I need this for a user-interface label on a button that changes a document's status from publicly visible to privately visible, meaning that it can thereafter only be seen by the creator and by administrative users. One idea I had was "hide", but that seemed to give the wrong connotation. When I searched for a term, the only one I found was "privatize", but that has a completely different context.

Example Usage:

Share Report (Private -> Pending)

Approve Report (Pending -> Public)

[Hide]* Report (Public -> Private)

  • 2
    Unpublish should work
    – NVZ
    Commented Jul 20, 2016 at 19:27
  • 2
    Withdraw from public access.
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Jul 20, 2016 at 19:29
  • 1
    @HotLicks thank you, that's a good one! It also matches because these documents would explicitly have to have been made public in order for that option to be available. Commented Jul 20, 2016 at 19:30
  • 2
    @PatrickRoberts "Publish" and "unpublish" have fairly standard secondary meanings online, via the blogging world, of making public or non-public. Commented Jul 20, 2016 at 19:38
  • 1
    Camouflage? Cloak? Adumbrate? Encache? Discombobulate?
    – Mitch
    Commented Jul 20, 2016 at 20:12

5 Answers 5


Withdraw Report

to take (something) back so that it is no longer available
to remove from use or cultivation
- http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/withdraw

If you were just moving back to pending status, you could use "unapprove" to denote that you are reversing a previous step, but since you are moving it all the way back, I would go with "withdraw" to imply that you are both unapproving and unsharing.



verb 2.a. take back, withdraw

"retract a confession"
"Their college grants were retracted."
"They retracted the job offer"

  • A retraction is a public declaration that the document is inoperative (to borrow a term from one of Richard Nixon's flacks). I don't think that's what the OP wants. Commented Jul 21, 2016 at 3:16


verb [with object]
Make (content that has previously been published online) unavailable to the public

"the magazine first amended and then unpublished the article"
"In an emergency, you can always unpublish a post that may have seen enough comments or had enough reads."
"Both The New York Times and The Washington Post have policies establishing that they generally do not unpublish accurate articles."


Conceal - M.W.

To place out of sight.

"The files were public, but they have been concealed."
"The defendant is accused of attempting to conceal evidence."


There is no such thing as unpublish on the internet. Once it's out there it's out there. What you can do is:

Restrict access


verb (used with object)

  1. to confine or keep within limits, as of space, action, choice, intensity, or quantity.

This doesn't mean that those private pictures in that document are no longer out there. It means you're no longer handing them out.

Since it really works this way, don't use words that imply it works another way.

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