I have a couple of documents in Google Sheets/Docs that, whenever they are changed by people they are shared with, I'd like to be notified (don't care if the difference of the change is sent, just "Change occurred" flag is sufficient).

Ideally, this would be tune-able by how large the edit was (e.g. filter out 1-character change) but I'm OK either way.

Can this be done with either a document I own and shared with someone; or a document they shared with me?

  • This is two questions in one (one's about Google Sheets and one's about Google Docs). It would be great if we could separate out the two questions.
    – Flimm
    Jul 20, 2020 at 12:28

5 Answers 5


This is possible for google sheets without an applet like in the other answer.

You can only set up notifications for yourself. You won’t get notifications when you make changes on your spreadsheet, but you’ll get notifications when others make changes.

  1. On your computer, open a spreadsheet in Google Sheets.

  2. At the top, click Tools > Notification rules.

  3. In the window that appears, select "when" you want to receive notifications. Notify you when:

    Any changes are made: Set notifications when someone makes a change to a spreadsheet.

    A user submits a form: Set notifications when someone fills out a form.

  4. In the window that appears, select "how often" you want to receive notifications. Notify you with:

    Email - daily digest: Send a daily summary of all changes.

    Email - right away: Send an email for every change.

  5. Click Save.

Source - https://support.google.com/docs/answer/91588

  • 33
    this is for sheets only; no answer for docs.
    – Eric Bloch
    May 3, 2018 at 19:05
  • 1
    Can't downvote, but definitely fails on Docs.
    – Adam
    Sep 12, 2019 at 20:37

You can use an add-on like ezNotifications to enable this functionality for Google Docs.

  • 1
    I upvote this comment, as it's the only way to do that (the other solution is for Sheets not docs). The app is premium, but the notifications for Google docs is in the free version. Your answer is the only working one.
    – Quidam
    Feb 1, 2020 at 14:22

We can setup manual triggers on the doc you want to follow changes for, using Google Apps script. By making the trigger execute after fixed time, we can monitor the changes in the doc. One way would be create a new backup sheet out of current sheet, and when next time the trigger is executed we check the current sheet with backup sheet, if there is any change, we can use MailApp to send mails.

There are automatic trigger as well but since the do not require user's consent before performing any actions, they have a lot of restrictions on them. Such as, automatic triggers are not allowed to send services that require authentication(MailApp).

Please follow these links for more info -
https://developers.google.com/apps-script/articles/sending_emails#section1 https://developers.google.com/apps-script/guides/triggers/installable#managing_triggers_manually


As the accepted answer states this is possible to do for Google Sheets but the built in notification functionality is very limited.

If you're looking for something a bit more powerful, such as to only be notified when an edited cell contains a certain value, I would recommend having a look at the free G Suite app that I've created: Check Sheet.


Apparently you have to send them an email or they send one to you or a text saying something's been edited. I was just trying to find this answer, too, for a Google Doc, and it's 2021. (And, how do I know if someone responds to me here?) :-)

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