I'm a teacher creating a "didactic deck" for my students: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1j7iJTlRXl24YwUt4zKJdTfNencd_u3RUosRdiWZ8YbE/edit?usp=sharing

The first sheet has 5 "cards" randomly taken from the other sheets. Since most of my students will access the deck from mobile devices, the problem is...

  1. I couldn't find a way to refresh the sheet from a mobile device.
  2. I've added a drop-down data validation on A1 to make the trick, which it does, but it also changes the "cards" for another person who is seeing the page on a web browser, for instance.

Then, the question: - How to refresh a sheet (or even a cell) on a mobile device without refreshing it for another viewer on another mobile or web device?


1 Answer 1


If your students are accessing the same Google Sheets spreadsheet while being online all could see the same set of "cards".

One way to prevent this is by using Google Classroom, create an assignment and set it to make a copy of the spreadsheet for each student.

It's worth to say that nowadays Google Classroom is available to G Suite for Education accounts an for consumer accounts (gmail.com)

Another way is to make a copy for each student by other means like:

  1. On the spreadsheet URL replace /edit by /copy this will show a "Make a copy" button
  2. Set the sharing settings to view only and instruct your students to make a copy by clicking on the menu File > Create a copy
  3. Create a script to make the copies for each student and share it with each one.

One more way is to tell your students to make the spreadsheet available offline, then turn off all the Internet connections (wi-fi, data service,...)

The spreadsheet will be recalculate every time they open the spreadsheet. Once the students have their own copy or have the spreadsheet available for offline access, open it, then if they need to refresh it, close it and open it again, use your the drop-down trick or any other change that affects the a spreadsheet calculation.


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