How to Restore an Older Version of a File in Google Sheets: Step-by-Step Guide

Restoring an older version of a file in Google Sheets is a straightforward process. Simply open the file in Google Sheets, click on “File” in the top menu, choose “Version history,” and then “See version history.” From there, you can view previous versions, restore the one you want, and even name different versions for easy identification.

Step by Step Tutorial: How to Restore an Older Version of a File in Google Sheets

Before we start restoring, it’s important to understand what we’re about to do. By following these steps, you’ll be able to bring back any previous version of your Google Sheets file. This is super useful if you’ve made a mistake or lost important information.

Step 1: Open your file in Google Sheets

First things first, you need to open the Google Sheets file that you want to restore to an older version.

When you open your file, make sure you’re logged into the correct Google account. This is important because you’ll only be able to see the version history for files that are tied to your Google account.

Step 2: Click on “File”

Look for the “File” option in the top menu bar of Google Sheets and click on it.

The “File” menu is where you can find all sorts of useful features for managing your Google Sheets file, including the version history.

Step 3: Choose “Version history”

After clicking on “File,” a dropdown menu will appear. From there, select “Version history,” which will lead to another side menu.

The “Version history” option is like a time machine for your Google Sheets. It’s where you can travel back to see all the changes made to your file over time.

Step 4: Select “See version history”

In the side menu that appears after selecting “Version history,” click on “See version history.”

By selecting this, you’ll open a panel on the right side of your screen that lists all the previous versions of your file, each with a unique timestamp.

Step 5: Choose the version you want to restore

Look through the list of versions, and when you find the one you want to restore, click on it.

Each version is marked with the date and time it was saved, and you can even see who made the changes if you’re working in a shared file.

Step 6: Click “Restore this version”

Once you’ve selected the version you want, click the “Restore this version” button at the top of the version history panel.

Be sure you’re confident in your choice before restoring, as this will replace the current version of your file with the older one you’ve selected.

After completing these steps, your Google Sheets file will be restored to the chosen older version. The current file will be overwritten by the older version, but don’t worry, you can always go back to the version history and restore the most recent version if needed.

Tips for Restoring an Older Version of a File in Google Sheets

  • Always double-check the version you’re restoring to ensure it’s the correct one.
  • Name your different versions for easier identification in the future.
  • Use the version history feature to track changes made by collaborators.
  • Remember that restoring an older version will overwrite the current version.
  • Keep in mind that only changes saved to Google Drive will appear in the version history.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I restore a deleted Google Sheets file?

If you’ve deleted a file, you can often recover it from the “Trash” in Google Drive, but not through version history.

Will restoring an older version affect shared access to the file?

Restoring an older version will not change the sharing settings of your Google Sheets file.

Can I restore a file to a version from several months ago?

Google Sheets keeps a version history for up to 30 days or 100 versions. If you need to restore beyond that, it might not be possible unless you’ve manually saved a copy.

Is it possible to compare two versions before restoring?

Yes, you can preview different versions side by side before deciding which one to restore.

What happens if two people are editing the file and both restore different versions?

Google Sheets will save both actions in the version history, but the last action taken will determine the current version of the file.


  1. Open the file in Google Sheets.
  2. Click “File.”
  3. Choose “Version history.”
  4. Select “See version history.”
  5. Choose the version to restore.
  6. Click “Restore this version.”


Restoring an older version of a file in Google Sheets can be a lifesaver. Whether you’ve made an unwanted change, lost data, or simply want to revisit an earlier version of your work, Google Sheets makes it easy to turn back the clock. With just a few clicks, you can view, compare, and restore previous versions of your spreadsheets, ensuring that your data is never truly lost.

Just remember, it’s a good idea to name your versions and keep track of the changes, especially when working with teammates. That way, you’ll always know which version to restore. Plus, don’t forget that restoring a version will overwrite the current file, so be sure you’ve selected the right one. But even if you make a mistake, you can always use the version history to undo it.

In conclusion, mastering the version history feature in Google Sheets will not only give you peace of mind but also make collaboration and file management a breeze. So, the next time you or a colleague accidentally deletes that crucial piece of data, don’t panic—just restore it!

Get Our Free Newsletter

How-to guides and tech deals

You may opt out at any time.
Read our Privacy Policy