Users need to very careful, though, because it's possible to overwrite crucial documents in Dropbox. When that happens, you'll be relieved to know that with a few quick clicks you can revert that file to the data you need.
Dropbox's outstanding version history feature retains snapshots of files from the past 30 days; you can extend that beyond 30 days with the Extended Version History feature, which is only offered in Dropbox Pro and Dropbox Education. Regardless of the version of Dropbox, you can revert to previous iterations of text files, spreadsheets, images, and more.
Let's walk through how to open a file that has been replaced on Dropbox. Note: This feature is only available on the Dropbox web-based client; you cannot use version history on the desktop or mobile Dropbox apps.
SEE: Cloud Data Storage Policy (Tech Pro Research)
Reverting a file to a previous version
When you log into your Dropbox account, you'll see a list of all your files. Say, for example, you uploaded an expenses file for 2016, and then you realized it contained incorrect data. Here's what you need to do.
- Navigate to the folder containing the file in question.
- Right-click the file.
- Click Previous Versions.
- From the resulting window (Figure A), click the version you want and click the Restore button.
- When prompted, click Restore.
Your file will revert to the version you selected, and the version it replaces will be saved. (Remember: The previous versions will only be saved for 30 days, unless you're working with either a Pro or an Education account.) That's all there is to it!
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Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.