How to Remove Version History in Google Docs: A Step-by-Step Guide


Matthew Burleigh

Google Docs has a nifty feature that keeps track of all the changes made to a document. But sometimes, you might want a clean slate. Maybe you’re passing the document on to someone else, or you just don’t want a record of the early drafts. Whatever the reason, it’s pretty simple to remove version history in Google Docs. Just follow these steps, and you’ll have a fresh document in no time.

Step by Step Tutorial on How to Remove Version History in Google Docs

Before we dive into the steps, let’s understand what we’re about to do. Google Docs saves each edit that you make as a separate version. By following these steps, you will create a new document without the version history of the original one.

Step 1: Open the Google Docs document

Open the document whose version history you want to remove.

Opening the document is straightforward. Just go to Google Drive, find the document you need, and double-click to open it.

Step 2: Click on "File"

Click on "File" in the upper left-hand corner of the screen.

The "File" menu is where a lot of the important document settings are located. It’s your gateway to many of the features in Google Docs.

Step 3: Select "Make a copy"

Select the option that says "Make a copy."

By creating a copy, you’re essentially making a new document that will not carry over the version history from the original.

Step 4: Rename the document and choose a location to save it

Give your new document a name and decide where you want to save it in your Google Drive.

This step is about organization. Make sure you name your document something that makes sense to you and store it somewhere you can find it easily.

Step 5: Click "OK"

After naming and choosing a location, click "OK."

Clicking "OK" will create the new document. It might take a few seconds to process, but once it’s done, you’ll have a brand new document without any version history.

After completing these steps, you’ll have a new Google Docs document without the version history of the original. This means that all the changes, comments, and suggestions that were previously recorded will no longer be visible. You’ll be starting with a clean slate.

Tips for Managing Version History in Google Docs

  • Always make sure you want to remove version history before you do it. Once it’s gone, you can’t get it back.
  • Consider saving a final version before removing the history, just in case you need to refer back to it.
  • Use version history to track changes and collaborate more effectively before you decide to remove it.
  • Remember that making a copy of a document will not transfer comments or suggestions. Make sure to address those before you create a new copy.
  • Regularly clean up your Google Drive to keep it organized, especially after making copies of your documents.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I see the version history before I decide to remove it?

Click on "File," then go to "Version history," and select "See version history." This will show you all the changes that have been made to the document.

Will making a copy of a Google Docs document save the comments too?

No, comments and suggestions are not saved when you make a copy of a document.

Can I remove version history for a document shared with me?

You can only create a copy of the document, which will not have the version history. You cannot remove the history from the original document unless you are the owner.

Is there a way to remove version history without creating a copy?

No, the only way to remove version history is by making a copy of the document.

Can I restore a previous version of the document after removing the version history?

Once you remove the version history by making a copy, you cannot restore previous versions. Always make sure you have the final version saved before removing the history.


  1. Open the Google Docs document.
  2. Click on "File."
  3. Select "Make a copy."
  4. Rename the document and choose a location to save it.
  5. Click "OK."


Removing version history in Google Docs is a delicate task that should be approached with caution. It’s a powerful feature that can be incredibly useful for tracking changes and collaborating, but sometimes a fresh start is needed. Whether you’re handing off a document to a colleague or just want to rid yourself of a messy draft history, following the steps outlined above will get the job done. Remember, once the version history is gone, there’s no going back. So make sure you’ve saved everything you need before making that new copy. If you’re still feeling uncertain about how to remove version history in google docs or have further questions, don’t hesitate to explore Google’s help center or reach out to a knowledgeable friend. Happy documenting!

Matthew Burleigh

Matthew Burleigh has been writing tech content online for more than ten years. He enjoys writing about Google Docs in addition to many other applications and devices and has cumulatively covered Google’s word-processing application in hundreds of different articles.

He has been published on dozens of popular websites, and his works have accumulated millions of pageviews.
While focused primarily on tutorials and guides for popular electronics like the iPhone and iPad, as well as common applications like Microsoft Word, Powerpoint, and Excel, he covers topics across the entire technology spectrum.

You can read his bio here.

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