How to Request and Track Approvals with Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides

369196 How to Request and Track Approvals with Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides

Google Workspace provides a built-in approval workflow feature for Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides. This allows you to easily request and track approvals on files right within Google Drive.

Requesting Approvals

To request approval on a document, spreadsheet, or presentation:

  1. Open the file in Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides
  2. Click File > Approvals
  3. Click Make a request
  4. Add the email addresses for the approvers
  5. Add an optional message and due date
  6. Choose whether to allow editors to make changes during the approval process
  7. Click Send

The approvers will receive an email notification that the file is pending their approval.

Allowing Edits

By default, files undergoing approval remain unlocked so editors can suggest changes or edits. However, you can lock the file before sending it for approval if you don’t want changes during the process.

If the file is edited after being approved, all reviewers must re-approve the new changes.

Tracking Approvals

There are a few ways to track the status of approval requests:

Approval Banner

When an approval is pending, a banner displays at the top of the Docs, Sheets, or Slides file. This shows the number of approvers, number of approvals received, and buttons to approve or reject the file (for approvers).

Approval Sidebar

To see more details about the approval:

  1. Open the file
  2. Click View details on the approval banner
  3. The sidebar on the right shows all approval details including:
    • Approvers
    • Approval status
    • Due date
    • Approval activity

Google Drive

Without opening the file, you can view approval status right from Google Drive:

  1. Right-click on the file
  2. Click Approvals
  3. The sidebar shows the approval details

You can also search for files that need approval in Google Drive by clicking the down arrow next to the search bar and selecting Approvals.

Completing Approvals

Once all approvers have approved the file:

  • The file is marked as “Approved”
  • The file is locked from further editing
  • All participants receive an email confirmation of completed approval

If any approver rejects the file, the approval process ends. The file remains unlocked for further editing.


  • Set due dates for approvals to keep the process moving timely
  • Allow reviewers to edit the file to suggest changes during approval
  • Require re-approval if edits are made after initial approval
  • View real-time approval status right within Google Drive

Using Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides approvals streamlines the review process for critical business documents. Collaborators can easily request and track approvals without leaving Google Workspace.

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