So, I installed "Backup and Sync" (the replacement for deprecated "Google Drive for PC") and created an MS Word Doc in the drive folder. I understand that I can edit this word doc from any PC where I have set up and synced my docs using "Backup and Sync".

But what if I want to edit this word doc (saved in my Google Drive from any other PCs that don't have "Backup and Sync"?

I tried to open the doc using online application. It made a copy of the document and changes were saved to the copy only. Is there any way to sync back those changes to the original word document?


4 Answers 4


use Office Compatibility Mode (OCM)

Taken from Save, edit & share Microsoft Office files, specifically from the following section:

You can use Microsoft Office files in Google Drive in three ways on your computer:

To sync files directly from your computer to Google Drive, download Google Drive for Mac or PC.

NOTE: The supported features of OCM are very limited.


No, it is not entirely possible to do so, although you can use the modified copy and download it in Microsoft Word format and re-uploading it to Google Drive. However, you risk having unexpected formatting changes made to your document, but it would not be too much of a problem if the document only contains plain text.

Other than that, you have no choice but to install Google Drive for PC to actually sync your changes made to the Microsoft Word document with Google Drive.


There exists a Google Chrome extension that you can install from the Chrome webstore.

The name of this extension is Office Editing for Docs, Sheets & Slides.

Office Editing for Do, Slides and Sheets

It is made by Google so it's completely safe so you can just go ahead and click on the install button. Go back on to your Google Drive page in the web and double click on the Microsoft Word file you want to open and it will open it as if it is a Google Docs file without duplicating it.

However, this online editing mode for Office is extremely restrictive compared to Office on your desktop.

Bonus feature: You can open any Microsoft Office file with this extension.


My impression when doing this is that the word document can be shared, but that any changes made to the word document are not saved across platforms and you do not seem to have the ability to have multiple users changing the document as you do with a real google document.

  • 1
    it would better be a comment rather than answer... anyways, yes, and this is apparently due to the inability of Google drive to edit the MS Word created document directly in their web app.
    – Khadim Ali
    Commented Oct 28, 2013 at 8:36

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