Restoring Previous Versions of Files in Windows

I don’t usually write “how-to” posts, but I wasn’t aware of this restore feature in Windows and thought others might find it useful. Last week I accidentally saved a file and ended up replacing another file in the process. This can easily happen when you click on ‘Save’ instead of ‘Save As’ for example. In my case I was exporting a file from a software application and saving it to a directory on our network drive.

Normally the file is exported and then saved over a template or place-holder file. Usually not a problem: easy to do and maintains consistent file name usage. But, I’d navigated to the wrong folder and overwrote the wrong file!

So what to do? I didn’t delete the file so it wasn’t in the desktop recycle bin and therefore couldn’t be restored from there.

Turns out, there’s a very simple fix.

Open Windows Explorer and simply right-click on the file in question and select ‘Restore Previous Versions’ from the list of choices. Windows looks for a previous version based on system restore points, etc. and presents a list of file versions. Select the appropriate version of the file and click ‘Restore.’

Many thanks to KnowHow for this tip!

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