How To Track Changes In Google Sheets
Google Sheets not only saves files you’re working on automatically, it also saves a history of all edits made to a spreadsheet.
You can use this history to revert back to older versions of a file, check who made certain edits, or view past values stored in a given cell. Read on to find out how.
Viewing Version History In Google Sheets
The Version History is where Google Sheets stores all edits, along with timestamps and editor’s username.
From here you can revert back to older versions or check who made certain edits to a spreadsheet.
Here’s how to view the Version History:
Open the File menu, hover over the Version History Submenu and select See Version History
A sidebar will appear with a list of versions. Each version shows the names of editors who contributed to that version.
Cells that were changed in the current version are highlighted in the spreadsheet
Click on the different versions to see what the spreadsheet looked like at any given time
Or to get a more detailed look at individuel edits, click on the triangle icon beside a version’s timestamp to expand the list of edits made in that version
Click on individual edits from the list to highlight cells changed by that edit. Note that the name of the user who made each edit is listed below the edit timestamp
To close the Version History, click on the back arrow in the upper left corner of the Version History screen
You may find when you’re viewing Version History that you want to restore back to how the spreadsheet was at a given time in the past.
Here’s how to do this:
Open the Version History and click on the version or exact edit point you want to restore in the sidebar
Click on the green Restore This Version button at the top of the window, then click Restore when prompted
The Version History will close and your spreadsheet will be reverted back to the selected version
Looking at Cell Edit History
Using the Version History is very useful for restoring old versions or looking at all edits made to the spreadsheet, but often you’ll find you just want to know the history of a specific cell.
Fortunately, Google Sheets makes it easy to check this without taking the time to sort through the version history.
Right click on the cell and select Show Edit History
A small popup will appear showing the user name of the last person to edit the cell, along with a timestamp and info on what change was made
To view previous edits, use the back arrow in the upper right corner of the popup to step back through the edits that have been made to the cell
Example Spreadsheet: Make a copy of the example spreadsheet
In this tutorial, I covered how to track changes in Google Sheets. Want more? Check out all the Google Sheets Tutorials.