How to Save a Document in Google Docs: A Quick Guide

Google Docs is a text editor that allows you to create documents straight from your browser and collaborate with other users in real-time. In addition, every word you type and every change you make is saved automatically, so you don’t have to worry about losing your work.

That said, do you know any other solution on how to save a document in Google Docs? If you want to save a copy of a shared file, simply click on “File” > “Make a copy,” and then re-name the new document., and that’s it!

You also have the option to download a Google Doc from different locations and using different devices. And that’s what we’re going to talk about in this article. Read on as we discuss each method in greater detail.

How to Save a Document in Google Docs

You can save a document in Google Docs in three different ways: using the platform’s native autosave function, making a copy of a shared document, and downloading your file to have an offline copy on your computer.

Let’s take a closer look at each of the methods below:

Create and Save a Google Doc

You really don’t have to do anything in this method other than create your document, as Google Docs does most of the work. But to demonstrate how the platform autosaves your work, here’s a detailed process with a few screenshots for visuals.

  1. To get started, open Google Docs in your file browser by going to and then log into your account.
  2. Create a new file by clicking on the “Blank” icon.
Google Docs blank document


  1. Next, edit the name of the document in the text box located in the upper-right corner of the screen, and then start editing the text.
Google Docs untitled document


  1. While you’re editing the name of the file or the body of the document, you’ll see the “Saving…” prompt at the top of the screen.
Google Docs document automatically saving screenshot


  1. Right after the saving process is done, you’ll see the “Saved to Drive” prompt, which will disappear once your document has been saved.
Google Docs document save to drive


  1. If you want to change the location of the file, click on the “folder” icon, usually located next to the star icon at the top of the document.
Where to find Google Docs document folder icon


  1. Then, click on the “folder” icon with an arrow to create a new folder or select from the existing ones.
Where to find Google Docs document create new folder icon


  1. If you decide to create a new folder, type its name in the text box at the top, click on the blue check mark to its right, and then click on “Move here.”
Google Docs document name untitled folder

Save a Shared Document

The changes you’ve made on a document shared with you by someone would also be automatically saved by the platform. However, the file remains owned and linked to the original creator — all private and personal changes you want to include would be seen by everyone who has access to it.

If you want to have a personal copy, here’s how to save a shared Google Doc.

  1. First, open Google Docs in your browser and select the shared file.
  2. Click on the “File” tab at the upper left part of the screen to access a drop-down menu, and then select “Make a Copy” from the available options.
Make a copy of Google Docs file


  1. Next, type in the file name that you want to use, select the folder that you want to save the file in, and then click on “Make a Copy.”
Make a copy of Google Docs document


  1. After this, the copied document will appear in a new tab, which is already saved in your specified folder.

How to Save a Google Doc to Desktop

Downloading your Google file on your computer is one of the best ways to have a backup of your work. Keep in mind that any changes you make on the online version will not be saved on your offline copy.

Follow these steps if you want to download a Google Docs document from your computer’s browser.

  1. Open Google Docs in your browser and double-click on the file that you want to download.
  2. Next, click on the “File” tab at the upper left part of the screen and hover the cursor over the “Download” option.
Download Google Docs file


  1. From the selection of different file formats that appear, choose your preferred format.
Different file formats in Google Docs


  1. After clicking on a specific file format, Google Docs will save it in the default folder or your chosen download destination.

Download a Google Doc on Your Mobile Device

Similarly, saving a copy on your mobile device would be handy when you need to access your document on the go. Below is the process for downloading a file on your Android or Apple device.

  1. Open the Google Docs app on your device.
  2. Then, scroll down to the file that you want to download.
  3. Once you have identified the file, click on the three dots next to it.
How to save a document in Google Docs on mobile


  1. Next, click on “Save as Word” from the menu.
How to save a document as Word in Google Docs mobile


  1. Once you have clicked on this option, your document will be saved in Word format.

How to Save a Google Doc as a PDF

PDF is one of the go-to file formats for most people today, especially since it preserves the formatting and appearance of documents. If you want to save a Google Doc as PDF, here’s what you need to do.

  1. Open Google Docs in your browser.
  2. Create a new file or choose from your existing documents.
  3. Make all the necessary changes.
  4. Once you’re ready to save the file, click on the “File” tab in the upper-left corner, hover the cursor over the “Download” option, and then click on the “PDF Document” option.
How to save a document in Google Docs as a PDF file


  1. After that, Google Docs will save your document in PDF format in the default file destination.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Google Docs Automatically Save Changes on All Documents?

Yes. Google Docs automatically saves all your changes as you work on your document, provided you are connected to the internet. This is true whether you create a file, add text, or insert images. Every time you type something or edit the file, a “Saving” prompt will appear at the top of the page. After two seconds, it will change to “Saved to Drive” before disappearing shortly afterward.

Why Can’t I Save My Google Docs?

Google Docs saves all changes to your documents automatically, but it has to be online to do this. If your connection is unstable or disrupted, then you won’t be able to save your file or make changes to it. Other reasons that impact Google Docs from automatically saving include bugs, which it has yet to resolve, or if your antivirus software thinks that your file is harmful and proceeds to remove it.

Wrapping Up

We’ve discussed how to save a document in Google Docs, so you should now have no problem creating files and then sharing them in various formats. However, it’s only a small part of what the word processor is really capable of.

Try to explore its other functionalities and discover more features or learn more about Google Sheets and other Google apps.

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