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Overview: How to Set up Alerts

Natasha E Madorsky -

 The following article provides guidance and step-by-step instructions on how to set up alerts for all content within a specific document library, or for a specific document.

To view and download a PDF version, scroll to the bottom of this article.


What are SharePoint Alerts?

SharePoint has a built-in alert mechanism that enables users to register for different kinds of alerts. Basically, a user selects the piece of content he wants to be alerted on and requests that SharePoint send the requested user an e-mail when that content changes.

For example, you might use alerts with a document library that is supposed to have documents regarding a specific topic. You might want to know immediately when a new document is added to that document library.


How to Set Up an Alert for a Specific Document or Folder

Step 1

If you want to set up an alert on a specific file, navigate to the document library and folder in which the document is stored. Check the box next to the file to illuminate the “Files” ribbon. On the right side of the ribbon, click the “Alert Me” button, and select “Set alert on this document.”



Step 2

In the "New Alert" dialog box, you can change or select the notification options you prefer. The following settings are available for alerts on a file, link or folder.

  • Alert Title: This is the subject for the e-mail or text message. It's pre-filled with the name of the document library and item name, but you can change it.
  • Send Alerts To:  This is the user name or email you want the alert sent to. To enter more than one, separate the addresses with semicolons.
  • Delivery Method:  You can choose e-mail or a text message for alerts. For text messages, add the phone number and check the box if you want the URL of the item to be sent.
  • Change Type:  This option appears only for links and folders, and lets you get alerts when new items are added, or existing items are modified or deleted.



  • Send Alerts for These Changes:  This lets you pick the type of changes for which you receive alerts. You can pick when someone changes any file, link, or folder, or when someone changes a file, link, or folder you created or last modified.
  • When to Send Alerts: This option allows you to select whether you wish to receive alerts immediately, or in the form of a daily or weekly summary. If you choose a summary, you can select the day and time you wish to receive your alerts.

When you have selected the options you want, click “OK”.




How to Set Up an Alert for an Entire Document Library

Step 1

Navigate to your team’s site. Then, navigate to the document library from which you want to receive alerts. In this case, it’s called “Shared Documents”.

Once inside your document library, click on the Files ribbon at the top left of the site, and select the “Alert Me” drop-down menu. Select “Manage My Alerts.”



Step 2

Selecting “Manage My Alerts” will take you to the site shown below. Click the “Add Alert” Button.



Step 3

You will be asked to choose the name of the List or Document Library from which you want to receive alerts. In this case, choose “Shared Documents”. (Note: OU Team Sites will have two possible options in this menu—General Documents, or HQ Collaboration; select the library from which you want to receive the alerts). At the bottom of the site, click “Next.”



Step 4

Choose the parameters of the alert you’d like to receive by filling in or adjusting the Alert Title, Send Alerts To, Delivery Method, Change Type, Send Alerts for These Changes, and When to Send Alerts fields. When finished, click “OK”.


On the Manage my Alerts site, you will now see the alert you set up.

If you want to modify this alert, click on its name and adjust the parameters how you choose, then click “OK”. Or delete the alert by clicking its name and then clicking the “Delete” button”.


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