Microsoft is Adding Full Version History to OneDrive

Posted on July 19, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in OneDrive with 48 Comments

Microsoft is Adding Full Version History to OneDrive

Answering one of its number one complaints, Microsoft today said that it was enhancing the version history functionality in OneDrive to support all file types, and not just Office documents.

Can I get an amen?

“With these improvements to version history, you can see and restore older versions of all your files in your OneDrive,” the OneDrive team explains. “Previously, version history only supported Office files. Now, version history is compatible with all file types, so you no longer need to worry about your PDFs, CAD files or even your photos and videos getting accidentally edited [as] you’ll always be able to restore or download a previous version.”

This feature has just started rolling out, but don’t get anxious if you don’t see it yet, as it will be fully available to all customers by the end of the summer.

According to Microsoft, the OneDrive version history feature is available only from the web for now. And it will keep older versions of all files for 30 days.

To use the feature, open OneDrive in your browser, navigate to the file in question, right-click, and choose “Version history.”

In the Version History pane that appears, so you will find all of the versions of that file.

Select the version you want and choose “Restore” to replace the current file version. Or choose “Open File” to view or download it first.

Good stuff.


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Comments (48)

48 responses to “Microsoft is Adding Full Version History to OneDrive”

  1. JerryH

    Nice! This was needed for quite some time. It is good to see that they are listening to requests.

  2. David Guillaume

    Paul, all my free google drive and OneDrive storage is running out which solution would you recommend i pay for? i use a windows 7 laptop for work and have a Samsung Galaxy S8, i mostly want to store office documents and photos?

    Thanks, David

  3. ZeroPageX

    Does this mean there will also be undelete? They are so close to getting me to ditch Dropbox, and I would love to!

  4. davidtravis

    What about OneDrive for Business? Will it be getting the same features?

  5. Jorge Garcia

    I used to love MS but I like them less and less every day. Two of my devices have One Drive Apps that promise 3GB of extra storage if I simply agree to turn on camera/photo backup. Well I did on both, (not expecting 6GB, but at least 3GB, right?) And I got nothing. When I contacted MS they simply blamed the device maker, which is complete BS, the offer came from within the App. Dropbox honors all their oddball promotions instantly.

    • CristianCson

      In reply to JG1170:

      Ms discontinued the extra Camera backup quota for quite long time ago, so either your experience is old or you talked to the wrong people..

      • Jorge Garcia

        In reply to CristianCson:

        Well, fair enough, but they should have been legally obligated to put an asterisk and/or a "limited time only" clause next to that kind of offer. It is pretty sh***y of them not to honor a promise that their own app makes. It's only 3GB, not 30. Sure that App is on an older tablet that I'm just now dusting off and integrating into my OneDrive lifestyle, but as I say, it has no asterisks or disclaimers that I can find, so shame on them.

        • CristianCson

          In reply to JG1170:

          On the phones that I have bought it has been a note about limited availlability, on the webpage where they announced it for other phones Im not sure, but anyway it is commercial so I guess they work as such..

          The takedown and removal of the extra apace on onedrive was announced on their webpage and it wasn't popular by anyone, it is a cloud problem that you don't get something one time and it is yours for life you get it for a while and then they can revoke it, it is the same on all cloud providers and not only ms, have gotten worse conditions on several...

  6. gvan

    This is a good step towards mitigating ransomeware,

  7. Narg


  8. webguynj

    When and how do they expose the version history in OneDrive synched folders in the default windows 10 "Restore Previous Versions" context menu

  9. colin79666

    About time too. Dropbox has had this feature for years.

  10. JaviAl

    And what about enhancing Shadow Copies in Windows instead of deprecating?

  11. 蔡孟耕

    Finally... this was one of the features that kept me using Google Drive and Dropbox although I have a lot more storage on OneDrive due to the 365 plans...

    Now... only if they could add support for exFAT... NTFS only is ridiculous...

  12. Waethorn

    Google Drive had it, so it was expected that Microsoft would follow suit.

  13. rbwatson0

    How would you go about restoring a deleted file if you have to click on the file?

  14. StevenLayton

    Does this act as another layer against ransom ware?

  15. Detective Polarphant

    It would be an interesting experiment to test this out with ransomware on a sample computer. I guess it still won't protect you if there are no previous versions of a particular file - Microsoft would need to make a 'fake' previous version of every file you upload to fully protect each user...

  16. lefffen1

    Yay! hope it works as good as on Dropbox.

  17. James Wilson

    Weird, doesn't seem to be available on the Mac version of OneDrive. Usually the Microsoft of today releases updates on non-Microsoft platforms first doesn't it? I'd better go check the iOS version of OneDrive.

    • Chris

      In reply to James_Wilson:

      Paul did state "According to Microsoft, the OneDrive version history feature is available only from the web for now", meaning that it isn't in the platform specific apps, only the OneDrive website.

      Hopefully they do push it to the apps as well.

  18. SDreamer

    Finally... too bad can't use OneDrive between macOS and Bootcamp Windows 10 because of exfat support...

  19. Martin Pelletier

    Cool, can we transfer this team to other Windows 10 department? They seem to get things done.

  20. MarkH

    This is fantastic! I truly hope it helps save some people from data loss. Given Microsoft's history of completely screwing up OneDrive, never delivering and pulling the rug out from users, though:

    a) "fully the end of summer", I'll believe that when I see it.

    b) I would never ever rely on this until they've proven they're not going to backtrack, "whoa, we didn't think anybody would actually USE this feature, we're removing better serve our users...or something."

  21. ozaz

    Better late than never I suppose

  22. DaveHelps

    Excellent news. I wonder to what extent this is driven by recent ransomware outbreaks?

  23. Dan1986ist

    Will the Previous versions of files once implemented in the OneDrive desktop client count against the total amount of available OneDrive storage, or not?

  24. Hallmanac

    This is a great feature, and I'm glad to see that they're bringing back placeholders as well, but they still have some fundamental issues to fix with OneDrive. Notably the ridiculous "File Path too Long" issue.

    Supposedly they "fixed" it by increasing the path size from 255 to 427, but that's simply still not enough. This is not a "Windows OS" issue either. At least, it's not only that. Dropbox has never had this problem nor any of the other major vendors out there. It's almost inconceivable that in 2017 we still have such a dumb limitation like this.