How to create a shortcut to a Google doc or sheet on your Android home screen so it opens in Docs or Sheets when tapped

How to create a shortcut to a Google doc or sheet on your Android home screen so it opens in Docs or Sheets when tapped

by Mihai Neacsu on 23 August 2017 · 623 views

I recently created a document with the Google Docs app on my Android phone and wanted to make it available offline and access it quickly from the phone's home screen. I wanted a shortcut for it, which opened in Docs directly. Tapping around the options, I found out 3 ways to do it.

First though, in order to have the shortcut open in Google Docs or Google Sheets, you need to have them installed on your phone, alongside the Google Drive app. The same goes for Google Slides, if you want to pin a Google slide shortcut to your Android home screen.

The 3 methods are:

1. Create a Google Drive 1x1 Widget for any Google drive file

Add a widget to your home screen.

Scroll to Google Drive's widget options and you'll see "Drive shortcut 1x1". Hold the widget and drag it to the screen of your choice.

7 large How to create a shortcut to a Google doc or sheet on your Android home screen so it opens in Docs or Sheets when tapped

If you have multiple accounts set up with Google, you'll be asked next to pick an account for Drive.

9 large How to create a shortcut to a Google doc or sheet on your Android home screen so it opens in Docs or Sheets when tapped

Afterwards you can browse the Google Drive files and select the file you want to create a shortcut for. It can be anything, but only documents, spreadsheets and slides will work with their respective Google apps.

10 large How to create a shortcut to a Google doc or sheet on your Android home screen so it opens in Docs or Sheets when tapped

2. "Add to Home screen" from the Google Drive app

Open Google Drive and browse to the location of the document, spreadsheet, or slide you want to create a shortcut for.

Tap the 3 dots menu next to the file and choose "Add to Home screen". This basically does the same things as method 1, creating a Google Drive 1x1 widget with a shortcut to the file in question.

8 large How to create a shortcut to a Google doc or sheet on your Android home screen so it opens in Docs or Sheets when tapped

3. Open the Google document in a browser (Chrome) and create a homescreen shortcut for it

In Chrome, login to https://drive.google.com and open the file you need. Ignore the popups to install the Drive app or the Docs, Sheets, Slides app to edit the file. Using this method, you'll only be able to view the files, not edit them in Chrome. If you need to edit them, you'll get a prompt to open the Docs, Sheets, or Slides app.

Once you open the document of your choice, from Chrome's menu, select "Add to Home screen". This creates a Chrome shortcut to that Google Drive page.

That's it. Did it work for you?

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