This article is written for G Suite for Education Administrators.

Comment is an essential feature in cloud based collaborative apps G Suite editors. It keeps people informed when someone else made edits or feedback to a document. Having that said, in schools, some smart students repurpose the comment feature as a convenient messenger.

Since Admin Console does not have an option to configure this feature, this article explains how Safe Doc chrome extension disable the comment feature. If you have yet to install Safe Doc, apply a 30 days trial.

What's changing?

Before

The comment appears in many places in Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drawings. Adding a comment can be done in Insert > Comment menu or the Add comment icon in Google Docs icon in the toolbar of any of these apps.

Students can initiate a comment, edit a comment, reply to others' comment, delete a comment or approve / reject others' comments.

Insert > Comment menu in Google Docs
Insert > Comment menu in Google Docs
Comment feature in Docs editors
Comment feature in Docs editors

At the top right of these apps, you will also find a comment button in G Suite apps comment history button. This opens up the a list of current document's past comments from anyone. Students can reply to comments in place.

Comment history in Google Slides
Comment history in Google Slides

Comment also appears in Google Drive file preview.

Comments in Google Drive previewing files
Comments in Google Drive previewing files

After

Safe Doc disables the Comment feature in all of these apps. Students are disallowed to post comments. Students, however, can still see comments from the teachers.

As the comment feature is everywhere, we only demonstrate most visible scenes.

The Insert > Comment menu in Docs editors is removed.

Insert > Comment menu removed from docs editors
Insert > Comment menu removed from docs editors

The Add comment icon in Google Docs Comment button is removed from the Docs editors.

Comment button in toolbar of editors removed
Comment button in toolbar of editors removed

The Add comment icon in Google Docs Comment button on the edge of a Google Document is removed.

Google Doc's right edge Add Comment button removed
Google Doc's right edge Add Comment button removed

The Comment item in the context menu is removed.

Comment in context menu removed in Google Drawings
Comment in context menu removed in Google Drawings

In the comment history dialog, students are not allowed to initiate new comments or reply to others' comments. That said, students still receive comments from the teacher and acknowledge them.

Removed comment capability in comment history dialog
Removed comment capability in comment history dialog

In previewing Google Drive files, comments are disabled as well.

Comments feature disabled in previewing Google Drive files
Comments feature disabled in previewing Google Drive files

How to get started

Given that you have deployed Safe Doc and learned how to configure Safe Doc, the step is to disable the comment feature is very simple. Add the following policy to your students' organizational unit (OU).

{
  "BlockComment": {
    "Value": true
  }
}

On / off by default?

Safe Doc does not block the comment feature in editor apps if this policy is not set.

What's more?

You may also like Disable Chat in Docs, Sheets, Slides and Drawings.


Feel free to leave comments below.