I just realized that a user removed a row from the smartsheet.  So I have 2 questions. 


#1 - Can I keep people from being able to remove a row - while still allowing them to edit information?  or


#2 Can I set up a notification when a row is removed - so at least I would know when it happened.


Any suggestions?



You can lock the row.  As long as the user is an editor or viewer they can not delete or alter the row.  Please note that any Admin user will be able to modify or delete the row.



But if they need to edit data - will the row lock prevent the data from being edited?

Yes.  You're right they will not be able to edit the row. 

Just tell them to be careful!  Only kidding.Smile

You could send an update request to the user. They can view and edit only the rows you send and will not be able to delete the row. Here’s information on update requests: http://help.smartsheet.com/customer/portal/articles/504779-using-update-requests



You might also consider backing up your data in case users accidentally deletes data in the future: http://help.smartsheet.com/customer/portal/articles/506499-backing-up-your-data

In reply to by Travis

Travis: Is there any way that we can set it up so that either 1) the user has access to only edit specific rows in a sheet or 2) they can access to the update request link more than once? I'm trying to trouble shoot this, and we are not in a position that we want to send out a form, as we don't want to create new rows, but rather, edit existing ones. Thank you! 

If I have set up an alert to receive an email if anything changes, will I be contacted if a row has been deleted/removed? 


Will I be able to see what was removed aswell?


How do the large companies with thousands of collaborators deal with this issue?




Hi David, yes you will get an email when rows are deleted but the email does not tell you which row was deleted.


There may be Community members who could offer suggestions for how their businesses handle deleted content. 

Thank you Travis, I'll look into it.


Any reason why this is not a feature?




David, here is my personal opinion from a user perspective...


Row order can be changed on sheets through sorting or rearranging rows. Giving the row number of deleted rows could help tell you the section of a deleted row if row order was not changed but it could also lead to confusion about where the row came from if row order was changed.


Showing the full rows that were deleted could be useful if there are a small number of deleted rows but what if a user deleted 1000 rows? Should the email contain all 1000 rows?


Our Product team is always looking for user input on system enhancements. If you would like to give me your opinion on how you would like this to work, I would be happy to submit your suggestions to our Product team to assist them with future development scoping. 



Hi, I'm also looking for a solution to capture any unwanted deletions: if a sheet is shared with many users, and some user (accidentally) deletes a row, I would like to be able to see it (actively with a notification or passively by monitoring some log) and to be able to recover it. I can use the notifications feature to see if rows are deleted, but I would also like to see what rows are deleted. Of course I will tell people not to delete anything, but with many people involved there is always a chance it happens. Thanks.

Floris, we are exploring adding an activity feed which can give you more detailed information about the changes made on your sheets. I don’t have specifics about how this may work but I think it will likely solve some of the issues you mentioned. I will pass your feedback along to the team working on this. 

Great Travis, thanks!

This seems to be a common concern/question.  We'd like to be able to allow editing ability but prevent anyone from deleting a row in full.  Or, if a row or sheet was deleted, how can we know what was deleted or recover it?


Hi Chris, I will submit your suggestion of preventing editors from deleting rows, to our enhancement request list. Thanks for posting!  

In reply to by Travis

Hi Travis,

This issue around deleting rows has been around for ages.  Is it ever going to become a reality that this functionality will one day exist?  It seems crazy that with the amount of "pressure" to have this feature come to fruition, that something would not have been done by now.



I have the same concern. I like Cell history feature very much, because I can see any changes to any cells in a sheet, whith names and dates. I would also like to see some kind of "Sheet history" with major changes to the sheet itself. For me (and for many others, as we can see in this discussion) deleting a row is a major change to a sheet. Usual back-ups AND notifications when rows are deleted may be a solution, too. 

I'm hoping the comapny is reading these, because this will probably stop us from going forward with this product.


We NEED users to be able to udate their status (Completed, Flags etc) as they could be anywhere in the country or world, without them having the ability to Delete OR Add a row when a column is locked on that row.  I don't want to have to constantly check if someone has made such a change or receive emails about changes.  Shouldn't be allowed.

Hi Travis,


Regards to your post on December 14, 2015 3:37 pm...


Smartsheet can tell us the row that was deleted and tell us the former row #.

If rows are added, I would assume that 1000 rows would be listed if someone did, in fact, create 1000 new rows. 

I get both row additions and deletions. 

Additions are helpful, as  I can see new material and take action, if needed.

But, the nofitications that indicate rows being deleted have little value. What if someone accidentally deleted a row? If a notification was sent with that deleted material, I would have record of what was deleted and can repopulate, if needed.


I wish I could use the row lock, or roles to prevent this, but I cannot in our case.


I would vote for Smartsheet to find a way to include the former row number (or find another way to design it). This would be very helpful.

I appreciate the feedback Robert and I will submit it to the Product team!



This is the same post.

On most things I can afford some patience, but this post is 10months old Frown and this is a really BIG fail.  The inability of admins to control whether rows are deleted or re-ordered is a major pain.  We really must have control of this, because the process for restoring a line with the comments is not pleasant.  I cannot simply do a restore from a backup, yet.

I fully agree, Brad. As I stated in the discussion you linked, this is an issue of data security. 

Brad, to confirm you want the use to have the ability to edit a row but not delete it? If the user can edit the row, they can just delete the content of the row... so even if you prevented them from deleting a row, they can still delete all the data in the row. And the attachments.


Discussions can only be deleted by an Admin/Owner/OP so that would be the only thing you would be preventing them from doing by restricting their ability to delete a row.

Correct Dave,


What we want is to prevent users from deleting a row.  Example, I have a sheet with 10 columns, and the first five columns are locked.  I want the users to fill in the last 5 columns with their information, but not to edit the 1-5 or delete / rearrange the rows.

We, like others, need to have data security.  Currently, if a user needs to have editing rights to even one cell in a row then they have enough rights delete the entire row - and this is REALLY bad.


As for discussions, a user can delete any discussion comment that they create.  And if they delete the row then they have deleted the entire discussion thread.


This is not a feature request, this is a FIX request.

Thanks for the info, your use case makes a lot of sense! Lock columns, so they can only edit certain fields, but they should be able to delete the row.

...should NOT be able to delete the rows. :)

Woops, yes. Should NOT be able to delete the rows :)

Is anyone from Smartsheet taking any notice?  I'd like to see some comment from them on this &, better, when we will get the enhancement? 

Hi Barry, I work for Smartsheet and part of my job is passing along all user feedback from the Community to our Product team.


I have added votes for this request for everyone who has posted in this thread and I will continue to add votes for anyone else wanting to see this enhancement. 


I will also post here if there are any updates to this request but the best place to look for information on what we are working on is our product roadmap and check out our release notes to see what we have released in past updates. 

Here's another vote for preventing editors from deleting rows.

Yes. I vote for this as well. 

I believe,

given that there is not a true backup and restore system available for SS, and that users have the rights to delete the history of an entire row if they have access to edit even one cell in a row,

that this subject should be at the top of Smartsheets development list.


If we can't properly secure our data from deletion, and our backups don't include links, formulas, histories, etc -  then an undue burden is placed on the users to be super careful and on the admins to constatnly monitor the changes.  


Please please make give us a fix soon.

Travis, does it really take votes to make a fix to a significant concern happen?  If so, here's another vote.  I will add that the manager I report to is strongly considering us moving to an alternative platform in great part to this issue.  So count that as 2 votes if you like.

Hi everybody,

my suggestion is to have a new function in the sheet action menu (in German "Blattaktionen") displaying a list of all deleted rows. User and date/time of deletion should be included, maybe also "row number" in the moment of deletion.

Would be very very helpful.



The feature you propose could be a useful band-aid.  The core problem in the software, as discussed in the thread, is to stop the deletion from happening in the first place.  Once a row is deleted - it is impossible to restore it in it's original form.  Yes, you can copy and paste the information back in from a backup, but you cannot restore the history of the discussion in the correct format - and you cannot put the history back into each cell so that you can see the dates of the changes.


The tracibility you propose is a good thing, and it is better than the current 'nothing'.  So if SS needs a place to start that is a good one.  

In the near future, please, we prefer to have control so that we are not burdened with the task of babysitting our sheets.

+1 @Brad Jones said.


Sometimes rows need ot be deleted, but I need to know which rows were deleted. I'd like to see them in an email with all content in case one is accidentally deleted.


Or there should be some sort of feature to rollback or restore rows.

It's absurd that any editor can go and delete rows, accidentally or intentionally. There is really no reason why anyone other than the admin would need to delete rows. For Godsake please fix this and make it a priority. It's an enormous issue.

I've just learned about this recently and have been an advocate of Smartsheet for some time. We had some rows deleted so learned the hard way, sheets are now backed up but this is not a solution. This is a huge risk and until it is resolved can no longer rely on Smartsheet.


I can see this was raised a year ago, please advise when this will be addressed.

@JOHN.  I've been screaming this since I started.Yell  It is way bigger than the attention that it seems to have received at their HQ.  It's not in the roadmap and I don't think it's been user tested yet.  So who knows when/if?


PS. Please leave the Lord to His work, and Smartsheet to theirs. Wink

I'm also in need to control rows from being deleted, accidentally or intentionally.  There are many editors viewing and updating the dates and comments columns.  If a row is deleted I have no idea unless I check the backups and compare frequently.  This is a huge issue and risk using SS.  Is this being worked on?

Still waiting for a solution to this problem.  This can be solved in so many ways, but still the problem persists.  Please fix this Smartsheet.

Is there any progress on this matter? Has anyone seen any indication that this issue will be adressed? Im afraid our company will have to reconsider using Smartsheet if this persists...


While they have mentioned things that might make it easier to recover from deleted rows (something like the upcoming sheet history feature), I have not heard any statements that make me think they take this problem as seriously as we users do.  See the original date of this post.


Sadly, recovering from row deletions is a second-place prize to preventing the problem in the first place.

 But, 1year later, I keep beating the drum.  Persistence is my arsenal.

Amazing that recovering from deleted rows hasn't been impleneted yet. What I really can't stand is the email notifications that rows have been deleted, and they don't even list the contents. let us decide if we want a super long email or not. If the service were free, I'd get it, but it's not.

I had the same problem, and in addition to it, I needed to group the rows by the authors and create a parent row.

The way I solved it, and it may work for you, is by creating a specific Sheet for each user, create the parent row in each sheet, lock it, and then create a sheet with references of all of the parent rows of all of the users, it may be a lot of work but it solves the need.

I hope this helps.


In reply to by Alejandro Lamothe1

Thanks for the tip Alejandro,

For many sheets that will work, and is a good workaround if most of what your team does is not on excessively large or dynamic sheets.

Will keep this idea in mind for later. laugh  Sadly, most of our sheets just have too much changing on them to use ths.

Is there any way yet to stop users who need to edit data in a row deleting the row. Either by accident or on purpose ?



Any update on this?  I can't believe permissions can't be set to allow updates to cells but not delete a row.

If anybody from Smartsheet is reading this comment please respond to the question below:

When do you plan to fix the issue of editors being able to delete rows?

a) We are really sorry to have kept you all waiting, it's on our roadmap and will be fixed by dd/mm/yyyy

b) We understand this is causing much frustration but it's really difficult to fix but we are looking into it - we promise

c) We don't really care what are customers think

Sorry to put it so bluntly but you really need to pay attention to this

I like Smartsheet, and use it every day.  I even recommend it to others, however…

Here we are just passing the 2.5 year anniversary of when this flaw (yes FLAW) was spotted.

In total - 26 - product updates have come and gone since the flaw was spotted.  Most were really neat enhancements or integrations, some actually damaged existing data layout or removed user features entirely. BUT, still no fix for this!?!?!

Situation since June 2015 (or perhaps earlier):

Anyone with edit access to a single column can delete every unlocked row in the sheet. 

All it takes is a new sharing level to solve this problem without modifying/removing any existing user functionality, but so far no visible action.  And you can try to restore your row from the backups, but this leads us to the next problem>>

There is NO REAL BACKUP system available for Smartsheet.  You can save an excel excerpt - but that is all it is - an excerpt. This excerpt does not save, and will not restore: 

Formulas, Cell Links, Hyperlinks, Cell history, Comment layout in thread, Attachment history ( or layout in thread), Conditional formatting rules, Notifications, Reminders, Update requests (existing and recurring), Sharing permissions, Recurring sheet send outs (from schedule ‘send sheet’), settings for locked columns and rows, publication settings settings, or forms.

If I lost one of my main sheets, just one, it would take me about a day to restore it to it's full functionality - and it still would not be the same as what I started with.


Give us sheet owners and system admins something wonderful for Christmas this year – a fix to this heinous flaw.  Either a new sharing level, a security setting, an honest to goodness backup system, or... even all three :)