How to Recover Previous Versions of Your Documents from OneDrive

While working with documents it is inevitable that, at some point, you need to use an older version of a certain document. Luckily, if you synchronize your work with OneDrive, this service will store each version of your documents and make them available for download and restoration, when needed. Here's how to download or restore an older version of any document, using OneDrive.

Step 1. Log in to OneDrive & Find the Document That You Want Restored

Open your favorite browser and go to the OneDrive website. Log in with your Microsoft account and then browse OneDrive and find the document for which you want to download or restore a previous version. You can also use the search feature to find it faster.

Step 2. Restore or Download an Older Version of that Document

Select the document for which you want to access that older version. Then, in the toolbar on the top, click or tap Manage and then Version history. This option is shown only for Office files like Word documents, Excel spreadsheets or Powerpoint presentations. It is not available for images or multimedia files.

Now the document is opened in the appropriate Office Online app, depending on its type. For this tutorial we have used an Excel spreadsheet and it was opened using Excel Online.

On the column on the left, you can see the current version of the document and all the previous versions that are available. Select them one by one and the document will be reloaded in your browser, so you can see what it looks like.

Once you have found the version that you are interested in, you have two options: Restore and Download.

If you click or tap Restore that older version of the document will be become the current version and OneDrive will synchronize it on all your devices. You can resume your work from there and update the document as you need. Obviously, any new updates you make to it, will be saved in new versions.

If you want to keep the current version without having it replaced by the older version you are looking at, then it is best to Download the older version. In the Save As window, select a different location for that older version of the document and press Save. You can also save it in the same location as the current version but you should use a different name for the older version.

Now you have both the current version of the document in your OneDrive and the older version in the folder where you downloaded it.

Step 3. Keep Using OneDrive to Backup & Synchronize Your Work

As you can see, this feature of OneDrive is very useful when you mess up the versions of one document or another. We use it from time to time and each time it saves us a lot of time and headaches.

We hope that you found this tutorial useful. If you have any questions or comments, don't hesitate to use the form below.