I have a personal Google account ([email protected]), as well as an institutional Google Apps account ([email protected]). However, the Google Apps account is set such that Google Docs is disabled on that account.

From time to time, I get Google Docs shared to my Google Apps account, which presents a bit of a problem. If I try using my Google Apps account to open the doc, I get an error message that says I don't have access to Docs. If I use my personal email, I don't have access to the document and have to request access. That's what I've been doing so far, but it's a bit annoying on all concerned.

Unfortunately, I can't associate my Google Apps email as an alternate email with my personal account, nor create a new Google Account with that email, since as far as Google is concerned, that email address is already attached to an account.

I believe, but am not sure, that if you share a Google Doc with, say, a Yahoo email, you get a special link that lets whichever Google account you login with have access automatically. This, however, doesn't seem to be the case if you share with a Google Apps email.

Essentially, is there a way of configuring my accounts so that I can somehow get access to the doc without having to manually request access each and every time?

(There are apparently legal issues involved in some way or other that make enabling Google Docs for the Google Apps account not a valid solution to this problem.)

1 Answer 1


I think that the answer is most likely "no".

Your administrator has said that you cannot use Docs/Drive, so when you are logged in with your institutional account, you are simply not going to be able to access a file that's in Docs/Drive.

Now, yes, a Docs/Drive user can share a file with " a Yahoo email" - but that' only because it is possible to have an Google account whose account-name is a text-string that just happens to look like a Yahoo email address. When that person tries to access the file, the first thing they are asked to do is log in to Docs to look at the file which has been shared with them.

(I just tested this: when I shared a .doc to a Yahoo address that is not associated with a Google account, the Yahoo email got the emailed invitation to view the document, complete with link. But the first thing that account was asked to do was log into Google in order to view the file.)

Bottom line - the person who is sharing the file with your institutional account needs to be told that you cannot use Docs, and that the only way to share a file with you is to either share it to your personal account, or email it to your institutional one.

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.