Tutorial: Google Force Copy

How to force users to make a copy of a shared Google file.
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John Alesch

If you have ever found yourself wanting to share a Google Document to someone and need them to have their own working copy, but don't trust giving them access to your file and making the copy on their own, then this is a quick tutorial for you. Below will show you how to force a user to make a copy of the document when you share a file to them.

NOTE: Google Classroom's "Make a Copy for Each Student", is still the most efficient way to share a copy to your classes. This tip is more for when you need to share to other teachers, administrators, parents, or people not in a Google Classroom with you. I used this tip when I shared the "Work Refusal Slip" earlier.


1) Create your Google Doc, Sheet, Slides, etc...


2) Click "Share".


3) Click on "Get shareable link"


4) THIS STEP IS OPTIONAL: If you need to share the document outside of District 88, click advanced.


5) THIS STEP IS OPTIONAL: If you need to share the document outside of District 88, click change.


6) THIS STEP IS OPTIONAL: If you need to share the document outside of District 88, click "On - Anyone with this link".


7) Copy the link.


8) Click Done.


9) Share the link to anyone you want to have a copy.


10) Highlight the word "edit" near the end of the link. Only highlight the word edit.


11) Type in the word "copy" in place of the word "edit".


12) Your recipients will receive the link to the document.


13) When they follow the link, they will be forced to make a copy of their own to see the document.


While this might feel like a lot of steps to take, I promise it is done in under a minute. This can help save and share files in those certain situations where you need them to have a working copy, but not the original. Happy sharing!