Use Alerts in SharePoint 2010 - dummies

Use Alerts in SharePoint 2010

If RSS isn’t your thing, you can opt to receive e-mail notifications when lists or libraries change by creating an alert in SharePoint 2010. Alerts are a great way to keep track of the changes your teammates make to documents and lists.

You need the Create Alerts permission to create alerts. This permission is granted usually with the out-of-the-box configuration of the Site Members SharePoint group.

To create an alert to a list or library, follow these steps:

  1. Browse to the list or library where you want to subscribe to an alert and then click the Alert button in the Share & Track tab of the Ribbon.

    The New Alert window appears.

    You can subscribe to an alert for a list item or document by choosing Alert Me on the item’s edit menu.

  2. In the Alert Title box, enter a name for the alert.

    Make the name something meaningful to you in your inbox.

  3. In the Send Alerts To box, enter the names of people in addition to you who should receive the alert.

    That’s right, you can subscribe other people to an alert!

    Organizations and site owners may want to subscribe multiple users to an alert to make sure they get important updates, as well as encourage them to contribute to a discussion board, blog, or wiki. Users can still opt out by modifying settings in their Alert settings.

  4. In the Delivery Methods box, indicate whether to receive alerts via e-mail or text message to your cellular phone.

  5. In the Send Alerts for These Changes section, choose when to receive alerts.

    The options you see here vary based on the kind of list you’re working with. For example, a tasks list allows you to receive an alert when a task is marked Complete or anytime a high-priority task changes.

    Any time users say they need a workflow to receive notification, try an alert first. You’d be surprised at how often alerts provide the options that are needed.

  6. In the When to Send Alerts section, choose the frequency of your alert delivery.

    You can receive them immediately, once a day, or once a week.

  7. Click OK to create your alert.


You can manage all your alerts from a single page instead of navigating to each list. To manage all the alerts you have on a given site and modify or delete them, follow these steps:

  1. Browse to a list or library where you currently subscribe to an alert.

  2. On the Share & Track tab of the Ribbon, choose Alert→Manage All Alerts.

    Alternatively, you can click the My Settings option in the Welcome menu (usually in the upper-right corner of the page). You can manage your alerts and regional time zone defaults from this page.


  3. Select the proper alert name link.

    The Manage Alert page appears with all the options you viewed when you first created the alert. Change the settings as desired.

    Didn’t set the alert to begin with? You can still read through the settings and change the choices (see the preceding steps). Your changes don’t affect the Alert settings for others if the alert was created for multiple users at the same time.

  4. Click OK to modify the alert with your new settings or Delete to delete the alert.

    Deleting an alert that was created for you doesn’t delete the alert from other users who are in the group the alert was created for.

If you’re the site administrator, you can manage the alerts of everyone on the site by clicking the User Alerts link on the Site Administration section of the Site Settings page.

When the event occurs that matches your alert — say, for example, the time or location of a calendar event change — you receive an e-mail in your inbox. The e-mail notification you receive is based on a template. These templates can be modified by your administrator, so they can provide for more detail.