How to Download Export Disabled Google Sheets? 

Copy, Edit, or Download View Only Google Spreadsheets with these Best Methods and Download Protected Google Sheets on your Browser.

To protect the originality of the spreadsheet, Google Sheets offers two modes, i.e. View only and Comment only modes. Both modes disable any input options, meaning that no one would be able to manipulate the data in the spreadsheet except the author of the spreadsheet. While all this may sound super clever and good, security-wise, but it also disabled sorting data by columns, creating filters, and other similar options.

The good thing is that, just like for almost everything, there are a couple of neat tricks you can use to download the view-only spreadsheet. Although these methods don’t allow you to download the original spreadsheet, it at least lets you copy-paste the data on the spreadsheet and save as a separate file. Sounds confusing? Simply follow the methods mentioned in this post for more clarity.

View Only Google Sheet Access

Options to download, print and copy have been disabled on this file
Export Options Disabled

How to Save Download Protected Google Spreadsheets?

Here are a couple of Best Methods to Copy, Save, or Download Restricted View-Only Google Spreadsheets

Method 1. Tweaking URL

You can simply tweak the URL and copy the content into a new Spreadsheet. The URL of the shared Google Spreadsheet document will be something like;

Edit Doc Spreadsheet

You can remove the end parameter from the URL string edit?usp=sharing and replace it with preview.

Preview Google Spreadsheet
  • Now, select all the content from the preview page and copy [Ctrl/Cmd+C].
  • Open New Spreadsheet.
  • Here click on Edit.
  • And Paste the content. All the content will be added to new Google Sheet
    Paste the Copied Content in New Spreadsheet
  • You can now edit the spreadsheet or download it.
    Download Copied Sheets

Method 2. Using Chrome Extension

There is the best method, actually an extension developed by Justin Shenk available on the Google Chrome Store, which allows you to open a copyable sheet of the view-only spreadsheet. Here’s how this extension works;

  1. Download the Enable Spreadsheet Copy extension from Chrome Web Store.
  2. Open the view-only spreadsheet shared with you in a browser tab.
  3. From the extension bar, hit the “Enable Copy” extension icon. It will show you an option of “Open Copyable Sheet”.
    Open Copyable Sheet
  4. A new tab will open up and will show you the contents of the view-only spreadsheet.
  5. Simply copy and paste the contents onto a new spreadsheet, and you are done.
  6. You can now edit the data of the view-only spreadsheet and save it at your convenience.

Filters are necessary in many cases. For instance, if you are sharing any important company data with your lower sub-ordinate, and you do not want him/her to accidentally change or tweak the data. Moreover, they will have to request access from you in order to edit the spreadsheet. Even though they can follow the methods mentioned in this post to copy the content, do remember that they will not be manipulating the original spreadsheet. They need to save the file as a new spreadsheet onto which they have pasted the content of the original view-only spreadsheet. Besides, filter view only works on a computer and not on mobile or tablet.

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Nikhil Azza
Nikhil is a Tech Blogger who sometimes loves to write real-life lore. He has been writing content for the past 8 years, with over 1K+ articles written on Android, Mac, iOS, Social Media, Cloud Storage, Software, and General Tech. Know More

9 Responses

  1. Nathan says:

    To be fair, the Chrome extension only automates the process of replacing the ‘edit/?usp=sharing’ with ‘preview’. I personally wouldn’t use an extension for that.

    • Nikhil Azza says:


    • Steven says:

      Yeah not as useful as expected. Takes you to the preview link which drops all formatting on copy.

  2. taimur says:

    thank you dear problem solved

  3. Kalu k mama says:

    Thank you. It works

  4. ishaan khanna says:

    wow, that works

  5. Bishal Aryal says:

    Doesn’t work at all for me

  6. Anonymous says:

    It works. Thank you!!

  7. Paul Webster says:

    Thanks – tweaking the URL worked for me! 🙂

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