I have a document shared publicly (anyone with the link can edit).
Is there a way of requiring signing-in in order to make any edits?

The motivation is to know who is editing instead of "Anonymous Pandas".

I think I've seen a doc shared this way, but I don't have such settings in sharing options.

5 Answers 5


If you're part of GSuite:

You can set the viewing permissions to

Anyone at Your GSuite Organisation Name can view / comment / edit

This will make sure that all users have to be signed in to their work account for them to view the file. However, this will only allow users part of your organisation to view them and as you say you want "anybody" to be able to see it this technique wont work.
While doing some research on the internet, I found this article: https://www.bettercloud.com/monitor/google-drive-sharing-complete-guide/
And under the Sharing Options for GSuite admins, I found this:

Require Google sign-in for external users to view file
Forces external users to create a free Google account in order to view or edit the shared document. This option is more secure because even though the external party will be using a consumer account, they are still required to sign in with a username and password.

Allow external users to preview file without Google sign-in
This option is less secure, but more convenient for the external user. Users without Google accounts will be able to preview the document, but not make edits. Non-Google users would also be able to forward the invite along, or download the file. Therefore, this setting represents a much higher risk of data exposure than requiring a Google sign-in. Before enabling this setting, you should weigh the convenience factor against the potential security risks.

But if you're not using GSuite, this will not work either.

@Michelfrancis Bustillos, you said that this was possible in Google Forms but that is not for editing the form, it's only for filling out the form.


If you're not part of GSuite, I don't think there is any way to achieve what you want. However, if that is not the case, according to the web site I mentioned earlier, it should be possible (but I don't know because I'm not a GSuite admin).


Here is an indirect way of setting up this kind of access.

Set the sharing permissions to "view only" while you're in the share settings window. If viewers want to edit docs, they will be prompted to sign in before they can request editing permission.

This is more work on the viewers end, and causes them to wait for access, however it works nicely if you are interested in verifying users before they can edit.

  1. Create a Google Group, set it up as web only, only owner can post, and allow anyone to join.
  2. Share your document to anyone with the link to view only
  3. Share your document with the Google Group from step 1 with edit access.
  4. Add to the instructions to edit the document that first they should join the Google Group from step 1.

There is no facility to do exactly what you want. The permissions allow for "no sign-in required" and "sign-in required".

The closest you will get is the idea to view-only and have them request to edit, which usually becomes a pretty obvious button on the top of the document.

If you are part of a GSuite, you do have the option to contact Google Support and they do have the ability to see the emails linked to who edits certain documents, but that usually is only used in the case of hacking attempts.

Since you asked a specific question, I made a short video of HOW to set up sharing so that an editor would have to "sig-in" to edit. However, my text is the answer.... You cannot have both.


Set the documents sharing preferences to 'Private' then list the emails of the people you would like to be allowed to edit the document.

  • 3
    The OP is asking how to restrict editing to anybody, as long as they are signed in, likely so it is apparent who makes changes. Commented Nov 9, 2015 at 2:28
  • 1
    Oh, thank you for the clarification. While I do know this is possible with Google Forms, I'm not sure if it is in Docs. Commented Nov 9, 2015 at 2:37
  • "likely so it is apparent who makes changes" That is exactly my intention. Clarified original question.
    – vucalur
    Commented Dec 8, 2016 at 14:05
  • You're missing the whole point of the question
    – Luke
    Commented Jul 31, 2018 at 1:29

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