Every now and then, a new feature is previewed via the Insider program that just makes you think ‘that’s neat’. Version History has been available within SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business for quite a while now but hasn’t been the most intuitive. Most data had to be restored using the web interface while Office documents had the benefit of support within their own apps. Available in preview at present, Version History is now an option within Windows File Explorer and Mac Finder.
The secret menu
If you’re not already using the Insider preview for OneDrive, you can enable it by going to Settings in the client and opting into the OneDrive Insider preview found on the About tab.
Let’s fix a mistake
For files stored in both OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Online, you’ll be given the option to View version history by right clicking on a file. It’s not exclusive to Office files either. Below I’ve accidentally overwritten a PDF with a different file by the same name.
Clicking Open file will either open the relevant Office application automatically or switch to your default browser to download the file. Unfortunately you can’t preview the file which would assist in gauging how far back in time you need to travel.
Scheduled for rollout to all Targeted Release environments throughout April and May this year, I’m hoping to see this as generally available very shortly. Keep in mind that this only works for data stored and accessed via the OneDrive Sync Client so it won’t fix the errors a user made to a file stored outside of it – for that you’ll still need the old school File History and previous versions system within Windows.