Create an alert or subscribe to an RSS Feed

You can stay updated on changes to documents and list items on your SharePoint site by receiving notifications of changes as alerts and Really Simple Syndication (RSS), if your site is configured to send them.

In this article


Overview

Both alerts and RSS Feeds inform you about updates, and both allow you to customize how much information you receive. They differ in how you receive the updates.

Alerts come in e-mail or as text messages to your mobile phone, at the interval you specify, and let you know when specific items change. For example, if you want to know each time someone adds new files to a library, you can create an alert for yourself or even for a co-worker.

RSS Feeds help you to consolidate updates from different sites in an RSS reader. RSS Feeds come at periodic intervals, and appear in an RSS reader, where you might already manage subscriptions to other types of information, such as headlines from news or blog sites. There are several types of RSS readers, including stand-alone readers, browsers such as Windows Internet Explorer, and e-mail programs such as Microsoft Outlook.

Alerts

Alerts can be set up for different types of information, so that you can learn about the changes you are most interested in. You can set up an alert for a list, library, folder, file, or list item. For example, you can set up an alert for a folder in a library, without receiving alerts when changes occur to the rest of the library.

You can set up alerts for different types of changes, ranging from every single change to only changes that occur to the files you created. You can also set up the delivery method for alerts so that they appear as messages in your e-mail inbox or as text messages on your mobile phone.

Before you can receive an alert as an e-mail message, a server administrator must configure outgoing e-mail in Central Administration. Similarly, before you can receive an alert as a text message, a server administrator must enable the SMS/MMS service settings in Central Administration. Find information about how to configure outgoing e-mail and how to configure the SMS service in the See Also section of this article.

RSS Feeds

RSS Feeds appear in an RSS reader with updates and subscriptions from other sites. RSS is a technology that enables you to receive updates in a standardized format from several sites at once.

You can view and subscribe to RSS Feeds for a list or library, or even a view where you have filtered the information or customized the columns.

Before you can receive RSS Feeds, the server administrator must enable RSS Feeds in Central Administration and the site administrator must have enabled RSS feeds for the site on the Site Settings page. Find information about how to enable RSS Feeds in the See Also section of this article.

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Create an alert for a list or library

 Tip   If you have permission to manage alerts, you can also create an alert for another person by typing his or her information into the Users box.

  1. In the list or library where you want to create the alert, click the Library or List tab on the ribbon.

     Note    The name of this tab varies, depending on the type of list or library you want to create an alert for. For example, for a calendar list, it’s the Calendar tab.

  2. In the Share & Track group, click Alert Me and then click Set alert on this library. (In a list, the command will say Set alert on this list.)
  3. On the New Alert page, in the Alert Title section, change the title for the alert if you want. The title appears in the subject line of the alert e-mail message and is also used for managing alerts.
  4. In the Delivery Methods section, select the method of delivery you want for your alerts.

     Note    If the Text Message (SMS) options are grayed out, you might not have a mobile phone number saved on the site. To save a mobile phone number, at the top of the site, click your name, and then click My Settings. Then on the User Information page, click Edit Item. If you have saved a mobile phone number and the options are still grayed out, the site might not be configured for outgoing e-mail and SMS alerts. Contact your server administrator.

  5. If the Change Type section is available, choose the types of changes that you want to be notified about. For example, you can receive alerts about all changes or only when items are deleted.
  6. In the Send Alerts for These Changes section, specify whether you want to be alerted for all types of changes, or for specific changes, such as when anything changes or only when someone changes an item that you created or recently changed.
  7. In the When to Send Alerts section, choose how frequently you want to receive the alerts, such as immediately or in a daily or weekly summary, and at what day or time.

     Note    For mobile alerts, Send immediately is the only option.

  8. Click OK.

 Note   Depending on how your site and servers are set up, the person you created an alert for might receive an e-mail message that confirms that you created an alert. The alert e-mail message might provide links to the list or library, alert settings, the name of the person who created the alert, a mobile view, and other information and commands.

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Create an alert for a folder, file, or list item

You can use the following procedure to create an alert to track an item in a list, a document in a library, or a folder in a list or library. For example, you can set an alert so that you receive notifications about changes to an event on a calendar or a task in a Tasks list.

 Tip   If you have permission to manage alerts, you can also create an alert for another person by typing his or her information into the Users box.

  1. In the list or library where the folder, file, or list item is located, point to the item, click the arrow that appears, and then click Alert Me. In some views, such as a view of items in a calendar, you may need to click the item, and then click Alert Me.
  2. On the New Alert page, in the Alert Title section, change the title for the alert if you want. The title appears in the subject line of the alert e-mail message and is also used for managing alerts.
  3. In the Delivery Methods section, select the method of delivery you want for your alerts.

     Note    If the Text Message (SMS) options are grayed out, you might not have a mobile phone number saved on the site. Click the User Information page link to save a mobile phone number. If you have saved a mobile phone number and the options are still grayed out, the site might not be configured for outgoing e-mail. Contact your server administrator.

  4. If the Change Type section is available, choose the types of changes that you want to be notified about. For example, you can receive alerts about all changes or only when items are deleted.
  5. In the Send Alerts for These Changes section, specify whether you want to be alerted for all types of changes, or for specific changes, such as when anything changes or only when someone changes an item that you created or recently changed.
  6. In the When to Send Alerts section, choose how frequently you want to receive the alerts, such as immediately or in a daily or weekly summary, and at what day or time.

     Note    For mobile alerts, Send immediately is the only option.

  7. Click OK.

 Note   Depending on how your site and servers are set up, the person you created an alert for might receive an e-mail message that confirms that you created an alert. The alert e-mail message might provide links to the list or library, alert settings, the name of the person who created the alert, a mobile view, and other information and commands.

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Subscribe to an RSS Feed for a list or library

 Note   Depending on your browser or how your system is set up, this procedure might not be available or the steps may differ. For more information, see your site owner or administrator.

  1. In the list or library to which you want to subscribe, click the Library or List tab on the ribbon.

     Note    The name of this tab varies, depending on the type of list or library you want to create an alert for. For example, for a calendar list, it’s the Calendar tab.

     Tip   If your Web browser enables you to subscribe to a view, an RSS toolbar button might become enabled at this point. If so, you might be able to click it to subscribe directly to the list or library. If this feature is not available in your browser, then you can follow the steps in the rest of this procedure.

  2. In the Share & Track group, click RSS Feed. The feed appears in a browser window.
  3. On the page that appears, follow the instructions for how to subscribe to the feed. For example, click Subscribe to this feed.
  4. Follow any additional instructions in your RSS reader, browser, or e-mail program.

 Note   If subscribing to the feed by using the subscription link doesn't work for your reader, follow the instructions in your RSS reader to copy and paste the URL of the feed into your reader.

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Subscribe to an RSS Feed for a view

If you have permission to modify a view, you can subscribe to an RSS Feed for a particular view. This enables you to receive updates on changes that occur to information that appears only in that view.

Some Web browsers enable you to subscribe to a view by clicking an RSS button in the browser toolbar.

  1. In the list or library to which you want to subscribe, click the Library or List tab on the ribbon.

     Note    The name of this tab varies, depending on the type of list or library you want to create an alert for. For example, for a calendar list, it’s the Calendar tab.

  2. Open the view that you want to subscribe to by selecting the view from the drop down list in the Manage Views group on the ribbon.

     Tip   If your Web browser enables you to subscribe to a view, an RSS toolbar button might become enabled at this point. If so, you might be able to click it to subscribe directly to the view. If this feature is not available, then you can follow the steps in the rest of this procedure.

  3. Click Modify View to open the view for editing.

     Note   If Modify this View does not appear on the View menu, you do not have permission to edit the view and therefore you cannot use this method to subscribe to the RSS Feed of the view.

  4. In the Name section, click the RSS button RSS Image.
  5. On the page that appears, follow the instructions for how to subscribe to the feed. For example, click Subscribe to this feed.
  6. Follow any additional instructions in your RSS reader, browser, or e-mail program.

 Note   If subscribing to the feed by using the subscription link doesn't work for your reader, follow the instructions in your RSS reader to copy and paste the URL of the feed into your reader.

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Applies to:
SharePoint Foundation 2010 , SharePoint Server 2010