Google Docs is halting one of its most annoying habits

Google Docs logo
(Image credit: Google)

Being bombarded with hordes of notifications every time someone makes a change to your Google Docs file could soon be at an end thanks to a new update.

The company has revealed that users of the office software will now be able to choose to receive email notifications for document changes on a per file basis.

This means users should no longer get an inbox-clogging email alert every time a single change is made, cutting down on unnecessary messages and relieving stress.

Google Docs email alerts

In a Google Workspace update blog announcing the news, the company noted that the new "edit notification emails" will collate all the changes into one message, as well as noting which user made the changes, and also when they were made.

Changes by different users will be color-coded for easy differentiation, hoping to cut down on any potential misunderstandings or over-writing in shared documents.

"Staying on top of relevant changes and comments across multiple documents can be difficult," Google noted. "By giving you the option to specify which comments and changes to be notified about, you can more easily stay on top of what needs your attention most and keep track of collaboration."

Google Docs edits email alert

(Image credit: Google Workspace)

The feature is rolling out now, with users able to configure their notifications either in Gmail using its new "Notification settings" dropdown menu, or in Google Docs via the Notification settings dropdown (bell icon) or Tools > Notification settings

Edit notifications are set as off by default, and need to be enabled on a per-document basis. When enabled, you will be notified when anyone adds or removes content from the document.

The tool will be available to all Google Workspace customers, as well as legacy G Suite Basic and Business customers, and users with personal Google accounts.

The change comes shortly after the launch of Google Docs Pageless, a new feature that gives users extra space to make alterations, suggestions and edits instead of being confined by the usual set rules and lines of normal office software tools.

Mike Moore
Deputy Editor, TechRadar Pro

Mike Moore is Deputy Editor at TechRadar Pro. He has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK's leading national newspapers and fellow Future title ITProPortal, and when he's not keeping track of all the latest enterprise and workplace trends, can most likely be found watching, following or taking part in some kind of sport.