How to Get Out of Editing Mode in Google Docs: A Step-by-Step Guide

Editing mode in Google Docs can sometimes be a hassle when you’re trying to view or share documents without making changes. To exit it, all you need to do is switch from "Editing" to "Viewing" or "Suggesting" mode. You can do this by clicking on the pencil icon in the top right corner of the document, then selecting your desired mode.

How to Get Out of Editing Mode in Google Docs

Switching out of editing mode in Google Docs is a straightforward process that allows you to view or suggest changes without making direct edits. Follow these steps to easily change your mode.

Step 1: Open Your Google Doc

Ensure you have the document you want to change modes in open.

You should already have your Google Docs document open and ready. If it’s not open, go ahead and open it now.

Step 2: Locate the Editing Mode Indicator

Find the pencil icon in the top-right corner of the Google Docs interface.

This icon usually shows as a pencil, indicating you’re in editing mode. It’s crucial to find this as it will help you access the mode settings.

Step 3: Click the Pencil Icon

Click on this pencil icon to open a dropdown menu.

A small menu will appear right below the icon, showing you different modes you can switch to.

Step 4: Choose Your Desired Mode

Select either "Viewing" or "Suggesting" from the dropdown menu.

"Viewing" allows you to see the document without making changes, while "Suggesting" lets you make suggestions that others can accept or reject.

Step 5: Confirm Mode Change

Confirm that the mode has changed by checking the new icon.

The pencil icon will change to a different symbol based on the selected mode, ensuring you’re no longer in editing mode.

Once you’ve completed these steps, Google Docs will switch to your chosen mode, making it clear to anyone viewing the document what kind of interaction is expected.

Tips for Getting Out of Editing Mode in Google Docs

  • Familiarize Yourself with Modes: Understanding the difference between Viewing, Suggesting, and Editing modes can save you a lot of hassle.
  • Keyboard Shortcuts: While there aren’t direct shortcuts for changing modes, getting familiar with Google Docs shortcuts can speed up your workflow.
  • Permissions Matter: If you don’t see the option to change modes, check your document permissions; you may not have editing rights.
  • Mobile Versions: Switching modes on mobile devices is slightly different but just as straightforward. Look for the three-dot menu on your mobile app.
  • Consistency: Always double-check which mode you’re in before you start working to avoid unintended changes.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I tell which mode I’m in?

You can tell by looking at the icon in the top-right corner. A pencil icon indicates Editing mode, an eye icon indicates Viewing mode, and a speech bubble with a pencil indicates Suggesting mode.

Why don’t I have an option to switch modes?

If you don’t see an option to switch modes, you likely have view-only access or your permissions are restricted by the document owner.

Can I change modes on the mobile app?

Yes, you can. Tap the three-dot menu in the top-right corner of the app and select your desired mode from there.

What happens if I accidentally edit in Viewing mode?

You cannot edit in Viewing mode. Any attempt to do so will be blocked, ensuring that no accidental changes are made.

Is it possible to make suggestions without switching to Suggesting mode?

No, to make suggestions, you must switch to Suggesting mode. This allows your changes to be reviewed by others before being accepted.


  1. Open your Google Doc.
  2. Locate the Editing Mode Indicator.
  3. Click the Pencil Icon.
  4. Choose Your Desired Mode.
  5. Confirm Mode Change.


Navigating through different modes in Google Docs isn’t rocket science, but knowing how to get out of editing mode can save you from unintentional edits and enhance collaboration. Whether you’re working on a school project, drafting a report, or just sharing notes, knowing how to toggle between Viewing, Suggesting, and Editing modes ensures that everyone interacts with the document correctly.

So next time you’re in Google Docs, keep these steps in mind. Not only will it make your life easier, but it’ll also help your team work more efficiently. If you found this guide helpful, why not explore more of our Google Docs tutorials? Happy editing—or should I say, happy viewing and suggesting!