Beginners’ Guide to Track Changes in Excel [Step-by-Step]


This tutorial is a detailed guide to track changes in Excel. The tracking feature is a very beneficial tool, especially when you have to review someone’s work in Excel. Additionally, we will learn to add the Track Changes button in a file if it is missing in the Review tab.

Also read: Simple Guide to Share and Un-share a Workbook in Excel

Steps to track changes in Excel

Let’s get started with tracking an Excel file to get a better understanding of how the tool works.

  • Open an Excel file.
  • Go to the Review tab.
  • Under Changes sections, pull down on Track Changes.
  • Click Highlight Changes.
  • A new window opens with tracking options.
track changes in Excel
  • Check Track changes while editing. This also shares your workbook.”
  • In the When box, you can choose the time from when to track the changes.
  • You can even set a date to start tracking from that date.
  • In the Who box, choose whose changes you want to track.
  • In a shared workbook, you will find the names of users listed in the drop-down list.
  • In the Where field, you can select a portion in the Excel file to track the changes in that portion only.
  • Check the Highlight changes on screen box to view the changes made.
  • Click OK.

You are required to save the workbook after enabling the track changes option. Click OK when the dialogue box pops up.

NoteIf a file has macros in it or you’re using a macro-enabled workbook, Excel cannot track the changes made if macros are recorded or edited while tracking is enabled.

This is the file for which we are tracking changes.

track changes in Excel

We will alter the values in the table to check if Excel can track changes correctly.

track changes in Excel

We changed the values and rested the cursor on that cell to see a comment box showing the changes made.

View all changes in one place

The problem isWhat to do if multiple users are making several changes to a file?

Of course, you can’t view the changes by visiting every cell and view the comment box and note the changes with lots of people making changes to the file.

You also want to track changes made by every person with whom the file was shared.

Excel always has an easy way out for your problems! Follow these steps and find out how to fix this.

  • Once you have tracked the changes, save the workbook.
  • Go to the Review tab.
  • Open the Track Changes option and click Highlight Changes.
  • Check the box List changes on a new sheet box.
  • Click OK.

 You can see that a new sheet named History is created in the workbook. You can see who made the changes, what were the changes made, old values and new values, date and time, and the exact location where the changes were made in one place.

Track changes option is missing in the Review tab

Some Excel versions do not have the Track Changes option in the Review tab. Don’t worry, because there is an easy solution to this problem!

We are going to manually insert the Track Changes button in the Review tab. Here is how we do it.

left click
  • Right-click on a plain area in the Excel ribbon.
  • Click Customize Ribbon.
  • Or, go to the File tab.
  • Click Options or find it in More at the bottom.
  • Click Customize Ribbon in the options window.
  • Change to All commands in the drop-down list above.
all command 1
  • Scroll down until you find Track Changes (Legacy) option. Do not press Add now yet!
track legacy
  • Open the Review tab on the right side of the window by clicking +
  • Open the Protect or Changes group.
  • Click New Group below to create a new group. We named the group Changes.
  • Now press Add in the middle. Make to select the Track Changes (Legacy) option in the list on the left.
new button
  • Click OK.

You can find that the Track Changes option gets added in the Review tab in Excel. This button works the same way as the regular Track Changes option.

Accept or Reject Changes in Excel

When reviewing a workbook, you can choose to accept or reject the changes made in an Excel file.

To accept or reject the changes, follow these steps.

accept reject setting
  • Go to the Review tab.
  • Pull down on Track Changes.
  • Click Accept/Reject Changes.
  • Choose the date from when you want to accept or reject changes.
  • Choose whose changes to accept or reject.
  • Select the area where you want to accept or reject any changes made.
  • Click OK.

All changes will be shown in a window one-by-one, asking you to accept or reject each change. You can choose to Accept All or Reject All changes.


This article was a detailed guide to tracking changes and accepting and rejecting changes in Excel. We also learned to insert the Track Changes option in the Review tab is missing.

Reference: TrumpExcel.