How to transfer ownership of a Google Doc

How to transfer ownership of Google Doc

When talking about great tools to create, edit, and share documents online, Google Docs is an excellent way to go. There are three kinds of users for Google Drive: the owner, the viewer, and the editor.

Typically, you become the owner of any document that you create or upload on Google Drive. But let’s see how to transfer ownership of a Google Doc in case you need to.

You have total control over user permissions, and you can transfer ownership and the responsibilities to someone else.

While several users can view and edit a document, only one person owns a Google document. In the same way, you can only transfer the ownership to only one person. 

Table of Contents

  1. How to transfer ownership of Google Doc
    1. 1. Log in to your account
    2. 2. Choose the file
    3. 3. Share the file
    4. 4. Transfer ownership
  2. Wrap Up

How to transfer ownership of Google Doc

Transferring the ownership of a Google document to a new owner is not difficult. The only requirement is that the person you’re going to transfer the ownership, to have a Google email account.

You can do it by following the process above:

1. Log in to your account

  • Sign in to the Google account that has the ownership of the document you need to transfer;
  • Once you’re signed in, click on the Menu icon in the right corner of your screen;
  • A list of available icons appears, click on Drive:
How to transfer ownership of Google Doc

2. Choose the file

  • Click on Google Drive, where all your Google documents and Google sheets are saved automatically;
  • Go to the file you want to transfer the ownership to and right-click on it;
  • If you haven’t shared the file with the prospective new owner, you need to do so before you proceed with the transfer;
  • This is the first step toward transferring ownership of a document. You have to give access to the new owner before transferring the ownership;
  • So if you’re sharing the files in Google Drive for the first time, you need to enter the ID of the new owner.

3. Share the file

  • To share the document, clickSharein the top right-hand corner of the page;
  • Alternatively, you can click on the profile icon with a plus sign for sharing the file with a new ID. When you do this, the “share with others” screen appears;
  • Type the names of the people from your contact list or the email addresses of those you want to share the file with and click “Send”;
  • On the other hand, you can also change the ownership of an already existing user that you had saved earlier. In this case, you don’t need to go through the sharing process since they already have the file;
  • After sharing the file, they will receive a notification. The recipient doesn’t need to open the file or accept anything. Just go ahead and directly transfer the ownership;
  • Open the sharing options again and right-click the file, select “Share”;
  • Click on the “Advanced” button on the bottom right-hand corner on the same page:
How to transfer ownership of Google Doc

4. Transfer ownership

  • Now click on the arrow pointing down next to the name of the email address for the person you want to make the new owner;
  • To complete the process, select the option “Is owner”:
How to transfer ownership of Google Doc

  • Click “Save changes” to apply ownership change;
  • Drive will prompt you to confirm if you’re sure you want to save the changes;
  • Click “Yes” to confirm this permanent change.
How to transfer ownership of Google Doc

After you transfer ownership, the new owner will receive an email notifying the change. That person immediately becomes the new owner of the document. Your user permission now changes to the editor until the owner decides to change access to the document.

You need to understand that if you signed up for your Google email account that is associated with an organization, you can never transfer the ownership of the document with people outside of that organization.

It’s also crucial to note that you cannot transfer the ownership of a document that you didn’t create on Google Docs or any of its products. For instance, if you created a file on Microsoft Word and then you uploaded it on Google Drive, it’s possible to share the document. However, you cannot transfer the ownership of such a document.

When trying to share such a file, it doesn’t give you the option that allows you to do that.  This makes it impossible to change ownership. The most viable option in such a case is making the document from scratch or handing the file to a new owner through other means.

Wrap Up

If you’re leaving a company or if you’re no longer holding a role there, it is necessary to transfer the ownership of your documents since you no longer need them.

You, however, need to be very careful when changing ownership of any file. Don’t forget that once you transfer ownership to another person, you can’t reverse the changes yourself.

Besides, you can no longer share the file or delete it. The new owner fully controls it.

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