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Microsoft Office 365 allows you to share an Excel file with multiple users and make the most of more advanced collaboration features than in previous versions. The “Share Workbook” feature was upgraded to Co-Authoring in Excel. The aim was to overcome limitations such as editing using Excel for the web. However, you might want to continue working privately on a previously shared Excel. Is it possible to turn off sharing features in Excel? Luckily, you can - using various methods too.

In this post, you’ll learn how to stop sharing Excel files quickly and easily. First, you’ll learn how to remove access for all users on a local network in Windows 10, followed by two different online methods. Since Office 365 includes Excel for the web and a desktop app, this final method will show you how to unshare your Excel workbook on any web browser device.

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How to Unshare an Excel File?

If you have recently shared an Excel file, you’ll notice the “Unshare Workbook” button is greyed out in Office 365. This is because the file was shared using the co-authoring feature, which can be turned off by following these steps.

How to Unshare an Excel File on Windows?

Let’s see how to unshare an Excel file that has been shared for co-authoring by accessing your local OneDrive folder.

  1. 1. Open Windows Explorer and go to your OneDrive folder, which should appear among other folders on the left-side menu.
How to Unshare an Excel Workbook Quickly Easily Windows Explorer
How to Unshare an Excel Workbook Quickly & Easily - Windows Explorer
  1. 2. Right-click on the file you wish to unshare and select “Give access to”, then “Remove access”.
How to Unshare an Excel Workbook Quickly Easily Remove Access
How to Unshare an Excel Workbook Quickly & Easily - Remove Access
  1. 3. A dialog box will appear where you can select the type of access removal. Select the first to remove file access from all other users.
How to Unshare an Excel Workbook Quickly Easily Stop sharing
How to Unshare an Excel Workbook Quickly & Easily - Stop sharing

This method is limited as it’s only applicable in case you are close to a computer or laptop device using Windows 10. Let’s now see how you can stop sharing directly from the Excel file, which can be applied to any device or storage method.

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How to Unshare an Excel File in Office 365?

This method is useful in case you want to quickly unshare your Excel file, regardless of the operating system or device you’re using. You simply need to make sure that your Excel version is Office 365.

How to Unshare an Excel File Using the Desktop App?

  1. 1. Open the Excel file you want to stop sharing and click on the “Share” button in the top-right corner of the file.
How to Unshare an Excel Workbook Quickly Easily Share
How to Unshare an Excel Workbook Quickly & Easily - Share
  1. 2. Select the “More Options” icon (⋯) in the pop-up window and then press “Manage Access”.
How to Unshare an Excel Workbook Quickly Easily Manage access
How to Unshare an Excel Workbook Quickly & Easily - Manage access
  1. 3. From the new dialog box, click on “Can edit” under the username you’d like to unshare the Excel file with.
How to Unshare an Excel Workbook Quickly Easily Can edit
How to Unshare an Excel Workbook Quickly & Easily - Can edit
  1. 4. Select “Stop sharing” from the drop-down menu list. Note that you also have the option “Change to view only” - this means that they can continue to view the file but won’t be able to edit the spreadsheet directly.
How to Unshare an Excel Workbook Quickly Easily Stop sharing 2
How to Unshare an Excel Workbook Quickly & Easily - Stop sharing
  1. 5. The users should no longer appear.
How to Unshare an Excel Workbook Quickly Easily Removed users
How to Unshare an Excel Workbook Quickly & Easily - Removed users

Now, let’s see how you can unshare your Excel workbook from OneDrive.

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How to Share an Excel File for Multiple Users

How to Unshare an Excel File Using a Web Browser?

With Microsoft Excel Mobile, you can manage your spreadsheets easily from your mobile or tablet devices. However, Excel 365 is available on the web, so you’ll see how easy it is to unshare your Excel workbook by simply having access to a web browser.

  1. 1. Open OneDrive on your preferred web browser and select the “Shared” folder on the left-side menu.
How to Unshare an Excel Workbook Quickly Easily Shared
How to Unshare an Excel Workbook Quickly & Easily - Shared
  1. 2. Hover over the file you’d like to unshare and select it from the left of the filename. Then, select “Manage access” from the top menu bar or by clicking on the “More options” icon (⋮) to the right of the filename.
How to Unshare an Excel Workbook Quickly Easily Manage access 2
How to Unshare an Excel Workbook Quickly & Easily - Manage access
  1. 3. To completely unshare the file, click on “Stop sharing” under “Manage Access” from the pop-up panel to the right.
How to Unshare an Excel Workbook Quickly Easily Stop sharing 3
How to Unshare an Excel Workbook Quickly & Easily - Stop sharing
  1. 4. A pop-up will appear confirming whether you’d like to stop sharing. Click “Stop sharing” to carry out the process.
How to Unshare an Excel Workbook Quickly Easily Confirm stop sharing
How to Unshare an Excel Workbook Quickly & Easily -Confirm stop sharing

Now you know three quick and easy ways to unshare your Excel workbook if you have a subscription to Office 365. Note that these last two methods work on Mac, Windows, and any device.

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Conclusion

Although the traditional “Share Workbook” features allowed for a basic level of collaboration, this becomes more limited when working online. The Office 365 subscription unlocks powerful collaborative features, so you can manage Excel spreadsheets from any device, including your computer, tablet, or mobile phone.

You’ve seen how to unshare an Excel workbook using Windows. If you don’t have access to your computer and need to quickly turn off sharing features for a given file, you can do so by simply accessing your OneDrive from your preferred web browser on any device. Alternatively, you can also try Layer as a collaboration tool that grants granular access to your data and lets you have full control over who can access your Excel files.

For more information on how Excel’s sharing features work, check out our blog posts on How to share an Excel file and Excel’s Co-authoring feature.

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Hady ElHady
Hady is Content Lead at Layer.

Hady has a passion for tech, marketing, and spreadsheets. Besides his Computer Science degree, he has vast experience in developing, launching, and scaling content marketing processes at SaaS startups.

Originally published Dec 12 2022, Updated Dec 11 2022