One of my coworkers left Google Docs open with everything selected, so the entire document is pink.

Can I turn off the user cursors/selection highlighting?

  • 1
    As a workaround, you could make a copy of the doc. But if there is more than one sheet in the document it would be a real pain to copy all your data back into the original later...
    – Ben Page
    Jan 19, 2017 at 12:29
  • Yeah I just resort to making a copy for viewing purposes when I need a "clean" view. May 4, 2019 at 5:41

3 Answers 3


If you switch from Editing mode to Viewing mode in a Google Doc, all the cursors (including yours) will disappear. However, you have to switch back to Editing mode if you want to make changes. There does not appear to be a Viewing mode for spreadsheets.

(I am unable to view other user's selections. I only see their cursors. Perhaps this feature has changed since May 2015.)

  • 3
    Um ... but how do you switch mode? May 4, 2019 at 5:34
  • 1
    Top right corner, below the blue "share" button. The default mode is "editing". Click on "editing" to change the mode.
    – mpb
    May 5, 2019 at 17:29

As far as I know, at this time it's not possible.

Chat and real-time collaboration


I found a Chrome extension that does this: Solo mode for Google Docs

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