- What is Google Sheets Version History?
- How Long Does Google Sheets Keep Version History?
- How to View the History of a Google Sheet?
- How to Restore a Google Sheets Version?
- How to Make a Copy of a Google Sheets Version?
- How to Name a Google Sheets Version?
- How to Delete the Version History of a Google Sheet?
Over the years, Google Sheets has greatly improved functionality and collaboration. Whether you're working alone or collaborating with others, at some point, you're going to wish you could revisit the past. Thanks to Google Sheets’ version history, you almost can.
The ‘undo’ shortcut (Ctrl + Z) is handy immediately after you make a mistake, but what if it’s been a while or the mistake was made by someone else? What if there was no mistake, and you just want to restore or copy an earlier version of the spreadsheet? Fortunately, Google Sheets’ version history allows you to view and interact with previous versions of your file.
In this post, you will learn about Google Sheets’ version history, including what it is and what you can use it for. You will also learn how to use it to view previous versions and keep track of changes, restore previous versions, make a separate copy of specific versions, name versions, and delete any versions you don’t need.
To learn more about the different methods available to keep track of changes in Google Sheets, check out our post on How to Track Changes in Google Sheets.
What is Google Sheets Version History?
Google Sheets’ version history is a great way to revisit or recover past versions of your spreadsheet. Google Sheets automatically saves changes to your file and keeps a log of these changes. Provided you have at least editing permissions in this file, you can view these past versions in detail. You can also name 15 of these versions per spreadsheet to make them easier to find, restore a previous version to replace the current version, or make a separate copy of the past version.
How Long Does Google Sheets Keep Version History?
There is no set limit to how long Google Sheets keeps the head version of your spreadsheet. However, it will occasionally do some purging and merging of versions to save space. Generally speaking, you can keep up to 100 revisions, but after 30 days, Google Sheets will merge some of them. Nevertheless, the current version is never purged.
How to View the History of a Google Sheet?
To view a Google Sheets’ history, follow the steps below.
- 1. Open your Google Sheets file.
- 2. Go to File > Version history > See version history.
- 3. You’ll see a sidebar to the right of your spreadsheet containing all versions of your file, with the current version at the top.
- 4. Click the arrow to the left of a version to get a detailed list of changes. Each user is assigned a different color to make their changes easier to identify.
- 5. Clicking on any of these change logs will highlight the changes within the spreadsheet.
There are several ways to track changes in Google Sheets to make collaboration in your team even easier. Here'show to track changes in Google Sheets.READ MORE
How to Restore a Google Sheets Version?
There are two ways to restore a Google Sheets version so that it replaces the current one.
- 1. Go to File > Version history > See version history.
- 2. From the sidebar, select the version you want to restore.
- 3. Click “Restore this version”.
- 4. Alternatively, you can click the vertical ellipsis to the right of the version you want to restore to get the options. Select ‘Restore this version’.
How to Make a Copy of a Google Sheets Version?
If you don’t want to replace the current version, you can always make a copy of past versions.
- 1. From the version history sidebar, select the version you want to copy.
- 2. Click the vertical ellipsis to the right of your selection and choose ‘Make a copy’.
- 3. You can choose how to name your file and where to save it. Check the box to ‘Share it with the same people’.
When sharing a Google Sheets spreadsheet Google usually tries to share the entire document. Here’s how to share only one tab instead.READ MORE
How to Name a Google Sheets Version?
To name the current version of your spreadsheet, go to File > Version history > Name current version.
How to Delete the Version History of a Google Sheet?
Unfortunately, you can't delete version history in google sheets. You can’t really purge these versions yourself, as there is no option to delete specific versions. However, you can get around this by making a copy. The copy won't inherit the version history, so you can start a new one.
As you have seen, Google Sheets’ version history is a very useful tool. You no longer need to keep separate files with different versions or drafts, and you don’t need to restore a previous version to view its contents in detail. You can even name different versions of your spreadsheet to make it easier to revisit versions before important changes or updates.
You now know what Google Sheets’ version history is and what you can do with it. You know how to view the version history and how to view versions in detail without having to restore it or make changes to any version. You also know how to name different file versions, restore a previous version, make a separate copy, or delete specific versions.
Check out our guide to learn more about the different methods you can use to track changes in Google Sheets.