How to restore older versions of files in Windows 10

It is often not possible to directly retrieve an older version of a file in Windows 10. However, there are some tricks you can try.

You may have made a change to a file that you later regret. Or maybe something went wrong and that's why you need an earlier version. In Windows 10, files are usually overwritten when a modified version of them is saved. Therefore, it is usually not possible to consult or restore an older version. Also read: How to recover deleted files in OS X (and Windows).

Previous versions

If you right click on a file and Characteristics you can choose the tab Previous versions to see if an older version of the file may have been saved. Unfortunately, this is usually not the case, but if you are lucky you can view and/or restore the file directly here.

Cloud Storage

Some cloud services, such as Google Drive, Google Docs, and Dropbox, keep older versions of your files so that you can view and restore them at a later date if you need to. So if you're syncing your files with a cloud service, it's a good idea to log into that service's website to see if older versions are available.

With Dropbox you can even do this directly from Windows Explorer by right-clicking a file in the Dropbox folder and View previous versions to choose.

Microsoft OneDrive only makes it possible to restore older versions of Office documents. So older versions of images and other non-Office files are not saved.


If you use a decent backup program, different versions of your files will be saved, so you can always go back to an older version.

If you use File History, the built-in backup function of Windows 10, older versions of your files will still be stored Previous versions provided you plug the backup disk into your computer.

Some online backup services add a restore option in the context menu of files so that you can restore them directly from File Explorer.

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