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Restoring Earlier Versions of Presentations in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

Learn how to restore earlier versions of your current presentation in PowerPoint 2010.


Product/Version: PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

OS: Microsoft Windows XP / Vista / 7 / 8

When you are working on a PowerPoint presentation, the AutoSave option, if enabled, automatically saves your file at the specified time increments. This way you get to replace your current file with an earlier version. This can be very useful if you want to go back to the state of your slides an hour ago, or even two hours ago without having to use any Undo option.

Note: Make sure that the AutoSave option is enabled to follow the rest of this tutorial.

To view and replace your current file with an earlier version, follow these steps:

  1. Launch PowerPoint. Access the File menu, and choose the Info option to get to Backstage view, as shown in Figure 1. The autosaved versions of your current file are listed under Versions, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 1.

    List of autosaved presentations
    Figure 1: List of autosaved presentations

    If you cannot see any autosaved versions, that might be because you have not enabled the AutoSave option or you have selected a longer time interval for subsequent autosaved versions. All these options are explained in our AutoRecover and AutoSave Options in PowerPoint 2010 tutorial.
  2. To revert back to one of these autosaved presentations, select any version from the list and click it. In Figure 2 you can see the version with timestamp of 2:38 (highlighted in red) is being selected.

    An old version of current presentation being selected
    Figure 2: An old version of current presentation being selected

    Note: The autosaved versions of the current presentation are typically deleted when you close the file.
  3. This opens the selected presentation within PowerPoint. Once opened you'll notice a yellow strip just below the Ribbon and above the slide area (shown highlighted in red within Figure 3).

    Auto saved presentation with yellow strip
    Figure 3: Auto saved presentation with yellow strip
  4. Within the yellow strip, click the Restore button. This brings up a message window, as shown in Figure 4.

    Microsoft PowerPoint message window
    Figure 4: Microsoft PowerPoint message window
  5. Click OK to overwrite your current document with the earlier autosaved version.

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