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Google rolls out file locking for Workspace customers

While a file is locked, no one with any level of access can make edits, comments, or suggestions; essentially, it’s in read-only mode until you unlock it. The company wrote in a blog post announcing the change that file locking started rolling out to Rapid Release domains yesterday and will do so over the next 15 days, while those on Scheduled Release domains will start seeing it on September 20th, also with a 15-day rollout period.

Restricting a file in Google was already something you could do with the Google Drive API or through file approvals — a similar feature that lets you, say, request approval for a draft that’s locked from edits for everyone, no matter whether they’ve got editor access. The key difference here appears to be that you can lock the file at any time simply by right-clicking it, going to File information, and selecting “Lock.”

But sometimes, simple features like file locking add the most satisfaction. After all, how many times have you wanted to do something to a file that you know should be possible, easy even, yet in 2023, you have to go through some convoluted process to make it happen?

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