How to View Who Has Access to a Spreadsheet in Google Sheets

It’s easy to forget who has access to a Google Sheet if it’s used by many people. You may have shared the spreadsheet a bunch of times and now have trouble remembering who had permission to use it.

Managing your Google Sheets and knowing who can access them is important. But the process of doing so is actually quite simple. Keep reading to find out how it’s done.

How to Check Who Has Access to Google Sheets

There’s an easy way to manually check who has access to your Google Sheet. To do so, follow the steps:

  1. First, open the Sheet you need.
  2. Next, click on “Activity dashboard ”.
  3. You’ll see “Viewer trend” or “Comment trend” on your left. Now click on it.

Note: Make sure you’re using your business account and not the private one. With a private account, you won’t be able to see “Activity dashboard”.

Moreover, you can filter the search by time and narrow down your results. Let’s see how to do it:

  1. Click the “Down Arrow ” in the top right part of the sheet.
  2. Choose time to filter the search.

There you go! Now you know who has access to your Google Sheet and when they got the permission. This way, you can always track that the right people can see and edit your Google Sheet.

Google Sheets See Who Has Access

Allowing Temporary Access to Google Sheet

Restricting access to Google Sheets can be very useful if you don’t want clients to use them once the job’s done. You can set an expiration date or simply end access to that particular Google Sheet. Here’s how:

  1. Open your Google Drive
  2. Find the sheet you need.
  3. Right click on it and select “Share”.
  4. Now type in the person’s name you want to share this sheet with.
  5. To set expiration date, change the permission to either “Can Comment” or “Can View”.
  6. Next tap “Send”.

Once you complete these steps, you should repeat the first three steps. You’ll see “Advanced” option at the bottom of the window. You should click on it to see the “Sharing Settings”. If you hover over their name, a stopwatch will appear. By clicking on it, you can set the expiration date.

Enabling the Viewing Permission

You can protect your Google Sheet from being changed. Although you may have given access to several people, you might not want them to change the content of the document. The simplest way to do this is to give them viewing permission only.

Follow these steps to do so:

  1. Open the sheet you want to protect.
  2. Navigate to “Data” and scroll down to “Protected Sheets and Ranges”.
  3. A bar will appear on the right side of the sheet.
  4. Now, click on “Sheet” and select the one you need from the dropdown menu.
  5. Here you’ll have to click “Set Permission”.

A “Range editing permissions” window will pop up. Under “Restrict Who Can Edit This Range” click “Customized”. This allows you to decide who’s allowed to edit this specific sheet. Deselect all the people you don’t want to edit your Google Sheet. Click on “Done” to finish.

Now people can still view this Google Sheet, but they won’t be able to make any changes to it.

Protecting the Cells in Google Sheet

Alternatively, you can also allow viewing, but also protect some cells or columns. Here’s what you’ll have to do:

  1. Open the sheet.
  2. Select the columns you want to protect from being changed.
  3. Now click on “Data” and then “Protected Sheets and Ranges”.
  4. A bar will appear in the right side of the sheet.
  5. Enter the description of the command, for example – “No editing”.
  6. Next, click on the green button “Set Permissions”.
  7. A pop-up will appear. Under “Restrict Who Can Edit This Range” select “Custom”.
  8. This allows you to decide who’s allowed to change the cells.

If a person without permission tries to change the cell content, a message in the Sheet will inform that they aren’t allowed to do it.

Enabling Comments

Sometimes you need someone else to comment on the contents of the cell. These users don’t have an automatic privilege to do so, but you can give them permission. What you’ll have to do is make them a “Commenter”. To enable a user with this function, follow these steps:

  1. Open the sheet, head to “File”, and click on “Share”.
  2. Here you can add the email addresses of those you’d like to share the sheet with.
  3. Once you add a person, on the right you’ll see a dropdown menu.
  4. From that dropdown menu select “Commenter”.
  5. Finally, click on “Send”.

Enabling Editing

With editing permission, users of the sheet can change the content of the cells. As an owner of the sheet, you’ll have to allow this action. The steps are very similar to those outlined above:

  1. Open the sheet, head to “File” and click on “Share”.
  2. Here you can add the email addresses of those you’d like to share the sheet with.
  3. Once you add a person, on the right you’ll see a dropdown menu.
  4. From that dropdown menu select “Editor”.
  5. Finally, click on “Send”.

Limiting Permissions

Your Google Sheet is an invaluable tool for storing data. From time to time, you’ll need to share it with other people. If you can’t remember who you’ve given permission to view the sheet, you can always refer back to this article for guidance.

Moreover, you’ll have no problems if you want to protect your sheet from unauthorized changes or if you want to allow users to make cell changes themselves. Which of these functions is more important to you and why? Tell us in the comments section below.

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