Google Docs is well known for its collaborative features and the ability to share and view real-time edits. However, sometimes you may want to access a Google Docs file anonymously, whether to protect your account details or to leave edits and comments anonymously.
In this guide, we’ll explore how to be anonymous on Google Docs for PC and mobile, as well as other ways to ensure your privacy and protect your identity.
Table of Contents
How to Make Yourself Anonymous on Google Docs
Here’s how to show up anonymous on Google Docs:
- Open the document in Google Docs.
- Go to the Share button at the top left or go to File > Share.
- Click on the dropdown option for Restricted and choose Anyone with link.
- Click the permission settings dropdown and choose Editor.
- Copy the link and click Done.
- Log out of Google Docs by clicking on your Google account icon and choosing to sign out.
- Paste the link in your web browser and continue editing. For an extra step, you can also open an incognito window in your browser and paste the link there.
How to Go Anonymous in Google Docs
In this tech era where privacy is a great concern in our digital lives, there are many reasons why you should protect your email and other details by maintaining anonymity, especially when working with sensitive or confidential information.
Going anonymous on Google Docs is not a complicated process and doesn’t need you to be some kind of hacker. However, it’s also not as simple as going incognito in your browser. Follow the steps below to learn how to view a Google Doc anonymously:
Step 1: Open the document in Google Docs.
Step 2: Go to the Share button at the top left or go to File > Share.
Step 3: Click on the dropdown option for Restricted and choose Anyone with link.
Step 4: Click the permission settings dropdown and choose Editor.
Step 5: Copy the link and click Done.
Step 6: Logout of Google Docs by clicking on your Google account icon and choosing to sign out.
Step 7: Paste the link in your web browser and continue editing.
For an extra step, you can also open an incognito window in your browser and paste the link there.
By logging out of Google Docs, you can view and edit the document anonymously since you set the sharing permission to anyone with a link.
How to Edit Google Docs Anonymously
Method 1: Logging Out of Google Docs
The method we’ve shown for how to appear anonymous on Google Docs is a good way to be able to edit a document anonymously. Once you’ve completed the steps above, you should be able to reopen the Google Doc page and continue editing.
You will be logged in as an anonymous animal, for example, Anonymous Quokka, so although you’ll be anonymous, someone will still be able to tell that another person is editing the document.
This will also be recorded in the version history, but the edits will be recorded as changed by Anonymous users, so although someone will be able to tell that changes were made, They won’t know who made them.
Most of the time, if you received the file through a link, Google Docs will automatically log you in as anonymous unless you are the owner of the document.
Method 2: Offline Mode
You can also use Google Docs offline to edit anonymously. Offline mode lets you edit Google Docs without using the internet.
Step 1: Click on the cloud icon at the top of the Google Docs window
Step 2: Select Turn on to turn on Offline.
Step 3: You’ll be asked to Install the Google Docs Chrome extension. Click Install.
Step 4: Click Add to Chrome.
Step 5: Choose the option “Add extension” in the prompt that appears.
Step 6: Once you’re done, you’ll receive a prompt confirming that offline mode has been enabled.
Step 7: Go back to the cloud icon and click Turn on to turn on offline mode.
Step 8: Continue editing your document.
Ince you’ll be editing your document offline, the changes won’t be recorded in the version history.
Method 3: Exporting to Word
Finally, to edit a Google Docs anonymously, you can export the document to Microsoft Word and edit it there instead.
To do anonymous editing Google Docs, all you need to do is:
Step 1: Go to File > Download.
Step 2: Choose the format Microsoft Word.
Step 3: Choose the file destination and Save.
Step 4: Go to the file on your device and double-click it to open it.
This will open the file, and you can continue editing it in Word. Once you’re done:
Step 5: Go back to Google Docs.
Step 6: Go to File > Open.
Step 7: Find the file on your device and select it to open it in Google Docs again.
This will open the file back in Google Docs, and you can proceed to share it. Although the document might still show you as the owner, other users won’t be able to tell what edits you made to the document.
How to Share Google Docs Anonymously
By default, when you share a Google Doc, the recipient will be able to see the email address of the document owner or the person who shared the document.
Method 1: Using a Different Google Account
If you wish to maintain anonymity while sharing a document, one potential workaround is to create a separate Google account that does not reveal your personal information. You can then share the document using that account.
Step 1: Click the Share button and choose Anyone with link then Editor.
Step 2: Copy the link and sign out of Google Docs.
Step 3: Paste the link in your browser and sign in again with a different anonymous account.
Step 4: Make a copy of the document by going to File > Make a copy.
The copy will open in a new window.
Step 5: Click the Share button and choose Anyone with link then Editor.
When you share the copied document, it will show the anonymous Google account as the owner.
Method 2: Exporting the Document
Another really good way of sharing your Google Docs anonymously is by changing its format. You can do this by downloading the file as a Word document, DF, open document, and more. Once you’re done, you can share the document without tying it to your Google account.
You can also publish the document to remain anonymous. To do this:
Step 1: Go to File > Download.
Step 2: Choose the format option Web Page (HTML)
Step 3: Share the HTML.
The webpage will not show any information about you or your Google account.
How to Stop Anonymous Users in Google Docs
If you’re the owner of a document on Google Docs, you may not want anonymous users editing your document since it can be hard to keep track of the changes. Here’s how to stop anonymous users in Google Docs.
Step 1: Click on Share.
Step 2: Go to the option Anyone with link and choose Restricted.
Step 3: Add the emails of the people you want to share the file with anonymously.
This should prevent people who you’ve not added to the share settings from viewing and editing your Google Docs document anonymously.
However, this method is not foolproof since once you give another person editorial control, they can share the document.
You can also password-protect your Google Docs to add an extra layer of privacy.
How to Be Anonymous in Google Docs Mobile App
Below are the steps on how to view Google Docs anonymously on the Mobile App:
Step 1: Open the document on the mobile app.
Step 2: Click on the pen icon to edit it.
Step 3: Tap on the three vertical dots to open the menu.
Step 4: Tap Share and Export.
Step 5: Go to Manage Access.
Step 6: Tap on Restricted and choose Anyone with link.
Step 7: Go to the drop-down for viewers and click Editor.
Step 8: Go back and tap on the copy link icon.
Step 9: Go to your browser and make sure you’re not logged in to your Google account and paste the link and load it to view the document anonymously.
You will be able to view the document and make changes as an anonymous user in the document.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I Show Up as Anonymous on Google Docs?
If the Google Docs file was shared with you through a link, then you may show up as anonymous when you access it. However, if the file was shared with you directly through your email, then your account will appear at the top right every time you edit it.
Anonymity is a very important and useful thing in Google Docs, especially if you’re sharing your document publicly. You don’t want people you don’t know to have access to your email.
This guide has explored ways that you can access and edit Google Docs anonymously and also how to prevent people from anonymously accessing your document in Google Docs. You can also check out our premium templates to help save you time in the Google Suite. Remember to use the code SSP at checkout to save 50%.
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