How To Revert To An Old Version Of A Google Drive File

Here's a common scenario in Google Drive. You've been working on a report for many months, and have continuously updated it with feedback from your team. Now you need to open up an earlier version of the file, and use that version instead of the newest copy of the document. How do you do it?

It's actually easy to revert to an earlier copy of a document in Google Drive. Here's how:

  1. Open the document (or spreadsheet, or presentation, etc.) in Google Drive.
  2. Go to File>See Revision History.
  3. The Revision History will appear on the right side of the browser screen, with a list of all of the saved revisions and the people who made them (see screenshot, below).
  4. Select an earlier version to view it onscreen.
  5. Click the Restore This Revision link to revert to that version.

If you change your mind and want to go back to the most recent version, bring up Revision History (File>See Revision History) and select the version that you want to use (it should be near the top of the list).

Note that this method of reverting to an earlier version of a document is easier to do than it is in many versions of Microsoft Word, which might require digging up old backup copies or searching for an email attachment that you sent months ago. Google Drive also allows live collaboration, as well as asynchronous collaboration. To learn how collaboration works in Google Drive, please download a copy of Google Drive & Docs In 30 Minutes.