View the version history for a file in a document library

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When you save a file you've changed back to a document library, SharePoint Online creates a new version of the file. You can easily view the current and previous versions, or restore an earlier version to replace the latest version, or delete versions you no longer need.

Updated January 24, 2017 thanks to customer feedback.

View version history in your document library

  1. Open the list or library from the Quick Launch bar.

    If the name of your list or library does not appear, click Site contents or View All Site Content, and then click the name of your list or library.

  2. Right click on the space between the item or document name and date, and then click Version History from the menu. You might need to scroll the menu to see Version History.

    If you don't see Version History, click the ellipse (...) in the dialog and then click Version History.

    You'll see a list of versions of the file.

    Version History dialog box with 3 versions.
  3. In the Version History dialog, hover next to the version you want view and click the down arrow on the right side to get a list of options.

    Version history options (view, restore, delete)

    Click View.

    Note: For all versions except the latest, you'll see View, Restore, and Delete. For the latest version, you'll only see View and Restore.

  4. The Version History dialog box opens with various actions you can select.

    The actions available vary with version and with attributes that are set up by the administrator or owner.

    The choices change based on whether you selected the latest file, or an earlier version.

    The version history window for the most recent version of the file includes actions to manage, notify, check out, or create a workflow.

    SharePoint 2016 Version history dialog

    The view of the version history for a previous version of a file shows the option to restore or delete that version.

    SharePoint 2016 history dialog box showing previous version

The Version History view dialog box offers actions you can also do directly from menus. Here are some topics for more information on some of these choices:

For more information on versioning and your options, see How does versioning work in a list or library?

I don't see a version history option

Versioning needs to be turned on to see the version history option on menus or in ribbons. To turn on version history, see Enable and configure versioning for a list or library.

My versions don't go back far enough

When you set up versioning, you set a maximum number of versions to save. When the maximum number of versions are saved, SharePoint deletes the oldest to accommodate newer versions. You can set SharePoint to save more versions, up to the system limit. For more info on setting the maximum number of versions, see How does versioning work in a list or library?.

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