Step-by-Step Google Sheets Permissions Guide [Easy]

Google Sheets has made collaboration extremely simple, which is why it has become one of the most widely used tools used by businesses and individuals. Not only can you share the spreadsheet, but you can also assign specific permissions for specific individuals giving you control over how much a team member can contribute to a spreadsheet.

This article aims to discuss the Google Sheets permissions levels and how you can give access to your Google spreadsheet. Read on to learn more.

Google Sheets Permissions Levels

There are essentially four permission levels in Google Sheets. There are many benefits of each level with varying access levels. These are:

Owner

This is the default permission level of the person who created the file. This permission allows you to do anything with the file, including viewing, modifying, adding, deleting data and comments, etc. Only one person can have this permission, but you can assign it to someone else. The Share menu should say Owner beside your name if you created the file.

Edit

This permission allows you to modify, add and delete the data in the spreadsheet. You can also add comments as well as reply to them. This permission can be granted to others. Although it isn’t as powerful as the Owner’s permission, it is the closest thing to it. This permission can be granted by going to the Share menu.

Comment

This permission is far less powerful than the Edit permission as it only allows you to view the spreadsheet and add comments to it. It also allows you to reply to comments made by others. This is particularly useful when you want someone to analyze the data in the spreadsheet without making any changes to it.

View

This is the lowest level of permission in Google Sheets, and it only allows a user to view the spreadsheet. They can’t edit or share the file, and they can’t add comments to it. However, users can request the owner for the Edit or Comment permission. This is often handy if you wish to show your spreadsheet to people outside your team.

View is also the default setting for sharing, so you’ll need to change the Google spreadsheet edit permissions options to change each sheet, even if you just share a single sheet.

How to Give Access to a Google Spreadsheet

Granting permission in Google Sheets is straightforward and can be done in a few steps. Here are the steps for changing permissions on a sheet:

  • Click on the Share button in the top-right corner of the spreadsheets page

  • Type the email address of the person you want to share your spreadsheet with
  • On the right side of the textbox, select the permission from the list
  • You can also write a short optional message under the email textbox
  • Click on Send to grant the specified permission to the recipient and send an email to them

How to Protect Cells From Editing

You can protect the whole sheet or just a range from editing. This is also known as locking cells. Follow these steps to protect sheets and cell ranges from editing:

  1. Click on Data in the top bar.
  2. In the dropdown menu, click on Protect sheets and Ranges.
  3. Click on Add a sheet or range in the window that shows up on the right.
  4. Here, write an optional description and specify the cell range below.
  5. Click on Set permissions to finalize the settings.

Advanced Sharing Options

You can also go into the advanced settings and adjust what you want to allow others to do to the spreadsheet. You can do this by clicking on the Gear icon in the Share menu beside Share with people and groups. Here you will see two options with checkboxes beside them.

You can change the ability for editors to change the permissions and share the spreadsheet. You can also prevent commenters and viewers from downloading, printing, or making a copy of the Google Sheet.

How to Change Permissions on Google Sheets or Remove Them

Often, you only need to grant permission to a person temporarily to make some changes. Afterward, you may wish to give them lower-level permission or even totally remove them from being able to access the sheet in any way. This is done through the Share with people and groups menu as well.

You will be able to see the people you have shared the spreadsheet with. You just have to click on the button with the permission beside their name and select the new permission from the dropdown menu.

You can also give someone else the ownership of the spreadsheet in this menu. Be careful with this setting, as it can give someone complete control over the sheet and its permissions and even remove your access.

How to Give Access to Google Sheets for Non-Google Users

Often, we want to share our work with someone who isn’t using Google services. We can generate a link allowing them to access the same features but with a much easier setup process. To do this, head over to the Google Sheet sharing permissions tab. Look under the Get link tab, click on the Copy link beside the link or change the permission level.

When you first click on the link, the access level will be Restricted, which means that only the added people can open the link. Change this to Anyone with the link to allow people who don’t use Google services to access the spreadsheet. From there, you can also change the permission level of the link.

How to Allow Others to Edit Google Sheets FAQ

Can Anyone Edit a Google Sheet?

By default, no one but the owner can edit a spreadsheet. However, you can change the Google Sheet edit permissions options to allow others to add, delete and modify the data inside the spreadsheet.

How Do I Restrict Access in Google Sheets?

You can restrict access by going to the Share with people and groups menu. You can see the list of people you have to share your spreadsheet with, and you can change the Google Sheets edit permissions by clicking on the Permission option beside the name.

How Do I Change Sharing Permissions in Google Sheets?

You can change the sharing permissions by going to the Share with people and groups menu and adding the email of the person you would like to share the spreadsheet with. You can also define the permissions there. Finally, you can click on Send to send an email and allow access.

What Can Editor Access Do in Google Sheets?

Edit permission allows you to add, delete and modify the contents in the spreadsheet. This permission also allows you to add and reply to comments, and you can also share the spreadsheet with others.

Closing Thoughts on Google Sheets Editing Permissions

Sharing Google sheets permissions is one of the most powerful ways to collaborate with other individuals, and learning to do it correctly can save you from a lot of trouble in the future. We hope this article helped you understand the permission levels in Google sheets and how you can give access to someone.

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Jake Wright

Jake Wright

Jake is a spreadsheet expert and content writer from New Zealand. He has a double Bachelor's Degree in Teaching and has been working in the education industry for over 11 years. His experience makes him adept at breaking down complex topics so that everyone is able to understand.