We use shared Google Apps documents at work and I have a user that continually deletes shared documents. This causes major headaches for users that are currently working on the same document.

Is there a way to allow this user to edit documents but block this user from deleting or moving the document? I cannot seem to find a solution for this.

1 Answer 1


Sounds like that user needs to be reprimanded. Check if your company has a policy on users that are moving or deleting shared files. I am sure your supervisors would be able to take appropriate actions as well.

To answer you question, however, no there is no fine grained permissions where a user can edit a document but not be able to delete it. The only sharing options are:

  • Can edit
  • Can comment
  • Can view

If you share a document with Can edit, the other person can delete it from the folder but only the owner can fully delete the document. You can do a search for the document in Drive to move it back to the right spot. Have a watch of this YouTube video from Google (Google Apps Show). It describes permissions in Google Drive very well.

As an alternative option, you could give that user comment only rights. The user can view the document but cannot change or delete it. They can add their input in the form of comments, then someone else would have to put them into the actual document. It's a pain but it would limit that users ability to delete the document while they can still add input. This way the user may learn that what they are doing is wrong.

  • 1
    Users with comment privilege can make suggested edits, much like on SE. This would be a more natural workflow than having them add their inputs as comments.
    – user79865
    Commented May 23, 2016 at 6:49
  • @sandwich great point!
    – tyelford
    Commented May 23, 2016 at 8:21

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