Avoid version conflicts when editing Microsoft Office files in Drive

We’re adding a new feature to Google Drive that lets you see when other people are editing files in Microsoft Office products. This will help you collaborate better and avoid version conflicts. This feature uses the Drive File Stream cloud sync solution. Make sure you’re using Drive File Stream to take advantage.

Avoid version conflicts 

When you open a Microsoft Word, Powerpoint or Excel document in Drive, we’ll check if anyone else is currently editing the document. We’ll then let you know if it’s safe to edit or if you should wait. Drive may tell you:

  • Safe to edit: No one else is editing. 
  • Wait to edit: Other people are editing, so your edits will create multiple, conflicting versions. 
  • New version created: Another editor saved a newer version of the file. 
  • New version created (conflict): While you were editing the file, another editor also edited it. Click for a side-by-side comparison to help you create one version.
See when it's safe to edit a file

If conflicts do happen, compare and resolve side by side

If version conflicts do occur, Drive will show the two document versions and their changes side by side. This unique feature will help you quickly merge the multiple versions into a single, up-to-date document.

Compare conflicting versions to create one up to date document 

We believe this feature will go a long way to eliminating “document collisions,” and reduce the frustration and duplicative work caused when they do occur. We also hope that this makes it easier to collaborate on more file types in Drive.

Use Drive File Stream to see this feature 

This features is a part of Drive File Stream. Drive File Stream is a cloud file sync solution that we believe is best for most G Suite organizations. It lets you stream My Drive and Team Drive files directly from the cloud, which:

  • Makes Drive files available for offline access 
  • Frees up disk space and network bandwidth 
  • Minimizes the amount of company data stored on users’ hard drives 
  • Enables new features such as version conflict alerts for Microsoft files 

See the Help Center for how to choose and deploy a sync solution for Google Drive.

Launch Details 
Release track:
Launching to both Rapid Release and Scheduled Release

Available to all G Suite editions 

Rollout pace: 
Gradual rollout (up to 15 days for feature visibility)

All end users

Change management suggested/FYI

Launch release calendar
Launch detail categories
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