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

Easy collaboration is of utmost importance in the era of remote work. Fortunately, Google has many sharing options that allow multiple users to work on a single project. Knowing who made the changes and when to file is critical to effective spreadsheet management.

Fortunately, Google Sheets has two features to track changes made to your spreadsheets. The first is Google Sheets Notifications, the second is version history. In this article, we explain these essential functions, show how you can enable them, and why they are important to your spreadsheets.


Why Use Email Notifications in Google Sheets?

With so many employees working on a large sheet of changes to a spreadsheet, it can be challenging to know what changes have been made by each collaborator. It is best for project leaders in particular to know who has made the change.

We can check using version history to see who has changed. However, there are many instances where scanning through version history can be tedious. Instead, you can use Google Sheets Notifications. In this way, the sheets will notify you by email (s).


If you’re on the go, you need to make sure your mobile email notifications are working, so you don’t miss anything.

How to Enable Email Notifications in Google Sheets

Email notifications take a few minutes to turn on, and once you do, it will remain active until you make further changes to the settings. Follow these steps to turn on notifications:

  1. Open your spreadsheet where you want to enable email notifications.
  2. Press Accessories At the top of your spreadsheet. A drop-down menu will appear.
  3. Press Notification TermsThis will open a new window in the middle of the screen.
  4. You can set the rules here. If you select the option from the first section, you have to choose when you want to receive notifications. Choose one: Any changes are madeOr Users submit the form.
  5. In the second section, you can choose Email – Daily Digest Or Email – right away.
  6. Press Save When you choose your preferred settings,


Below the article we will describe each of the settings in more detail.

How to add and delete notification rules in Google Sheets

If you want to add more rules, edit existing ones or delete them, go to Set the Notification Rules option By clicking Accessories And Notification Terms.

If you already have an existing notification rule, it will appear in the list. You can click Delete Or CorrectionOr press Add another notification rule To create something new. Once you have made the changes, click Done To save them.

Understanding the options in the notification rules

There are two sections in the notification rules: the first notify me and the second notify me.

1. Suggest me here [Your Email] When…

  • Any changes have been made: When you select this option, all changes you make to the spreadsheet are logged and the user is notified via Digest, which can be read by email immediately or daily.
  • Users submit the form: Choosing this option alerts you when someone submits the form. Google Forms lets you link your forms to your spreadsheet. It can be anything from a survey to a university application form.


2. Suggest me with this …

  • Email – Daily Digest: Whenever this option is selected, the user changes list at the end of the day or at the specified time. If you select this option, you will receive later notifications instead of receiving them immediately. This benefits individuals who do not want to be immediately notified of changes. This is ideal for those who work in a large company whose spreadsheet is constantly changing to avoid filling your inbox with notifications. Make sure you have an arrival time outside of your email blocking period.
  • Email – right away: When you select this option, you will receive an email whenever a change to their spreadsheet occurs. This is ideal for people who deal with sensitive information and want to receive an email if something changes.

We do not recommend using this setting for a sheet with two or more associates, as you will not be bombarded with persistent notifications. If you need to use this method, it is a good idea to set up a 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 notifications via email, but keep track of changes to your spreadsheet. Google Sheets also saves small changes if they occur spaciously, so you don’t have to worry about missing any major changes.

Only spreadsheet owners and editors have access to the spreadsheet and can view the history of the spreadsheet version on Google Sheets.

Changes As in the cloud, you can access version history and find the exact version you’re looking for. This is perfect if one of your team members (or you) has an error and needs to go back to the old version. You can name the changes to know which version you want.

How to view version history in Google Sheets

To access the Google Sheets version history, make sure the sheet has been modified enough to create a change log. Here are the steps you need to follow to access version history:

  1. Click File In the bar above. It displays a drop-down menu.
  2. There, click Version history.
  3. Click View Version History from the menu. Alternatively, you can use Ctrl + Alt + Shift + H.

The sidebar opens on the right side of the screen. There, you can click on the three vertical dots next to the older versions and click Restore this version. You can click Name this version To give names to specific savings. If you want to create a new spreadsheet instance, click Make a copy.

When you make a new copy of a spreadsheet, it starts anew and has a new version history. If you still want to track changes in the new spreadsheet, you may want to delete the old one to avoid future confusion.

Differences between email notifications and version history

Google Sheets notification allows you to receive emails at any time when users change the spreadsheet. When using version history, only the changes are logged and not actively notified to the user.

The tip of the iceberg

In most cases, it’s best to use both of these features for major spreadsheets. While the two features discussed in this article are great for collaboration, Google Sheets is just a small part of all the tools available to teams working on spreadsheets.

There is still a lot to learn, so read everything this powerful program has to offer.

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