Go back in time and recover previous edits in your Office documents

You may not realize it, but while you’re working on a file, up to five versions (also known as autorecovery or autosave versions) are automatically created. This means if you deleted or revised something numerous edits ago and want it back, there’s a very good chance you can recover it.
To open an available version of a file, follow these steps:
  1. In Word, Excel, or PowerPoint (2010 or higher), tap or click the File tab.
  2. Tap or click the Info tab, if necessary.
  3. Near the bottom of the Info tab, locate the Manage Document (Word 2016) or Versions (Word 2010-2013) section and tap or click a version to open it.

After a version is open, it’s just like any other file. You can use it for reference, copy a portion of it and paste it in another file, or save the version and create a new file.

If the area below the Manage Document or Versions section is empty then there aren’t any available versions. Here’s how it works: Each version made according to your AutoRecovery save interval (see below for more on this) and only if there are unsaved changes in the file. For example, if you save a file and leave it open for two hours without making any additional changes, new versions will not be created during that time.

Here are a few important notes:

  • Options for versions are found under File/Options on the Save tab. The Save AutoRecover information every X minutes and Keep the last autosaved version if I close without saving options must be turned on to recover a version.
  • When you close a saved file, all versions are automatically deleted.
  • If you close a previously saved file without saving recent changes, the last version is kept until your next editing session. To access it, reopen the file and the last version will be on the Info tab under the Versions section.

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