Google removes editing functionality from Google Drive app

Martin Brinkmann
May 4, 2014
Updated • Jan 4, 2018
Companies, Google

Google launched two new Android apps recently called Docs and Sheets which came as a surprise to some as they clashed functionality-wise with the existing Google Drive application.

While both apps added new features to the document editing process, namely the option to save documents to the device for offline viewing and editing, and real-time collaboration via the commenting system, the majority of features was shared with the Google Drive app.

Another update that is currently being rolled out is an update to Google Drive. This update removes a major feature of the app: the editing of documents.

While you were able to edit documents -- and not only view them -- in older versions of the Google Drive application, you are now asked to install the Docs or Sheets apps to do the same thing.

You will get a reminder of that on first start of the new Google Drive application, and then again when you open any document using it.

google drive update

If you have Docs or Sheets installed, the document will open in the corresponding application. If you have not, you will receive a notification instead each time you do so.

  • Trying to edit? Install the new Docs app. Now with offline editing.
  • Trying to edit? Install the new Sheets app. Now with offline editing.

The main issue here is that you are not made aware of the fact until you launch Google Drive for the first time. If you have received the update over night and want to edit documents while on the go, you need to install Sheets and Docs before you can do so.

Another issue is that you will see the intermediary page whenever you try to view an application if you do not have the two applications installed on your device.

There does not seem to be an option available to get rid of the information permanently so that it does not show up anymore. If you only view documents on your device, there may be no reason to install the two applications unless you want offline viewing functionality in which case you need to install them.

With Docs or Sheets installed, the experience is very similar to what it was before. The only difference is that they get loaded in another application, but since it looks and feels very similar, that should not be a big issue for most users.

It is very likely that Google will release a presentation application as well soon.

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  1. The Dark Lady said on July 9, 2023 at 11:19 am

    Martin, I would appreciate that you do not censor this post, as it’s informative writing.

    Onur, there is a misleading statement “[…] GIFs are animated images …”. No, obviously you don’t seem to have take much notice of what you were told back in March regarding; Graphics Interchange Format (GIF).

    For example, (if you had read my replies within that thread, you might have learnt something useful). I even mentioned, “GIF intrinsically supports animated images (GIF89a)”.

    You linked to said article, [Related: …] within this article, but have somehow failed to take onboard what support you were given by several more knowledgeable people.

    If you used AI to help write this article, it has failed miserably.

  2. KeZa said on August 17, 2023 at 5:58 pm

    AI is stupid, and it will not get any better if we really know how this all works. Prove me wrong..

  3. Database failure said on August 18, 2023 at 5:21 pm

    Martin, [#comment-4569908] is only meant to be in: []. Whereas it appears duplicated in several recent random low-quality non relevant articles.

    Obviously it [#comment-4569908] was posted: 9 July 2023. Long before this thread even existed… your database is falling over. Those comments are supposed to have unique ID values. It shouldn’t be possible to duplicate the post ID, if the database had referential integrity.

  4. Howard Pearce said on August 25, 2023 at 12:24 pm

    Don’t tell me!

    Ghacks wants the state to step in for STATE-MANDATED associations to save jobs!!!

    Bring in the dictatorship!!!

    And screw Rreedom of Association – too radical for Ghacks maybe

  5. Howard Allan Pearce said on September 7, 2023 at 9:13 am

    GateKeeper ?

    That’s called “appointing” businesses to do the state’s dirty work!!!!!

    But the article says itself that those appointed were not happy – implying they had not choice!!!!!!

  6. owl said on September 7, 2023 at 9:50 am

    @The Dark Lady,
    @Database failure,
    @Howard Pearce,
    @Howard Allan Pearce,

    Note: I replaced the quoted URI scheme: https:// with “>>” and posted.

    The current is owned by “Softonic International S.A.” (sold by Martin in October 2019), and due to the fate of M&A, has changed in quality.
    Many Authors of bloggers and advertisers certified by Softonic have joined the site, and the site is full of articles aimed at advertising and clickbait.
    As it stands, except for articles by Martin Brinkmann, Mike Turcotte, and Ashwin, they are low quality, unhelpful, and even vicious. It is better not to read those articles.
    How to display only articles by a specific author:
    Added line to My filters in uBlock Origin:,.home-posts,.home-category-post:not(:has-text(/Martin Brinkmann|Mike Turcotte|Ashwin/))

    By the way, if you use an RSS reader, you can track exactly where your comments are (I’m an iPad user, so I use “Feedly Classic”, but for Windows I prefer the desktop app “RSS Guard”).
    RSS Guard: Feed reader which supports RSS/ATOM/JSON and many web-based feed services.

  7. Anonymous said on September 14, 2023 at 6:41 pm

    We all live in digital surveillance glass houses under scrutiny of evil people because of people like Musk. It’s only fair that he takes his turn.

  8. Anonymous said on September 18, 2023 at 1:31 pm

    “Operating systems will be required to let the user choose the browser, virtual assistant and search engine of their choice. Microsoft cannot force users to use Bing or Edge. Apple will have to open up its iOS operating system to allow third-party app stores, aka allow sideloading of apps. Google, on the other hand, will need to provide users with the ability to uninstall preloaded apps (bloatware) from Android devices. Online services will need to allow users to unsubscribe from their platform easily. Gatekeepers need to provide interoperability with third-parties that offer similar services.”

    Wonderful ! Let’s hope they’ll comply with that law more than they are doing with the GDPR.

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