Google Docs error leaves users unable to create a new document, but here’s a simple fix

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Thousands of Google fans are struggling to use one of its most popular tools – Google Docs – right now. The collaborative online word processor is suffering from an unknown error that prevents users from starting a new document. With millions still working and studying from home, the timing could not be worse.

“Google Docs encountered an error. Please try reloading this page, or coming back to it in a few minutes,” the error message reads when creating a new document.

Google has confirmed that it’s aware of the issue. It has reassured Google Doc users that it is “investigating reports”. However, if you really need to use Google Docs, which leverages online storage solution Google Drive to power its sharing and collaboration options, to work remotely with a colleague or send a document, there is a workaround. While the error is preventing users from creating a new document, existing documents can still be loaded-up and edited as usual.

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Of course, if you’re new to Google Docs, this error will leave you pretty stuck. However, if you’ve been relying on Google Docs for a few years and have an extensive library of documents, it’s possible to use one of these to circumvent the error.

If you have an outdated document in your Google Drive, you can load it up, strip out the existing text and use this as your blank document. You’ll be able to share the file with colleagues or friends and use all of the collaborative tools that make Google Docs such a popular option. Unfortunately, the option to Fire > Create A Copy does not work as this seems to be suffering from the same error as creating a new document. However, provided you’re not too fussed about losing an ageing document in your collection – and positively can’t wait until Google is able to roll-out a fix – this could be a helpful workaround.

Of course, there’s nothing stopping you from stripping out the text from the old document and saving it locally on your Windows 10, Mac, or Chrome OS device. This will preserve the data (ready to be pasted back in at a later date) while still allowing you to use the sharing functionality of Google Docs. It’s not a perfect solution, or a proper longterm fix, but it might just be enough to get you out of a bind.

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