Restore Deleted or Missing Files with OneDrive Version Control 

Microsoft OneDrive Versions

Microsoft Office 365 provides so much more than just the ability to access Microsoft Office suite (Word, Outlook, PowerPoint, Excel, etc.) from any device.  One important feature (that I learned about the hard way) is the ability to restore deleted files with OneDrive version control. 

What is OneDrive?

Cloud SecurityWhen I first started with Crestwood, I didn’t understand OneDrive, the cloud storage service that is part of Office 365.  I found the navigation slightly less familiar than storing my files locally, so I stayed with what I knew. I’d drag all my files to OneDrive once in awhile when I remembered, but eventually I got out of the habit.  

Then I lost a year’s worth of files when my laptop accidentally hit the floor.   

After a month of anxiety and inability to access my current projects, there were two silver linings: the hard drive manufacturer was able to restore all my data. AND I learned to start using OneDrive every day.   

OneDrive is just like your local hard drive, except it is synced both locally and in the cloud.  You can access files offline and they are synched when you reconnect.  You can access all your files from any device.  Plus, you can share files and folders easily with other people, work on the same Office document at the same time, even share files or folders with someone without a OneDrive account.  (To do this, just right-click any folder or file from OneDrive through and click the “Share a OneDrive Link” option.  To remove access, click “More OneDrive Sharing Options,” manage access, and click the button to remove the link.) 

Fear of losing all my data again got me started using OneDrive religiously, but when I made another snafu that OneDrive solved, I became a fanatic. One day, I was updating an old file and I saved over the original by accident. I panicked, because I should have been using a template and took a shortcut.  (I’m a troublemaker, clearly.) 

OneDrive Version Control Saves the Day 

Version control gives you lots of previous file versions to choose from, any time, so you have an extra layer of protection that you can access without the help of your IT folks. Here’s how it works: 

  1. Go to and choose OneDrive
    Microsoft OneDrive
  2. Navigate to your file.
  3. Choose the three dots next to the file you want and select Version history.”
    Microsoft OneDrive Versions
  4. Pick the version that you want and then save it back to your local OneDrive on top of your current version.  All fixed!
    Microsoft OneDrive Verions

Click here for detailed instructions from Microsoft which alerted me to the fact that you can even restore deleted files!  

Needing to restore one file gets you out of a small jam, but it can also make life easier in much bigger ways.  With everything you need on OneDrive, switching workstations is a breeze.  And with frightening new malware and ransomware threats crippling businesses, you can even restore ALL your files from a point in time, just by choosing “Settings” and then “Restore OneDrive.” For even more information about backups and security in the cloud, visit this page 

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