How to use Microsoft Word's version history to recover lost work

Xiaobai Software  2023-09-27 17: 31  read 51 views

Microsoft Word There is a built-in system that you can use to study the evolution of a document, refer to previous comments, and recover lost work.You just need to know where to find it.

One of the platform's life-saving features, Version History is fairly obscure.Still, the feature is easy to use as long as you know where to look.


How to use version history in Word

More efficient version history functionality is one of the many reasons to use Word online.However, this feature also works if you use Word offline.

The title of the Word document appears in a banner at the top of the page.The specific appearance of the banner depends on your settings and the version you are using.The screenshots in this article were taken from Word Online in dark mode and may differ slightly from your version of Word.


In Word Online, look to the right of the document name in the title banner.Here, you'll find an icon indicating whether the file has been automatically saved since the last edit, followed by a downward arrow.In the application, this line will show the time the file was last modified, followed by the same arrow.

In either case, clicking the arrow will bring up a drop-down menu with several options: rename the file, see the file's location, see the last saved date, and access version history.Clicking "Version History" at the bottom of the drop-down menu opens the document to a new page with a column menu to the right.

Different versions appear as stacked items in this column, with timestamps.Each item will also have an arrow pointing to the right.Click this option to display a more detailed description of changes for each version of the document.


More details can help you find the version you need.Just click on the desired option to open that version while keeping the current version.Alternatively, you can select "Restore" at the top of the page to restore the file to this version.

It's important to note that when working with a document downloaded from the cloud in a desktop application, accessing the document's version history may require you to upload it again.

How to take advantage of version history settings in Word

Version history cannot be turned off in settings.However, taking advantage of the feature's settings can help you get the most out of it; version history isn't just for recovering deleted work, after all.For example, enabling the Track Changes feature in the Review toolbar can help you organize differences between different versions of your document.

Additionally, version history is more powerful by saving changes in a single document rather than multiple separate versions.It's basically the same functionality as manually saving different versions, but is easier to find and manage.

Protect your documents with version history

Microsoft Word The version history feature is your savior.With this tool, you can recover lost work, backtrack after errors occur, and document the progress of your project.

Knowing how to find and use this feature can greatly increase your confidence in using Word.

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