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Summary: This article explains how to use version history in OneDrive and SharePoint. Users can revert to earlier file versions in various formats, including Microsoft 365 files, PDFs, and more. It also covers steps for restoring previous versions in OneDrive and File Explorer. Additionally, it mentions key points such as version limits based on account type and recycle bin behavior. The article concludes by discussing the significance of versioning in SharePoint for data security and tracking changes, including viewing, restoring, and tracking file history.

You can effortlessly access and restore previous iterations of your files in OneDrive or SharePoint through the convenient version history feature. This versatile functionality extends to all file formats, encompassing Microsoft 365 files, PDFs, CAD files, photographs, videos, and a wide array of other file types. Furthermore, if the need arises, you have the capability to recover deleted OneDrive files and SharePoint items directly from the recycle bin.

Restore a previous version of the selected file in OneDrive

The options in the OneDrive menu offer version history, too, and from the available versions, you can restore one.

  1. Sign in to the OneDrive for Business account and check the files in the My Files section. Click on the three dots and choose Version history.choose Version history
  2. Various versions of the files are available in the list.Various versions of the files
  3. Click on the three dots and choose Restore.Click on the three dots
Use the ‘version history’ in File Explorer

While using OneDrive on the desktop, you can check a file’s version history in File Explorer and restore it.

  1. Open the OneDrive folder in File explorer and choose the file for restoration. Right-click and select ‘Version history.’select Version history
  2. All the versions of the file are available in the list; choose the Restore option. choose the Restore

The version you choose will become the current version, and the current version will become the previous version.

Key points related to the older version restoration in OneDrive
  • You can access up to 25 previous versions by signing in with your personal Microsoft account. The number of available versions may differ when using a Work or School account, depending on your library configuration settings.
  • Your administrator might have disabled document versioning if you use OneDrive as a component of SharePoint Server.
  • Recycle Bin items in OneDrive undergo automatic removal after 30 days when associated with a Microsoft account. In cases where the recycle bin becomes full, the oldest items are systematically deleted after just three days. However, if you’re using a Work or School account, items are automatically purged from the recycle bin after a period of 93 days.
How does versioning work in SharePoint?

Versioning stands out as a sophisticated advanced features of SharePoint 2019, wielding significant influence over data security. By harnessing versioning capabilities within SharePoint, you gain enhanced capabilities for storing, tracking, and restoring files and data contained within lists and libraries. When combined with other configurable settings, versioning bestows heightened control over your site’s data integrity. Furthermore, versioning streamlines the process of accessing and reinstating previous iterations of lists and libraries. This functionality empowers you to employ versioning for a range of essential actions, including:

  • Viewing Past Versions
    Explore earlier iterations without altering your current version. In Microsoft Office documents with version history, you can easily compare two versions to pinpoint the differences.
  • Restoring Previous Versions
    If you’ve made a mistake in your current version, encountered corruption, or simply prefer an earlier iteration, you can seamlessly switch back to a prior version.
  • Monitoring File History
    Enabling versioning provides insight into the history of a document or item, including who made modifications and when. You can also track changes in file properties, such as due dates for list items. For example, the version history will highlight when a due date was modified by a user.
    • When the user uploads the file in the library or creates a new file
    • When the user uploads a file that has a similar name to an existing file
    • When the properties of a file or list item change
    • When the user opens and edits an Office document
    • When editing and saving Office documents is done occasionally (not every modification and save results in the latest version. For instance, if you often save edits, each updated version records a point in time rather than every single update)
    • When a user uploads changes to the library while co-authoring a document, when a different user starts working on the document, or at other times


Versioning ensures that any modifications to a document or file are effectively tracked and safeguards the integrity of stored data. Its significance amplifies when a business undertakes data migration between SharePoint accounts or OneDrive cloud storage. The preservation of versions becomes paramount in this context. To seamlessly achieve this task, you can rely on the Kernel Migrator for SharePoint software. With this powerful tool, you can effortlessly migrate all versions of a file while maintaining the integrity of metadata for each version. When devising a comprehensive plan for SharePoint Migration in your business, our software serves as an indispensable facilitator for seamlessly migrating all versions of every item.

Kernel Migrator for SharePoint