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


Matthew Burleigh

Seeing the version history in Google Docs can be incredibly useful, especially when you’re working on a document with a team. It allows you to track changes, see who made them, and revert back to previous versions if necessary. So, how do you do it? It’s actually pretty simple! Just open the document you want to see the history for, click on "File," go down to "Version history," and then click "See version history." From there, you’ll be able to see all the different versions of your document, who edited them, and what changes were made.

Step by Step Tutorial to See Version History in Google Docs

Before we dive into the steps, let’s talk about why this is important. Version history is like a time machine for your document. It allows you to go back in time and see the document at different stages of its life. This is especially helpful if you accidentally delete something or want to see the evolution of your work.

Step 1: Open your Google Doc

Open the document for which you want to view the version history.

Accessing Google Docs is as simple as going to and logging in with your Google account. Once there, find the document you need and open it up.

Step 2: Click on "File"

Look for the "File" menu at the top of the page and click on it.

The "File" menu is located in the upper left corner of your Google Doc. It’s your gateway to many of the functions you’ll need while working on your document.

Step 3: Select "Version history"

In the dropdown menu, hover over "Version history," which will then give you another side menu.

You’ll see options like "Rename," "Move," "Make a copy," and so on. But for our purposes, we’re focusing on "Version history."

Step 4: Click on "See version history"

Finally, click on "See version history," and a panel will open on the right side of your document showing all the saved versions.

And there you have it! The panel that opens up will showcase all the versions of your document, with the dates and the names of the people who made the edits. It’s like a historical record of your document’s life.

After completing these steps, you’ll be able to browse through all the different versions of your document. You can click on any version to see what the document looked like at that point in time. You can also restore your document to a previous version if you need to undo some changes.

Tips for Seeing Version History in Google Docs

  • It’s good practice to name your versions when you make significant changes. This will make it easier to track what changes were made and when.
  • If you’re working with a team, make sure everyone is aware of how to use version history to avoid any confusion or lost work.
  • Remember that version history is only available for documents created in or uploaded to Google Docs.
  • You can also make a copy of a specific version if you want to branch off and develop an idea further without altering the original document.
  • Use the "Show changes" feature to highlight the differences between the current document and the selected version.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is version history?

Version history is a feature in Google Docs that keeps a record of all changes made to a document, including who made the changes and when they were made.

Can I restore a previous version of my document?

Yes, you can click on the three dots next to the version you want to restore and select "Restore this version."

Will using version history affect the current document?

No, viewing the version history will not affect your current document unless you choose to restore a previous version.

How far back does version history go?

Version history will track changes as long as the document exists. It starts recording from the moment the document is created.

Can I delete version history?

No, you cannot delete the version history. It’s a permanent record of the document’s changes.


  1. Open your Google Doc
  2. Click on "File"
  3. Select "Version history"
  4. Click on "See version history"


With the ease and convenience of Google Docs comes the powerful feature of version history. It’s a lifesaver, particularly for those who collaborate on documents regularly. It serves as your safety net, ensuring that no idea is ever truly lost and that every change is accounted for. More than just a tracking tool, it’s a way to watch the evolution of a document, to learn from the process, and to create something truly collaborative.

It’s easy to see why version history is a feature that should be embraced and utilized regularly. It not only offers peace of mind but also fosters a new level of creativity and cooperation. With these steps, tips, and FAQs in your arsenal, you’re well-equipped to manage your documents like a pro. So go ahead, dive into that Google Doc, and fearlessly make those bold edits. Remember, with version history, you’re only ever a few clicks away from a previous version.

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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