Improve Your Tech IQ: Version History

We’ve all been there: Multiple hours of work on a spreadsheet, a document or slide presentation – and your work disappears. Pffft!

Is all that work gone?

Well on M365 (formerly known as Microsoft’s Office 365/O365), the Cloud steps in and saves your bacon. Before you start screaming in frustration, check your Version History.

To do that, go to your File drop-down in the application ribbon. Look for the option “Version History” (or, on a Mac, “Browse Version History.”) Look at the times on the different versions listed to determine which file likely has your “lost” work.

In some versions of Office, you can also click on the version history icon. It looks like this:

CAVEAT: You must be working in Microsoft’s OneDrive or SharePoint to enable this feature.

 A quick way to check on whether you are using the Cloud is to see if you have Autosave turned on. Autosave uploads your documents to the Cloud and stores all the versions there. Also, when you go to open an existing document, the application will put up a small window telling you it is downloading your file.

Even though you’re using the cloud, in M365 the document opens on your device and your editing happens in real-time. It looks like the file is on your computer, but the versions are being saved in the Cloud.

If you have resisted moving to the Cloud and are storing everything on a local hard drive, you may be out of luck. Autosave works every few seconds – but on local storage, you’ll need to do the saving – and renaming of your versions. That’s impractical, as we all know over the years of personal computing.

Version History is a great feature to remember when you’re working on a deadline and suddenly something happens. All is not lost – just go to File > Version History and restore your work with a click!

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