Restore or delete a previous version of an item or file

If your list or library tracks versions, you can restore or delete a previous version of a list item or file.



Overview

When you track versions of items in a list or of files in a library, a version history is created. A version history enables you to see how a file evolved and to view, restore, or delete a previous version. Being able to manage the version history provides flexibility in how your team manages its authoring and editing processes.

For example, if you make a mistake in the current version, you can restore a previous version. If you know that you don't want to keep a certain version — for example, if it contains an error or if the version history is growing too long — you can delete that previous version. To delete versions, you must have permission to contribute to a list or library. Note also that an administrator can create custom permissions for deleting versions.

If your team makes many changes to its files, the version history can grow long. Storing many versions can occupy a lot of space on the server and make it harder to see important changes in the version history. To simplify the version history, you can delete some versions that you no longer need. If you don't want to keep any previous versions, you can delete them all at once. When you delete a version, it is sent to the Recycle Bin, where it can be recovered by someone with permission to recover items.

Lists and libraries can also be configured to limit the number of versions that are saved for each list item or file. If your list or library has a version limit, your team may want to delete the versions that it doesn't need to ensure that it can retain the versions that it does need.

If major and minor versions are being tracked for the list or library, you can delete just the minor versions. Deleting minor versions can help save space on the server and make it easier to find the important versions, such as the version that was submitted for review or published for other people to see. When you delete all minor versions, any version with a decimal point, such as 1.2 or 2.3, is deleted.

Find links to more information about versioning in the See Also section.

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Restore a previous version

Use this procedure to select a previous version from the version history and restore that version as your current version.

  1. If the list or library is not already open, click its name on the Quick Launch.

If the name of your list or library does not appear, click View All Site Content, and then click the name of your list or library.

Point to the item or file for which you want to manage versions, click the arrow that appears, and then click Version History.

Versions are numbered and listed in reverse order, with the latest version first.

  1. Point to the version that you want to restore, click the arrow that appears, and then click Restore.
  2. When you are prompted to confirm whether you want to restore the version as your current version, click OK.

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Delete a previous version

Use this procedure to delete a previous version of a file from the version history.

 Note   You cannot delete just the current version of a file without permanently deleting the file and all versions of it. If you make a mistake in the latest version and you want to delete it, you must first restore a previous version and then delete the version that contains the mistake. Or, if you have the file checked out, you can discard the changes in the current version by undoing the check-out.

  1. If the list or library is not already open, click its name on the Quick Launch.

If the name of your list or library does not appear, click View All Site Content, and then click the name of your list or library.

Point to the item or file for which you want to manage versions, click the arrow that appears, and then click Version History.

Versions are numbered and listed in reverse order, with the latest version first.

  1. Point to the version that you want to delete, click the arrow that appears, and then click Delete.
  2. When you are prompted to confirm the deletion, click OK.

When you delete a version, it is sent to the Recycle Bin, where it can be recovered by someone with permission to recover items.

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Delete all previous versions

When you delete all previous versions of list items or files, all versions except the current version are sent to the Recycle Bin. If you delete versions in a library that tracks both major and minor versions, and your current version is a minor version, the last published major version is also kept.

  1. If the list or library is not already open, click its name on the Quick Launch.

If the name of your list or library does not appear, click View All Site Content, and then click the name of your list or library.

Point to the item or file for which you want to manage versions, click the arrow that appears, and then click Version History.

Versions are numbered and listed in reverse order, with the latest version first.

  1. Click Delete All Versions.
  2. When you are prompted to confirm whether you want to delete all previous versions, click OK.

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Delete all minor versions

This procedure is available for libraries that track major and minor versions of files. If your current version is a minor version (or if there are no major versions), the current minor version is kept when you delete all minor versions.

  1. If the list or library is not already open, click its name on the Quick Launch.

If the name of your list or library does not appear, click View All Site Content, and then click the name of your list or library.

Point to the item or file for which you want to manage versions, click the arrow that appears, and then click Version History.

Versions are numbered and listed in reverse order, with the latest version first.

  1. Click Delete Minor Versions.
  2. When you are prompted to confirm whether you want to delete all minor versions, click OK.

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Applies to:
SharePoint Server 2007, Windows SharePoint Services 3.0