In Google Drive I was searching for a document of mine, when all of a sudden one of the hits was a spreadsheet called "FCRJ". I had no idea what it was, so I took a look and it's a document made by someone else with seemingly gibberish that has been added to and modified since 2009. The history of the document is an absolute mystery of randomness too. I would almost suspect it is random bits of notes automatically harvested from various sources.

The author is "anonymous" and the location according to Google Drive is "-".

Why do I have access to this document all of a sudden? It does not sit in any shared folder, it contains bits and pieces of medical research, education reports, electrical current table, etc. Seemingly without any order or meaning. And I have access to it ... ?

Is there a concept of publically searchable documents in Google Drive that I have been unaware of? Until now, I have been under the impression that the search is restricted to your own documents.

edit: New information on the owner: I have some new information that might shed some light on this mystery. Although the Document details, available from the file menu in Google Spreadsheet, lists info about the document as "Last changed ... by anonymous", the file view in Google Drive lists the author as André H Banen.

Googling that name shows that he is or used to be somewhat of a guru within the Google Docs community. That could explain the content of the file, as it is probably random bits of example spreadsheets used in examples in some help group. What I don't get is why it shows up in my search results. Could it be that since the document is from the old Google Docs codebase it is treated differently somehow?

  • I have no recollection of seeing this before. How can I verify that you're right?
    – oligofren
    Commented Feb 16, 2018 at 6:12
  • @I'-'I It's not in the "Shared with Me" folder.
    – oligofren
    Commented Feb 16, 2018 at 10:26
  • Actually, no, I don't know how to get rid of it. I want to get rid of it from the search results, but since it is neither in My Drive nor the Shared items, I cannot find a way of deleting it - which is the only way I know of removing stuff.
    – oligofren
    Commented Feb 16, 2018 at 12:39

1 Answer 1


Short Answer

You should have accessed that file in the past, and since then it's included on "Shared with me" and it's searchable.

Extended Answer

Google editor documents owners can't be anonymous in the sense that Google document editors help center handles this term. Owners have a Google account and it's visible on Google Drive and other places.

Anonymous appears as the last change author because the file is shared with anyone to edit.

Also files that are explicitly shared with you will appear on Shared with me.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.