How to Remove Someone from a Google Docs

889729 How to Remove Someone from a Google Docs

Collaborating with others on Google Docs can be extremely useful, allowing multiple people to edit and provide input on documents. However, there may come a time when you need to remove a collaborator’s access. Whether it’s due to privacy concerns, a change in project scope, or even an acrimonious falling out, removing someone from a Google Doc is an important skill to learn.

In this blog post, I’ll walk you through the quick and easy steps to remove someone from a Google Doc you own or have editing rights to. We’ll also look at what happens from the removed collaborator’s perspective so you know exactly what to expect. Let’s get started!

Why You Might Want to Remove Someone

There are a few key reasons why removing a collaborator from a Google Doc makes good sense:

  • The person is no longer working on the project. If someone was brought on to provide feedback or input but is no longer involved with the content, removing them helps limit access.
  • You have concerns about privacy or security. If you don’t want someone to continue viewing or editing private information, removing them is the way to go.
  • The relationship has ended poorly. Sometimes work relationships can turn sour. Removing the person’s access to sensitive company documents may be prudent.
  • The document’s sharing settings need to change. If you decide to limit a document’s visibility, any collaborators you remove will no longer have access.

No matter the reason, removing collaborators in Google Docs is a straightforward process.

Step-By-Step Guide to Removing Someone

Removing a collaborator from a Google Doc only takes a few clicks. Here is the process:

  1. Open the Google Doc and click the Share button in the top right.
  2. In the right pane that opens, you’ll see a list of collaborators. Find the name of the person you want to remove and hover over their name.
  3. Click the X icon that appears to the right of their name.
  4. In the confirmation pop-up, click Remove.

And that’s it! The person has now been removed as a collaborator and can no longer access the document.

To double check, you can scroll through the collaborator list on the right pane – their name should now be gone.

What Happens When You Remove Someone

So what exactly happens when you remove a collaborator from a Google Doc? Here are the key effects:

  • They immediately lose editing rights to the document and can no longer make changes.
  • Any links they have to the document no longer work. Even if they have the link saved somewhere, it will return an error message if they try to access it.
  • They no longer receive notifications about activity on the document since they aren’t tracked as a collaborator anymore.
  • If they try accessing via your shared link, they will see a message that says “You need permission” or “Access denied”.
  • You may still see their profile picture, though it will be grayed out and they won’t have access behind the scenes.

So in summary, removing someone fully cuts off their access to and permissions for the document going forward.

Tips for Removing Collaborators Smoothly

If you need to remove someone from a Google Doc, here are some tips for making it go more smoothly:

  • Communicate the change beforehand so they aren’t caught fully off-guard if possible. A quick email explaining why you need to remove them can help ease the transition.
  • Double check permissions on other documents they may have had access to previously just in case.
  • Review any suggestions or comments they may have added so you don’t lose valuable feedback. Their suggestions will remain in the document’s history.
  • If removing them due to a contentious relationship, consider copying their work into a separate document and removing it from the original to avoid future issues.

Following these tips helps ensure a clean removal process while minimizing disruption to your document and project.

What If I Don’t Own the Document?

If you need someone removed from a Google Doc but aren’t the owner, you’ll need to contact the owner directly with your request.

Here are some tips for getting someone removed when you didn’t create the document:

  • Politely explain why you need them removed and who the person is you want taken off. Provide specific details to justify your request.
  • Offer to help redo any work they contributed so the owner doesn’t feel they are losing something valuable.
  • If your request is denied, you may need to create a copy of the document and remove the person’s contributions yourself in the new version if their involvement is problematic.
  • Suggest setting up a shared folder going forward so you and the owner can collaborate while controlling permissions.

As long as you make a compelling case and offer constructive solutions, most document owners will likely remove a problem collaborator. But be prepared that the final decision is up to them.


Removing collaborators is an easy process in Google Docs once you know the steps. With just a few clicks, you can fully revoke someone’s access and edit permissions when needed.

Just be sure to communicate changes to the person ahead of time if appropriate and thoughtfully manage any work they contributed previously. With good planning, you can remove collaborators smoothly while protecting your document’s privacy.