how.

Unshare a Google Doc on Desktop

There are two ways you can share a Google Docs document—by link-sharing or by adding someone to a document using their email. You can unshare a Google Doc no matter which method was originally used to share it, but the steps are a bit different for each.

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

Email Sharing

If you invited someone to a Google Doc using their email, then unsharing the document is as simple as removing their email from it.

To get started, open the Google Docs document you’d like to stop sharing. In the top-right corner of the window, you’ll see a “Share” button. If you hover your cursor over this button, a tooltip will appear telling you how many people you’ve shared the document with. Go ahead and click it.

Click Share.

The document sharing pop-up will appear. Locate the name of the person you want to remove from the document. To the right, you’ll see their current privileges. Click the down arrow next to that.

Click the down arrow.


Next, click “Remove” from the bottom of the drop-down menu that appears.

Click Remove.

Finally, click the blue “Save” button.

Click Save.

The person you removed from the list will now no longer have access to the Google Docs document.

Link Sharing

Another method of sharing is by sending others a link, to either the file page or a direct download, with certain permissions. You can undo this by simply changing the permissions of the link.

RELATED: How to Make a Direct Download Link for Google Drive Files

Open the document you’d like to stop sharing and then click the blue “Share” button in the top-right corner of the window. You can also see a tooltip if you hover your cursor over the Share button. This tooltip tells you who can access the document with the link based on the set permissions.

Click the share button.

A pop-up window will appear. Click “Change” in the Get Link group.

Click Change.

In the next window, you’ll see the link and, under that, the permissions set for that link. The permission needs to be set to “Restricted,” which means that only people you’ve added with their email can access the document through this link. Click the down arrow to show the list of options.

Click the link permissions option.

Next, click “Restricted” from the drop-down menu.

Click Restricted.


Finally, click the blue “Done” button in the bottom-right corner of the pop-up window.

Click Done.

Anyone who previously had access to the document with the link will now need to be added with their email to regain access.

If you’d rather someone else manage a file, don’t forget that you can easily change the file owner in Google Drive.

Unshare a Google Doc on Mobile

You can also stop sharing a document from the Google Docs mobile app on iOS or Android. Since there are two ways to share a Google Doc, there are also two ways of unsharing it.

Email Sharing

Tap the icon to launch the app and then locate the document that you’d like to stop sharing. Tap the three dots next to the document’s title.

Tap the three dots.

Next, tap “Share” in the pop-up window that appears.

Tap Share.

You’ll now be on the Share screen, where you’ll find all the users who have access to the document. Tap any of the icons in that section.


On the next screen, you’ll see a list of the users who have access to the document, along with their email addresses and privileges. Tap the user you’d like to remove.

Tap the person's name you want to remove.

A window with several privileges to choose from will appear at the bottom of the screen. Tap “Remove” at the bottom of this list.

Tap Remove.

The user will now be removed from the list and will no longer have access to this document.

Link Sharing

Launch the Google Docs app and then tap the three dots next to the title of the document you want to stop sharing.

Tap the three dots.

Next, choose “Share” from the menu that appears.

Tap Share.

The Share screen will appear. Here, you’ll see your profile image and, to the right of that, an icon that differs depending on which type of permissions are set to the link. Tap that icon.

In the Link Settings group on the next page, you’ll need to set the permissions to “Restricted.” Tap the “Change” option, found under the current permissions.

Tap Change.


On the Link Settings screen, tap the top option to change the permissions.

Tap the permissions option.

On the next screen, tap “Restricted.”

Tap Restricted.

Now anyone who had the link will need to be added using their email to regain access to the document using the link.

If you decide you want to start sharing the document again, you can always go back in and adjust the settings to do so. There’s even a little trick to share the link to your Google Doc as a PDFĀ or as a web page.

RELATED: How to Share Links to Your Google Doc as a PDF

Profile Photo for Marshall Gunnell Marshall Gunnell
Marshall is a writer with experience in the data storage industry. He worked at Synology, and most recently as CMO and technical staff writer at StorageReview. He's currently an API/Software Technical Writer based in Tokyo, Japan, runs VGKAMI andĀ ITEnterpriser, and spends what little free time he has learning Japanese.
Read Full Bio Ā»

The above article may contain affiliate links, which help support How-To Geek.