Google Docs doesn’t necessarily require users to show their Google accounts to read or edit someone else’s document online. You can actually view and edit Google Docs anonymously. Here’s how.
Google Docs has the anonymous feature that when someone views or edits a document, their account is going to be shown with animal avatars instead of their actual Google account name.
This can protect your privacy while still be able to view and edit the Google Docs document. However, this can only be done under specific conditions.
How to view and edit Google Docs anonymously
What you need
Here’s the list of what you need to be able to view and/or edit Google Docs anonymously:
- The Google Docs document has to be shared through links. Shared documents sent individually by email or Google account won’t be able to be viewed or edited anonymously.
- The link has to be set “Anyone with the link” to be able to be viewed and/or edited anonymously using the “Viewer”, “Commenter”, or “Editor” status.
How to open the document anonymously
Once you get the public link to the Google Docs document, open the link in an incognito mode or private mode in your web browser. Or, sign out of your Google account before opening the link.
If the link is only viewable, you are going to see the “Request edit access” text at the top. No need to sign in to read the document.
If you want to edit the document, you would have to request the owner of the document to make it editable anonymously. It has to be set with “Editor” status to make it editable.
This is what it looks like when you can edit a Google Docs document anonymously without signing in. Every time you make changes to the document, it will be saved instantly and automatically to the owner’s Google Drive.
Every time you make changes, the owner of the document can see when someone makes changes. But if you view or edit the document anonymously or without signing in, the owner only sees a random anonymous animal avatar.
Google Docs makes it easy for you to view or edit documents without signing in. There’s no need to be visible when you can do the same anonymously.
RELATED: How to Make Google Docs View Only