Sharing Files? Why You Should “Force” a Copy

Forcing a copy of a Google file is an easy way to share it with co-workers or students. Bonus: Your original document stays secure!

Raise your hand if you share Google files regularly with your co-workers….

Do these words sound familiar….. “Sure, I’m happy to share it, just make your own copy.”

Now, raise your hand if you went back to use that same file that you shared and noticed changes in the document? Maybe it was renamed?

Sound familiar?

Teachers are a naturally collaborative and caring crew. We share our best materials with our co-workers to help each other be successful and save time.

Here is an easy way to share files without compromising all of your hard work!

Why You Should Force a Copy of Your Google File

Yes, your students or co-workers can just click “make a copy” of the document you shared and then place it in their drive.

However, setting up documents that you share to automatically force a copy is win – win.

#1. You guarantee that your document is secure and will not be able to be edited without your knowledge.

#2. Making a copy is a no-brainer for the person you are sharing it with. Even if they are not tech-savy, the process is automatic for them.

How to Force a Copy

It’s easy as 1-2-3.

You can force a copy of anything in your Google Drive – docs, slides, sheets – and the process is the same.

  1. Open the document you would like to share.
  2. Click on File and Share

3. In the sharing settings, change the link to read “anyone with the link can view.”

4. Next, find the URL in the address bar. With your cursor, highlight the word edit and drag the cursor to the end of the URL.

5. Last, type the word copy after the backslash and hit enter.

TA-DA! Your screen will show a success message that looks like this!

force a copy success message


Now, you are ready to share!

Simply copy the new URL at the top of this page and share freely!

The person who you shared it with will see the message above. They are forced to click the blue “make a copy” button. Now the new document is completely their own!

Looking for another tech-tip? Check out this popular post “How to Split a PDF into Smaller Files to Share With Students.

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