Go back in time with Version History

May 20, 2021 | Microsoft 365 Hints and Tips

There used to be a time when once you had saved a document there was no way to get back to an earlier version.

Up to that point Undo is invaluable.  In Microsoft 365 Version History makes it really straightforward to go back in time if you realise that a mistake was made a while ago. The feature is available in most of the Microsoft Products such as Word, Excel and PowerPoint. 

This means that manually adding V1, V2, V3 and so on to file names to keep older versions can now be a thing of the past. 

How to access earlier versions from Microsoft packages 

At the top of the screen in the Microsoft applications you will see the file name and the date it was last modified. 

  1. Click on the drop down and select Version History 
Microsoft version

2. A Version History pane will appear on the right side of the screen showing the different versions of the file and the date and time they were saved 

Version History

3. Click on any version to open the file at that point in time.

4. You can copy information from this file or use Save As to save a separate version. When this has been done the version is closed by using the cross at the top right of the screen or selecting Close from the File menu.

5. Alternatively if this version is where you want to restart from Restore can be chosen instead.

Save as template for template pages in OneNote

How to access earlier versions from OneDrive 

Version History is also available from OneDrive if you prefer and works in a similar way. 

1.  Select a file 

2.  Click on the ellipses (3 dots) next to the file name and choose Version History 

One drive version history

3. The Version History will appear in a pane on the right.

4. Any version can be restored, opened or deleted by clicking on the ellipses next to the date the file was modified.

This is a really powerful tool to have access to if an error is made and you don’t immediately realise the problem. In Microsoft Word you can even compare the old version with the new one and use Track Changes to see what has been altered since then and choose to keep some changes but not others. 

Further Reading

If you’ve enjoyed reading about how to use Version History, there’s some other blogs below that you might find useful:

Want to learn more about Microsoft 365? Then email lara@laramellortraining.co.uk to discuss how I can help or have a look at the Microsoft 365 Courses I run.