I'm trying to modify my spreadsheet. Below is my original spreadsheet with the formula I used. Which works great for what I needed. But my boss is wanting time stamps for 3 different actions from column C. This time is frozen and doesn't change unless column C is put to blank then added a new word.


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I have used the following formulas for the columns, but I have run into the time changing once column C is changed. Please Help I need these times to freeze.

Formulas used in each column:

=IF(C3="ON SITE",NOW(),J3), 

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  • Welcome to Web Applications. NOW() is a volatile function, meaning that it changes every time it's recalculated. In order to freeze timestamps, instead of formulas you could use a keyboard shortcuts or Google Apps Script. We already have a lot of questions about adding timestamps in Google Sheets, please spend some time learning from previous questions. If you need further help, please add a brief description of your search efforts as is suggested in How to Ask. Jul 27, 2022 at 17:49
  • Thank you for your answer. I have looked all over trying to find something that can help me. I have never used scripts only formulas so I don't know how to even start a script for this.
    – Brenda
    Jul 27, 2022 at 18:44
  • To start with scripts, start by reading developers.google.com/apps-script/guides/sheets Jul 27, 2022 at 18:45

1 Answer 1


As you have discovered, you cannot get a permanent timestamp with a spreadsheet formula, even with iterative calculation or a custom function, because formula results get refreshed from time to time. When the formula gets recalculated, the original timestamp is lost.

Search this site for [google-apps-script] timestamp to find many examples of timestamp scripts. Also take a look at yetAnotherTimestamp_ and timestampMultipleColumns_.


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