Google Sheets maintains a detailed version history of all the changes or edits you’ve made to your spreadsheets. Here’s how to check your edit log, add version names, and restore them when necessary.
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First, open your browser and visit the Google Sheets website, and then load the spreadsheet that you want to work on. If you’ve opened up a new spreadsheet, be sure to make a few edits so that Google Sheets has some edit history to log.
Once you’ve done that, there are two ways to check version history in Google Sheets. The simplest is to click the “Last Edit Was At” link to the right of the “Help” button in the menu bar.
Alternatively, in Google Sheets, you can navigate to File > Version History in the menu bar.
In the “Version History” menu, select “See Version History.”
This will show you a detailed log of all the changes made to your spreadsheet. You can see this in a pane on the right-hand side of the page. Google helpfully groups these changes by date and also time, which makes it easy to zero in on specific sets of edits to the spreadsheet. You can click any of the timestamps to go to that version.
To see more versions under any version group, click the small triangular arrow icon, which is located to the left of the timestamp in the version history pane.
After you click the triangle, the menu will expand, revealing a bunch of entries from the version history that should help you find the exact version you’re looking for.
Checking version history can quickly get tedious because of the version-naming scheme. Google Sheets names each version with a timestamp, which is a good starting point, but it can get overwhelming on documents with lots of changes.
That’s why it’s a good idea to name specific versions of documents in Google Sheets. We’re not suggesting that you diligently rename every minor change—that’s even more cumbersome—but it’s helpful to tag versions with big changes.
You can easily do this by opening the version history of any spreadsheet in Google Sheets and then clicking the three-dot icon next to the version that you want to name.
In the menu that appears, click “Name This Version,” and Google Sheets will allow you to change the version’s name from a timestamp to whatever you wish.
When you’re done, hit the Enter key or click anywhere else on the spreadsheet to confirm the name.
After naming all of the versions that are important, you can make Google Sheets highlight only named versions of a spreadsheet while checking its version history. This helps you find versions with big changes quickly, without having to go through multiple sets of timestamps.
To do this, open the version history pane in Google Sheets once more. At the top of this pane, just below the “Version History” label, you can enable the option called “Only Show Named Versions.”
This will highlight only the versions that you’ve named, along with the most recent version of your spreadsheet.
Now that you’ve found the version history of your spreadsheet and learned how to name the versions, it’s time to learn how to restore old versions in Google Sheets. To do this, open the version history pane in Google Sheets and select the correct version of the spreadsheet.
The next step is to click the big green button called “Restore This Version,” which is located at the top of the page.
You can also go to the version history pane on the right and click the three-dot icon next to the name of the version. Here, select “Restore This Version.”
Both methods lead to the same end result—restoring the old version of a spreadsheet in Google Sheets. With that done, you might enjoy reading about how to delete version history in Google Docs.
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