Revert a Document to the Last Saved Version Instantly in Mac OS X

Oct 4, 2012 - 4 Comments

Revert to the last saved version of a file

We’ve all accidentally saved over a crucial file and lost something important, and that’s exactly what the Versions feature of Mac OS X aims to prevent by providing a history of a documents life. Modern versions of OS X with the Versions feature have improved dramatically, and it’s now easier to use and more logical than ever.

One of the particularly great abilities of this feature lets you immediately revert any document back to the last saved version of that file, here’s all you need to do:

  1. With the changed document open, pull down the File menu
  2. Select “Revert to” and choose “Last Saved – (Date & Time)”
  3. Confirm reverting to the last saved version and the document will leap back in time

Confirm file version change

The date and time of the last save will be shown, allowing you to easily confirm that’s the file variation you are looking for.

You can still browse through the entire revision history of a given document by going to “Browse All Versions” instead, but the last saved version of a file is the most commonly used and having that as an option makes a lot of sense.

Jumping back to the last saved version even works if you have auto-saving turned off upon document closing, just don’t forget to save at some point otherwise your last version may not be the one you’re looking for.

This works in all modern versions of OS X, so it shouldn’t matter what’s running on the Mac as long as it’s somewhat new.


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Posted by: William Pearson in Mac OS, Tips & Tricks


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  1. Tara Louise Vickers says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you!! This just saved me from a real headache!!!

  2. Elise says:

    i accidentally restored an old version of a numbers document, and i lost about 12 hours of work by doing so. can i undo the restore? because now the undo button is grey, i can’t go back to the “new” version that i forgot to save. please help me!!!

  3. Demi says:

    Awesome, you can really pick any date it was ever saved. There even is a freaking timeline! This just saved me a LOOOT of time, THANKS!!

  4. Lauri Ranta says:

    Lion had both Revert to: Last Saved and Browse All Versionsā€¦ in the versions menu. The file menu had a menu item that either:

    – reverted to the last version if there weren’t other versions (Revert to Saved)
    – showed a dialog about the two options if there were multiple old versions (Revert Documentā€¦)

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