View and manage OneDrive for Business version history (Video)

In this lesson, you’ll learn how to find and use version history for files in OneDrive for Business. You can access version history multiple ways, and you can view, restore, or delete any particular version.

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Access version history

You can get to a file’s version history in one of two places: either from the file’s menu (ellipsis or select and use the ribbon), or from within the document itself (click on the title in the title bar and choose Version History).

From outside the document (so using a file’s menu via the ellipsis or selection), Version history shows you last modifier, a timestamp, version number, and allows you to open each version independently in the desktop app (whether it is Word, Excel, or PowerPoint).

From inside the document (you’ve opened it), Version History shows you when there were multiple co-authors (so not just one of the last modifiers, but all involved), and you can quickly click from one version to the next to preview it without having to open and close each one.

Open, restore, or delete a version

From outside a document, you can open, restore, or delete a version using that version’s ellipsis. If you restore a version, it copies the selected version as the latest version and doesn’t not affect previous numbering. If you delete a version, it goes to the site recycle bin (where you may wish to delete it again).

From inside a document, you can switch between all versions within the active tab, restore a version, or save a version as a separate file. You can’t, however, delete a version from within the document. You must do this from OneDrive (ellipsis > Version history).

Additional resources

Create a direct link/URL to version history for a SharePoint list item or file

Imagine getting an email with a direct link to review the version history of an item or file. Or being able to have a single click from a list view to an item’s version history without going through menus.

The link itself is easy to structure manually. You could also structure it automatically using SharePoint Designer workflows or Power Automate flows.

No matter your method, you’ll need to be able to get two pieces of information: the list GUID and the item/file ID.

Getting required info

Get the list GUID

The list GUID is easy to get. Just go to the list –> List Settings and copy everything in the URL after List=.

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Get the item/file ID

In SharePoint Designer or Power Automate, you can just use the ID field provided as a lookup option. This way it’s always dynamic.

But to get the ID manually without workflow, view/open the item and check the end of the URL: for the number following “ID=”. Example:


For document libraries, or if you’re using modal dialogs (pop-ups), your URL won’t show ID. In this case, you can add the default ID column to your list view to get it.

Tip: For list items (not documents) you can also hover your pointer over the link to the item to see the URL preview at the bottom of your browser before clicking it.

Building the link

Manually construct it

The basic structure, no matter which method you use, is as follows:


Just replace the SiteURL, list GUID, and item/file ID.

Tip: The easiest way may be to copy the entire URL when getting the list GUID, change listedit to versions, and add &ID=ID to the end.

Use SharePoint Designer

In SharePoint Designer, you can use String Builder when creating hyperlinks in emails, or when populating fields (such as a hyperlink column).

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Use Power Automate

In Power Automate, you can initialize a variable to structure the version history URL so that you can use it repeatedly in different steps/conditions without having to structure it every time. We do this similarly to how we did for SharePoint Designer above. Type almost the entire URL which doesn’t change, then use the dynamic content panel to add ID to the end.

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Then you can send an email and use a little code to hyperlink text with the variable used as the URL. If you’re not comfortable with code, you can just put the entire URL in the body of the message. The following shows an Outlook step in “Code View.”

First, click “Code View”

Alternative ideas

Calculated column

Note: You could use a calculated column for this, but the [ID] field needed will only populate once, then remove itself on the next property edit. The only way around this is creating another column like ID1 as single line of text and using a workflow (SPD or Power Automate) to set that field to the ID number. Then you can use [ID1] in your calculated column with a formula such as this:


Hyperlink column

Consider using SharePoint Designer or Power Automate to set a “hyperlink” type field to the URL. This could then be used in a list view to have a one-click link to version history.