I was an editor of a private Google Docs spreadsheet, and the current owner of the spreadsheet is another person. I cannot remember if I could move the spreadsheet to the recycle bin, but I could edit the permissions and I removed myself... After doing that, I can't move it to the recycle bin, nor unsubscribe from that document.

The documents are stuck in my folders. Unfortunately, I also have some web-public documents. Is there any way to unsubscribe myself from those documents completely?


4 Answers 4


If you click the checkbox beside an item you do not own and hit the delete button, it will tell you that it cannot destroy the document but will ask if you want to remove it from view. If you own the document, it will give you the option of trashing it for everyone or selecting a new owner.

  • 1
    It's ok if one is an owner, and what if one is a viewer, that I asked in the question? What I have now: I have a public document (that I don't own) in my folder. Once I click "Remove", Google Docs is just pretending that the document is removed to the trash folder (it does not care that I'm not the owner). But after refreshing the page, the document appears in the folder again. Why? I don't know who's the owner of the document, because the document is public for everyone in the web, and I clicked it 5 months ago just to view an interesting presentation. Now the document is not actual for me. Jan 27, 2011 at 8:11
  • Edited answer for emphasis. If it removes it from view but then comes back after refresh, that would seem to suggest that the removal request is not completing on the server side of things. I would give it time to complete before changing pages, and if it still won't go away, it's probably a glitch. I've done this countless times (viewed a public document that wasn't mine) and have been able to remove documents in this manner for a while now.
    – Shaun
    Jan 27, 2011 at 15:26
  • Hmmm, so it could be just a glitch. Strange... I tried to do this from several computers but unsuccessfully. But I have noticed a moment: if I switch the folder preview to the tiled mode, those documents are not shown anymore. But anyway, thank you. I still believe it's just a glitch. Jan 27, 2011 at 17:08
  • Aaa!!! I've just tried it again from Chrome, not from Safari! And it works! You're a god, Shaun :D Thanks a lot :D Jan 27, 2011 at 17:19

To anser your question, if you want to remove it from you being able to view it:

  1. right click on the document.
  2. select share from the dropdown list (it will display everyone that has access to the document).
  3. click the x by your name (this will remove you from the shared group).

I had the same problem going through the docs.google.com/spreadsheets interface, but I was able to 'unshare' documents by going through Google Drive and choosing Remove.

  • "Remove" doesn't "unshare", it just remove the file from "My Unit" and from the parent folder if you have edit access to it, but the file will still be shown on "Shared with me" Nov 25, 2019 at 18:27
  • When I did this, I started at the "Shared with me" view, in Drive then clicked Remove.
    – jcadcell
    Nov 25, 2019 at 21:59
  • Ok, it looks that Google did a slight change, the file will be removed from shared with me, but it still include you as viewer, and if you open it again, it will reappear. Ref. Find files shared with you Nov 25, 2019 at 22:04

Update for 2019 and what if you only have view only on the file?

Select the file and click remove. Having read only you won't delete the file itself but you will delete it from your view, your Shared with you folder, and your future searches.

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