Let users see file activity (Activity dashboard)

The Activity Dashboard is not meant for auditing or legal purposes. To audit user activity, use the Drive audit log

As an administrator, you can control whether users see each other's file activity on an Activity dashboard. File activity includes the names of users who have viewed Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides files and the time they viewed them.

Using this data, file editors can make informed decisions about following up with collaborators. To view the Activity dashboard for a file, users must have Edit access to the file and they must be in the same domain as the file owner. Users can't view the Activity dashboard for files outside their domain.

If you have the legacy free edition of G Suite, upgrade to Google Workspace to get this feature. 

What users can control

Users can control whether their file-viewing information is displayed in the Activity dashboard.

For example, if an admin turns a user’s view history on, that user can still choose privacy settings to hide their file views from the dashboard.  If you turn off users’ view history in the Activity dashboard, users can't turn it on for themselves.

Refer users to See who has viewed Google Docs, Sheets & Slides.

Check your organization’s file-viewing settings

  1. Sign in to your Google Admin console.

    Sign in using your administrator account (does not end in @gmail.com).

  2. From the Admin console Home page, go to Appsand thenGoogle Workspaceand thenDrive and Docs.
  3. To apply the setting to everyone, leave the top organizational unit selected. Otherwise, select a child organizational unit or a configuration group.

    Supported editions for this feature: Business Standard and Plus; Enterprise; Education Fundamentals, Standard, Teaching and Learning Upgrade, and Plus; G Suite Business; Nonprofits; Essentials.  Compare your edition

  4. Click Activity dashboard settings.
  5. Next to Users’ view history, select an option that determines who can see a user’s file views.
    • On (recommended): File-viewing information will appear in the Activity dashboard unless users choose to hide their views. Users with edit access to files that are owned by the same domain users can view this information. Your users’ viewing information might be visible in the Activity dashboards of files owned by other organizations.
    • On - Only within <your domain>: Individual user views will only show up in the Activity dashboard to users within your domain on files owned by your domain. People in other domains will not see your organization’s user activity on files owned by that domain.
    • Off: Your organization’s file views will not be visible in Activity dashboards  of any files. Your users may be able to see whether external users have viewed their files, depending on the Activity dashboard settings of those external users.
  6. For certain Google Workspace editions, you may see additional settings to control if your users can see Activity dashboard data for files where they are editors. Next to Access to view history, select one of the following:
    • On: Lets your users at your domain see Viewers and Viewer trend in the activity dashboard. Recommended if Users’ view history is also on.
    • Off: Prevents your users at your domain from seeing Viewers and Viewer trend in the activity dashboard. Recommended if Users’ view history is also off.

For more information about Activity dashboard and FAQs, see the Google Workspace Updates Blog.

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