How to track changes in Google Sheets with email notifications and version history

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Easy collaboration is crucial in the era of remote work. Fortunately, Google has several sharing options that allow multiple users to work on the same project. Knowing who made changes to a file and when can be crucial to effective spreadsheet management.

Fortunately, Google Sheets has two features that allow you to keep track of changes made to your spreadsheets. The first is Google Sheets notifications, while the second is the version history. In this article, we’ll detail these basic functions, explain how you can activate them, and cover why they’re essential for your spreadsheets.


Why use email notifications in Google Sheets?

When working on a large sheet of paper where several employees are making changes to a spreadsheet, it can be difficult to know what changes each collaborator is making. It is much better to know who made a particular change, especially for project leaders.

We can check using version history to see who made the change. But, scanning through the version history can be tedious if there are many cases. Alternatively, you can use Google Sheets notifications. This way, Sheets will notify you through email(s).


If you’re on the go, you should make sure your mobile email notifications are working, so you don’t miss a thing.

How to enable email notifications in Google Sheets

It only takes a few minutes for email notifications to turn on, and once you do, it will remain active until you make more changes to the settings. Follow these steps to turn on notifications:

  1. Open the spreadsheet on which you want to enable email notifications.
  2. press Tools at the top of the spreadsheet. A dropdown menu will appear.
  3. press Notification ruleswhich opens a new window in the middle of the screen.

  4. You can set the rules here. If you choose an option from the first section, you must select the time when you want to receive notifications. Either you choose: No changes are madeor User submits a form.
  5. In the second section, you can choose Email – Daily Summary or Email – immediately.

  6. press Memorizes When you select your preferred settings,


We will describe each of the settings in more detail at the bottom of the article.

How to add and delete notification rules in Google Sheets

If you want to add more rules, modify or delete existing rules, go to Set notification rules option By clicking Tools And the Notification rules.

If you already have an existing notification rule, it will appear in the list. You can click delete or releaseor press Add another notification rule to create a new one. Once you are done making changes, click he did to save them.

Understand options in media rules

There are two sections in the notification rules: the first is to notify me on and the second is to notify me of.

1. Notify me at the address [Your Email] when…

  • No changes are made: When this option is selected, all changes you make are recorded to the spreadsheet and notified to the user by email, instantly, or in a daily readable summary.
  • User submits a form: Selecting this option will alert you whenever someone submits a form. Google Forms allows you to link your forms to your spreadsheet. This could be anything from a survey to a college application form.


2. Inform me with…

  • Email – Daily Summary: When this option is selected, a list of user changes will arrive at the end of the day or at a specified time. If you select this option, you will receive notifications later and not immediately after you make them. This is useful for individuals who do not wish to be notified of changes immediately. It’s also ideal for those who work for a huge company where the spreadsheet they’re working on changes constantly to avoid filling your inbox with notifications. Make sure to set the access time outside the email blocking period, if you have one.
  • Email – Immediately: When you select this option, you will receive an email whenever there is a change in the spreadsheet. This is ideal for people who deal with sensitive information and want to receive an email if something changes.

We don’t recommend using this setting for a sheet with more than two or three collaborators, so you don’t get bombarded with constant notifications. If you need to use this method, it might be a good idea to set up your Gmail folder to receive all notifications.

Why use Google Sheets version history?

You can use the Google Sheets Version History feature if you don’t want email notifications, but keep track of changes made to your spreadsheet. Google Sheets will save small changes if they happen far enough away, so you don’t have to worry about missing any important changes.

Only the owner of the spreadsheet and those who have access to edit the spreadsheet can view the spreadsheet version history in Google Sheets.

Because the changes are on the cloud, you can access the version history and find the exact version you’re looking for. This is ideal if a member of your team (or you) has made a mistake and needs to downgrade. You can also name the changes to see which version you want.

How to view version history in Google Sheets

To access the Google Sheets version history, make sure you make enough changes to the sheet before Sheets can create a change history. Here are the steps you need to follow to access the version history:

  1. Click a file in the top bar. This will bring up a drop-down list.
  2. There, click Version date.
  3. Click View Version History from the menu. Alternatively, you can use a file Ctrl + Alt + Shift + H.

A sidebar will open on the right side of the screen. There, you can click on the three vertical dots next to Old Versions and click Restore this version. You can also click The name of this version To give names to a particular save. If you want to create a new spreadsheet instance, click make a copy.

When you create a new version of the spreadsheet, it will start over and have a new version history. If you still want to keep track of changes in the new spreadsheet, you may want to delete the oldest table to avoid confusion in the future.

Differences between email notifications and release date

The Google Sheets notification allows you to receive emails any time a user changes the spreadsheet. When the version history is used, changes are only recorded and the user is not effectively notified of them.

Tip of the iceberg

In most cases, it is better to use these two features for important spreadsheets. While the two features discussed in this article are great for collaboration, they are just a small part of all the tools that Google Sheets provides for teams working on Sheets.

There is still a lot to learn, so keep reading for everything this powerful software has to offer.

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