View historical versions of Office files

Office 2016 automatically saves versions of your SharePoint, OneDrive, and OneDrive for Business files while you’re working on them. These versions allow you to look back and understand how your files evolved over time and allow you to restore older versions in case you have made a mistake.

The improvements in this update are available to Office 365 subscribers. If you'd like to be among the first to access these improvements, join the Office Insider program.

To view historical versions

  1. Open the file you were working on.

  2. Near the far right end of the ribbon, click the Version History button to see a list of all the previous versions in the Version History pane. (The Version History button is only present when a file is stored in OneDrive, OneDrive for Business, or SharePoint.)

    The Activity button is near the far right end of the ribbon in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
  3. Click a version to open and view it in a separate window.

To restore a historical version

  1. Click Restore in the message bar at the top of the opened version.

    Open a previous version from the Activity Pane and you'll have the option to restore the previous version.

Restore will save your current file as a new version and then replace your current file with the contents of the version you chose to restore.

Related Topics

What is AutoSave?
Restore a previous version of a document in OneDrive for Business

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