Information Services Division


Filestore@UCL: View or restore a previous version of a file on Windows 10 or Desktop@UCL

This guide will show you how to view or restore a previous version of a file or folder on your N: drive or S: drive in Windows 10 or on a Desktop@UCL machine.

What are previous versions?

Previous versions are either copies of files and folders which are saved as part of a 'restore point'. You can use previous versions to restore files and folders that you accidentally modified or deleted, or were damaged. Depending on the type of file or folder, you can open, save to a different location, or restore a previous version.

This guide is aimed at...

  • Students
  • Staff

Before you start...

  • Your device needs to be either a Windows 10 machine or Desktop @ UCL.
  • Your device will need to be connected to the UCL network either onsite or via remote access services such as VPN or Desktop @ UCL Anywhere.


  1. Locate the file on your computer by navigating to the file using Windows File Explorer this can be found on the taskbar (Fig.1)

    Fig.1 – File Explorer icon in taskbar
  2. Right-click on the file or folder you want to see a previous version of and then click Restore previous versions. You will then see a list of all available previous versions of the file or folder (Fig.2). This list will include files saved on a backup (if you're using Windows Backup) as well as restore points.

    Fig.2 – List of previous versions of a file

    Important note: Restoring a file from a library
    To restore a previous version of a file or folder that's included in a library, you will need to locate the file where it is saved rather than in the library. For example, to restore a previous version of a picture that is included in the Pictures library, but stored in the My Pictures folder, you will need to locate it in My Pictures in order to restore a previous version.

  3. Before restoring a previous version of a file or folder select the previous version and click Open (Fig.3)

    Fig.3 – Open previous version button
  4. To restore a previous version, select the previous version and then click Restore

    Warning: The file or folder you select to be restored will replace the current version, and the replacement cannot be undone.

Related guides & other info

Help & Support

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