I just created a file in Google Drive and made it "editable by anyone with the link". However, if I open the link in another browser where I'm not logged in Google, I seem unable to edit the file (I can see it though). Is it standard behaviour or have I made any mistake? An if it's standard, can I change it somehow so that all my collaborators (even those without Google account) can edit the file?

This is the form for setting the permissions:

enter image description here

This is what I see in an other browser when I use the "Link to share" link (click to enlarge):

enter image description here

The document when I open it in the other browser (I didn't manage to make a screenshot of the File/Soubor menu, but all menu items like "Open" or "Edit" are disabled):

enter image description here


enter image description here

Are you sure your Sharing settings look like these? I've just created a document and edited it without any troubles (created with my google account and edited using different browser - not logged in).

  • Thanks for the answer. I see exactly the same thing as you with exactly the same settings. But then I'm unable to edit the document in another browser. I added screenshots to the question. – yo' Apr 3 '14 at 10:11
  • I got it. The reason is soooo stupid. See my self-answer, and thanks again for the help. – yo' Apr 3 '14 at 11:33
  • I see your file is of type xlsx (excel). You need you need to convert it to Google Docs format. see support.google.com/drive/answer/2407404?hl=en&rd=1 – Vladimir Hrach Apr 3 '14 at 11:35
  • Yep, that's what I just made an answer about, including the reason. – yo' Apr 3 '14 at 11:49

So after seeing in the other answers that it really should work, I tried to trace the problem, here it goes:

The file has to be a - Google Spreadsheet - rather than a - XLS/XLSX Spreadsheet - .

The reason is that XLS(X) files need an additional App to be edited, which you can't use without Google account.

How to know which is which? By the icon: enter image description here The left one is the good one (Google), the right one is the bad one (XLSX). Similar W is used for DOCX.

How to convert the file? Click Open with... Google Sheets and then Save a copy.


I think that, for editing, Google make a distinction between "anyone" - meaning a person with a Google account, and "everyone" - meaning people irrespective of Google account status.

The distinction isn't applied to reading, but I'm sure I've send evidnece of it applying to edits before.

  • Thanks. Even changing to "Anyone on the web can edit" doesn't help. Do you have an idea how can I change it to "everyone"? – yo' Apr 3 '14 at 11:30
  • I got it. The reason is soooo stupid. See my self-answer, and thanks again for the help. – yo' Apr 3 '14 at 11:38

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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