Tracking Changes. How to See Edit History in Google Sheets

How to Track Edit History in Google Sheets

Google Sheets is a powerful tool for collaborating on spreadsheets with others. However, keeping track of changes made by different collaborators can become challenging, especially when multiple people are working on the same sheet simultaneously. Fortunately, Google Sheets offers a built-in feature called "Edit History" that allows you to track and view all the changes made to a sheet. In this article, we will explore how to access the edit history manually and also demonstrate how to use a Google Apps Script to automate the process.

Tracking Edit History Manually

To view the edit history manually in Google Sheets, follow these steps:

  1. Open your desired spreadsheet in Google Sheets.
  2. Click on the "File" menu in the top-left corner of the window.
  3. From the drop-down menu, select "Version history."
  4. A panel will appear on the right side of the window showing a timeline of changes made to the sheet.
  5. You can hover over each entry to see a preview of the changes made.
  6. To see the full details of a specific version, click on it. This will open a new snapshot of the sheet at that particular version.
  7. You can compare different versions by selecting the checkboxes next to each version in the panel.

Using Google Apps Script

If you want to automate the process of tracking edit history in Google Sheets or need a more customized solution, you can leverage the power of Google Apps Script. Google Apps Script is a cloud-based JavaScript platform that allows you to extend the functionality of various Google products, including Google Sheets.

Here's an example of a Google Apps Script that can be used to automatically track edit history in Google Sheets:

function onEdit(e) {
var sheet = e.source.getActiveSheet();
var range = e.range;
var editedCell = range.getA1Notation();
var editTimestamp = new Date();
var editorEmail = e.user.getEmail();

var historySheet = sheet.getParent().getSheetByName("Edit History"); // Change "Edit History" to the desired sheet name

historySheet.appendRow([editTimestamp, editorEmail, sheet.getName(), editedCell]);

To use this script:

  1. Open your Google Sheet.
  2. Click on "Extensions" in the top navigation menu.
  3. Select "Apps Script."
  4. Clear the default code in the script editor and replace it with the above script.
  5. Save the script by clicking on the floppy disk icon or using the "Ctrl + S" shortcut.

Now, every time someone edits the sheet, a new row will be appended to the "Edit History" sheet (change this to your desired sheet name) with the timestamp, editor's email, sheet name, and the cell that was edited.

Use Case Examples

Tracking edit history can be helpful in various scenarios. Here are a few examples:

  1. Team Collaboration: If multiple team members are working on a shared sheet, tracking edit history can help identify who made specific changes and when, making it easier to collaborate and resolve any conflicts.
  2. Auditing and Compliance: Businesses operating in regulated industries may need to maintain an audit trail of all the changes made to their spreadsheets. Tracking edit history allows for easy compliance and auditing.
  3. Quality Control: When using spreadsheets for quality control purposes, such as tracking product defects or monitoring test results, having a detailed edit history ensures transparency and enables easy error identification.


By using the edit history feature in Google Sheets, you can easily track changes made to your spreadsheet and keep a record of each edit. Whether you prefer manually accessing the edit history or automating the tracking process with a Google Apps Script, this feature can greatly improve collaboration, compliance, and quality control in your spreadsheet usage.

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