How to See Who Has Viewed a Google Doc

The Activity Dashboard has who has viewed the doc and a lot more

What to Know

  • Select the Activity Dashboard icon (jagged arrow) on the top right.
  • Alternatively, select Tools > Activity Dashboard from the menu.
  • Choose the Viewers tab in the pop-up window.

This article explains how to see who has viewed a document you’ve shared in Google Docs. This is handy for making sure everyone who is supposed to review the document does so. The feature is available to Google Workspace subscribers using a business, enterprise, education, or nonprofit plan.

See Who Viewed a Google Doc

To see who has viewed a document, visit Google Docs and sign in with your Google account. Then, open the document.

  1. Select the Activity Dashboard icon (jagged arrow) on the top right or Tools > Activity Dashboard from the menu.

    Google Docs with Activity Dashboard and its Icon highlighted
  2. Confirm that Viewers is selected on the left side.

  3. Use the All Viewers tab on the right to see who has viewed the document. You’ll see their name and when they last viewed it.

    Viewers and All Viewers in the Activity Dashboard highlighted

Additional Dashboard Viewing Features

Select Viewers and use the Shared With tab to see everyone you have shared the document with to find out who else needs to review it. You can also use the Email column to send a message to those you’ve shared the document with as a reminder.

Google Docs viewers with Shared With highlighted

Select Viewer Trend to see the unique daily viewers. Choose a particular day on the column chart to see how many viewers were captured that day.

All Viewers highlighted in the Activity Dashboard

Don’t See Any Viewing Activity?

If you do not see any Viewers and believe you should, consider these reasons.

  • You can only see activity for files owned by a Google account with the Activity Dashboard feature.
  • You can only see activity for after you had access to the Activity Dashboard.
  • The document may have too many views or viewers to display the Activity Dashboard details.
  • The people you expect to view the document make have opted out of displaying their View History (see below).
  • You or the Admin may have View History turned off (see below).

Turn on Activity Dashboard View History

If you are the Admin for the Google account and want to be sure that you have View History turned on for Google Docs, visit your Google Admin Console and log in.

  1. In the left-hand navigation, expand Apps > Google Workspace and select Drive and Docs.

  2. Scroll down to and select Activity Dashboard Settings.

    Activity Dashboard Settings highlighted in the Admin console
  3. Confirm that Users’ View History is turned on. If not, click the edit icon (pencil) to the right, choose ON and click Save.

    Users' View History turned on in the Admin console

    Optionally, you can turn on Access to View History for other users to see Viewers and Viewer Trends in the Activity Dashboard.

Turn on Individual View History

To help someone you expect to review the document display their View History or to display yours, open the document in Google Docs and follow steps.

  1. Select Tools > Activity Dashboard from the menu.

  2. Choose Privacy Settings on the left.

  3. Turn on one or both toggles on the right. The Account Setting toggle displays view history for all Google documents while the Document Setting displays it only for the current one.

  4. Select Save.

    Privacy Settings in the Activity Dashboard

Seeing who viewed a Google Doc is a convenient way to make sure everyone reviews the document. To see who edited a document you’ve shared, you can also look at the revision history.

  • How do I share Google Docs?

    Open the document you want to share and select Share. Enter the email address of the person or group you want to share with, and choose if they'll have Editor, Viewer, or Commenter privileges. Or, change access to Anyone With a Link, select Copy Link, and send the link to people you want to share with.

  • How do I change share settings in Google Docs?

    To change share settings, for example, if you want to unshare a Google Doc, select File > Share > Share With Others. Choose someone you're sharing with, go to their current sharing status (such as Editor), and select Remove Access.

  • How do I share a folder in Google Docs?

    To share a folder in Google Docs, open Google Drive and select the folder you want to share. Right-click it and select Share. Enter the email address of the person or group you want to share with, and choose if they'll have Editor, Viewer, or Commenter privileges.

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