How to Lock Google Drive Files (To prevent Unwanted Editing)

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We have all been in situations where despite our best efforts, we have failed to avoid unauthorized edits to important documents or Excel sheets shared with our colleagues or partners. In response to this, Google Drive has now added a new feature that lets you Lock any file to avoid unwanted edits to your documents.

Google Workspace will now let users lock files in Google Drive itself. This will prevent others from editing and commenting on their documents. Also, no unwanted suggestions will be allowed to lock documents.

“This update simplifies and streamlines the process of restricting files in Drive, which was previously only available through the Google Drive API or through file approvals,” Google said.

How the Feature Will Help Users

This feature will help in situations wherein a lot of publicly viewable documents are used and shared. Once a file is locked, it is put in read-only mode, which means that those 2 who access the file can only view it.

Earlier, users could lock a document or file when sharing it or through a Google Drive API call. The new update will simplify the locking process.

How to Lock Files on Google Drive

  • Go to Google Drive and hover over a file that you want to lock.
  • Right-click on the context menu and choose “File Information”.
  • Select “Lock” and confirm that you want to lock the document.
  • Once locked, no one can make edits to the Doc until it is unlocked.
  • One can unlock a file through the context menu as well.

This is not the first time Google has allowed users to restrict access to a file. Earlier you could do the same using the Google Drive API and through dedicated file approvals. The only difference is that now you can lock a file anytime even after you have shared it with your colleague.

Note- One must have edit access to the Drive file to lock a Drive File.

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Feature Availability

The file-locking feature has started to roll out to some Rapid domains and will continue over the next 15 days. Users on scheduled release domains can expect to start seeing the feature on September 20 with a similar 15-day rollout period.

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Shivangi AgarwalShivangi Agarwal
Shivangi is an honours graduate in English from Delhi University with a passion for reading and writing. Always keen to know more about the latest gadgets, when she is not reading about tech, she loves listening to Hindi music and grooving to the latest Hindi beats.

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