The Windows Undo Arrow

If you’ve made a mistake on your Windows 10 or Windows 11 PC and would like to go back a step, it’s easy to use the built-in “Undo” command. Similarly, you can sometimes also perform a “Redo” action to restore what you just undid. Here’s how to perform both actions.

How to Undo and (Sometimes) Redo Using Your Keyboard

Almost every Windows app supports at least a simple, one-step Undo. To undo an action you just performed in Windows, press Ctrl+Z on your keyboard.

To undo in Windows, press Ctrl+Z on your keyboard.
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Some applications (such as Adobe Photoshop and Microsoft Office) support multiple steps of Undo, taking you back another step each time you perform the Undo command. If so, you can keep pressing and releasing Ctrl+Z to go back as many steps as you need.

Also, in many applications—such as Microsoft Office apps—you can press Ctrl+Y or F4 on your keyboard to Redo the action you just undid.

To redo in some Windows apps, press Ctrl+Y on your keyboard.
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Unlike on a Mac, the “Redo” action isn’t universally implemented in Windows. You’ll have to experiment and see which applications support it.

How to Undo and Redo Using a Menu or Toolbar

In many apps that have a classic “File / Edit” menu bar at the top of the window, you can perform an Undo by clicking “Edit” and selecting “Undo” in the menu that appears.

Click Edit > Undo to perform an undo in some Windows programs.

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Likewise, some apps place a “Redo” option just below “Undo” in the “Edit” menu (as you’ll often see on a Mac). But the classic File / Edit menu bar is getting harder to find in Windows. Instead, some apps such as Microsoft Word (and other Office apps) include special Undo and Redo toolbar buttons.

To perform an Undo in Office apps, click the curved, left-pointing arrow in the Quick Access Toolbar at the very top of the window.

The "Undo" Button in the Quick Access Bar in Word 365.

To perform a redo that will bring back what you did undid, click the Redo button in the Quick Access toolbar, which looks like a hooked arrow pointing to the right.

The "Redo" Button in the Quick Access Bar in Word 365.

Other apps with different toolbar interfaces will likely have different designs for their undo or redo buttons. In general, look for a curved arrow pointing to the left for “Undo.” You can also try right-clicking in a text entry area and looking for an “Undo” option. Or, when all else fails, try pressing Ctrl+Z on your keyboard. Good luck!

RELATED: How to Undo (and Redo) on Mac

Profile Photo for Benj Edwards Benj Edwards
Benj Edwards is an Associate Editor for How-To Geek. For over 15 years, he has written about technology and tech history for sites such as The Atlantic, Fast Company, PCMag, PCWorld, Macworld, Ars Technica, and Wired. In 2005, he created Vintage Computing and Gaming, a blog devoted to tech history. He also created The Culture of Tech podcast and regularly contributes to the Retronauts retrogaming podcast.
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