How to Track Changes in Google Docs [Step-by-Step Guide]

So, want to know how to track changes in Google Docs? It’s pretty easy. First, open the document. Then, click on the “File” menu, select “Version History” from the drop-down menu, and click on “See Version History.” You can also do this by pressing Ctrl + Alt + Shift + H.

Note: You can only do this if you’re the owner of the document or set as an editor. Viewers of such documents don’t have access to any of the features that allow you to view or track changes in Google Docs.

If you want to learn more about how to track changes in Google Docs and other things you can do while tracking these changes, read on.

How to Track Changes in Google Docs Using Version History

Before we begin, make sure you’re an editor or the owner of the document so you can do the following steps. If you’re not, request editor permission from the owner of the document.

To help you track changes in Google Docs, simply follow the steps below:

  1. First, open the document that you want to track changes for.
  2. Once it’s open, click on the “File Menu” and move your cursor down to “Version History.”
How to track changes in Google Docs—version history


  1. Next, tap “See Version History.”
How to track changes in Google Docs—see version history


  1. Upon clicking, you’ll see a drop-down menu on the right, showing a list of all the past versions, displaying the dates, time stamps, the current version of the document, and the names of the collaborators who edited the document. This allows you to track the changes made to the document, which is especially useful when there are multiple collaborators.
Google Docs—version history edits


  1. If you want to see the changes made, click on the different time stamps. Here, you will also be able to see who made the changes, as the name of the editor will appear at the bottom of each time stamp.
Google Docs history


  1. To see versions that have been named by the document owner or by another collaborator, you can sort the list to show only named versions. This can be done by clicking on the selection above the version list and choosing “Named Versions.”
Google Docs—named versions


  1. If you want to rename the time stamps for each version to make it easier to track, click on “More Actions” (three dots icon) on the right side of each timestamp. Choose “Name this version” and add the editor’s name to it. This can help you track who did what and when.
Google Docs—name this version


Alternatively, you can also press Ctrl + Alt + Shift + H, or click the “Last edit was 1 hour ago” option above your document’s file name.

Note: This may vary depending on when you made changes to the docs file, which can be seconds ago, xx minutes ago, xx days ago, etc.

Google Docs—last edit was 1 hour ago


How to Track Changes in Google Docs Using “Suggesting Mode”

Another way to track changes in Google Docs is by activating “Suggesting Mode.” This allows you to change a document that the owner can accept or reject later.

Note: This can only be done by the document owner. It’s a great way to see who is suggesting specific changes without altering the document permanently.

To track changes in Google Docs using the suggesting mode, follow these steps:

  1. First, open the document that you want to make changes to.
  2. Next, click on the “Editing” button (pencil icon) on the top right corner of your document page.
Google Docs—editing mode


  1. Upon clicking, a drop-down menu will appear with three editing options that include “Editing, Suggesting, Viewing.”
  2. Select “Suggesting.” Doing so will enable you to edit the document without changing any of the original text and help you track any changes you make.
Google Docs—suggesting mode


  1. Make the changes you want to the document. All your changes will appear in a different color and be underlined or strikethrough, depending on whether you added or deleted text.
Google Docs Suggestions—strikethrough text


  1. Add comments to your suggestions by highlighting the text and clicking on the “+ Comment” button that appears.
Google Docs—make comments to suggestions


  1. To make this work for other collaborators, you need to choose “Commenter” on the “General Access” roles before sharing. Any changes they make will appear in a different color, can be underlined or strikethrough, and noted as a comment on the side.
Google Docs—commenter access


How to Accept or Reject Suggestions in Google Docs

If you’re the document owner, you will receive a notification of their suggested changes, which you can accept or reject. They can also reply to your comments.

To accept or reject suggestions, here’s what you should do:

  1. To get started, open the document with suggested changes.
  2. Then, click on the suggestion to review it.
  3. Next, select “Accept” or “Reject” to keep or discard the change. To accept suggestions, click the check icon.
Google Docs—accept suggestion
  1. To reject a suggestion, click the X icon.
Google Docs—reject suggestion


  1. If you want to add a reply to the suggestion, click on the comment icon that appears next to it, type your response, and click “Reply.”
Google Docs—respond to suggestion


And that’s it! By using the suggesting mode, you can easily collaborate with other users on a Google Doc while tracking changes and keeping the original content intact.

Tips for Using Track Changes in Google Docs

Here are some helpful tips for using Track Changes in Google Docs:

  • Use suggesting mode: As mentioned, suggesting mode is a powerful tool that allows you to track changes in a document without directly modifying the original text. It’s a great way to collaborate with others while still maintaining the integrity of the document.
  • Customize the display of the changes: You can customize how the changes are displayed in the document to make it easier to read. For example, you can choose to show all changes or just the ones that have not yet been reviewed. You can also choose to highlight the changes in a different color or add a comment to explain why you made the change.
  • Use the “Resolve” feature: If you are the owner of the document and you have multiple suggestions or changes to review, you can use the “Resolve” feature to quickly accept or reject multiple changes at once. This can save you a lot of time when reviewing a large document.
  • Use comments to explain your changes: When you make a change or suggestion in a document, it’s a good idea to add a comment explaining why you made the change. This can help the owner of the document understand your thought process and make it easier for them to decide whether to accept or reject the change.
  • Keep a clear communication: When using track changes, it’s important to communicate clearly with others working on the document. For example, if you have questions about a suggested change, you can leave a comment to ask for clarification. It’s also important to establish clear deadlines and expectations for when changes will be made and reviewed.
  • Review changes carefully: Before accepting or rejecting a suggested change, make sure to review it carefully to ensure that it’s accurate and appropriate. Pay attention to details such as spelling, grammar, and punctuation, and make sure that the change fits with the overall tone and style of the document.
  • Collaborate effectively: Track changes is a great tool for collaborating with others on a document, but it’s important to use it effectively. Make sure that everyone involved understands how to use track changes and communicate clearly about any questions or concerns.
  • Use keyboard shortcuts: Google Docs has several keyboard shortcuts that can help you work more efficiently with Track Changes. For example, you can use “Ctrl+Alt+M” to insert a comment and “Ctrl+Shift+E” to turn on or off the suggesting mode.

By following these tips, you can use track changes effectively in Google Docs, improve the quality of your documents, and work more efficiently.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What Are Track Changes in Google Docs?

The track changes feature of Google Docs allows a document owner to check who made changes to the documents they shared with others. It also helps them see which collaborators are actively working on the document. This same feature is also available in Google Sheets.

2. Why Use Track Changes?

Knowing how to track changes in Google Docs is a helpful tool that will allow you to track what changes were made and by whom. If you want to know about these changes the moment they are made, you can alter notification settings so you’re immediately apprised of such changes. Turning notifications on is also another feature that Google Sheets uses in the same manner.

3. Can You See Changes in Google Docs?

Yes. Whichever change tracking option you choose for your Google Docs, you can see the changes that have been made when you check. Whether you choose the suggesting or commenter mode or simply look at the version history, previous versions of your document before changes were made can be seen.

Wrapping Up

Tracking changes in Google Docs is a powerful tool for collaboration, proofreading, and creating high-quality documents. By following the steps above, you can easily keep track of revisions and collaborate effectively with others.

Want to learn more useful features and functions of Google Suite? Check out these Udemy G Suite courses today.

You can also check out some of our awesome spreadsheet templates here and save 50% off all templates.


Most Popular Posts

Emma Collins

Emma Collins

Emma Collins is a tech writer for Spreadsheet Point. She's been writing tech tutorials & how-to guides on Windows, Android, iOS, Social Media, Data Recovery, Cybersecurity, Gaming, and more as a tech writer for over 6 years. You can find her work on many established tech websites, including Productivity Spot,, MakeUseOf, Help Desk Geek, Online Tech Tips, HandyRecovery, Cleverfiles, and more.
Related Posts

Disclosure: Spreadsheet Point is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.