How to Turn Off Track Changes in Word

Microsoft Word

‘Track changes’ in Microsoft Word allows the user to trace any changes that are made to the article by others. Say, you have created a document and want someone to edit it, however, you also want to track the changes made by the editor. This is where ‘Track changes’ comes to your aid.

But the ‘Track Changes’ feature can sometimes be a real pain. For instance, you don’t want others to view the changes made to the document or the original content of the document. It also allows the viewer to see all the mistakes that were initially made, which can affect your credibility in some cases. Therefore, a vast section of Word users prefers to not have ‘Track Changes’ enabled.

Disabling Track Changes in Microsoft Word

It is fairly easy to disable ‘Track Changes’ in Word. There’s even a keyboard shortcut for it which disables the feature in a jiffy. To turn off ‘Track Changes’, press CTRL + SHIFT + E. The same keyboard shortcut can also be used to enable the feature, in case it is turned off.

You can also disable ‘Track Changes’ from the review tab at the top. Open the document where ‘Track Changes’ is currently enabled and go to the ‘Review’ tab from the ribbon bar.

You will now find the icon for ‘Tracking Changes’ in the ‘Tracking’ section of the review tab. If the feature is enabled, the icon will be darker than those others around it. Click on the top half of the ‘Track Changes’ icon to turn off the feature.

After the ‘Track Changes’ feature is disabled, the color of the icon has turned lighter and now matches with the surroundings.


Why am I Unable to Turn Off Track Changes?

Were you trying to disable the ‘Track Changes’ feature but the options are greyed out and clicking on it does no good? This happens when the ‘Lock Tracking’ feature is enabled on the document.

With ‘Lock Tracking’ enabled, you cannot turn off ‘Track Changes’ unless you enter the password, which was set initially. If you have the password, follow the steps below to disable the lock and turn off ‘Track Changes’.

In the ‘Review’ tab of Microsoft Word, click on the bottom part of the ‘Track Changes’ icon with an arrow, and then select ‘Lock Tracking’ from the drop-down menu.

The ‘Unlock Tracking’ box will now open, enter the password in the text box and then click on ‘OK’ on the box.

The ‘Lock Tracking’ feature has now been disabled but the ‘Track Changes’ is still enabled and has to be turned off like we did earlier. Simply click on the top-half of the ‘Track Changes’ icon to turn it off or use the CTRL + SHIFT + E keyboard shortcut.


You can now easily disable ‘Track Changes’ in Word documents when you don’t want others to view the changes that you have made. Also, if you are unable to disable the feature, you know the reason and can ask for the password from the person who shared the document.