How To Delete Version History In Google Docs

You’re editing a Google Docs file and realize you need a section of the content you’ve already deleted. Don’t panic: Google Docs’ version history shows you all of the edits you’ve made.

But what if you want to remove all of your edits entirely? In this post, we’ll cover how to delete a version history in Google Docs.

Method 1: How to Delete Version History in Google Docs by Using a New Document

Since version histories in Google Docs are created every time you edit a document, you can remove the version history in your Google Docs simply by using a new document.

  1. Go to Google Docs and open your document.
  2. Open another tab and create a new document.
  3. Return to your original document and press Ctrl + A (Windows) or Cmd + A (Mac) to select the entire content.
How to delete version history in Google Docs—Highlighted content in Google Docs file


  1. Press Ctrl + C (Windows) or Cmd + C (Mac) to copy the highlighted content.
  2. Go to your new document and press Ctrl + V (Windows) or Cmd + V (Mac) to paste the original document.
Content copied to new Google Docs


  1. Rename your new document by clicking “Untitled document” in the upper-left corner of the page.
Where to find title field in Google Docs


When you check the version history of the new document, you’ll see that it only has two entries (representing the document’s creation and the pasting of the content). This information is much shorter than what exists in the original document.

Comparison of version history of both documents

Related: How To Track Changes in Google Docs

Method 2: How To Hide Edit History on Google Docs by Creating a Copy of Your Document

Don’t want to go through the hassle of opening a different tab to create a new document? An easier way to delete the version history on Google Docs is by making a copy of the original document.

  1. In your browser, open the original Google Docs file.
  2. Navigate to the “File” > “Make a copy.”
Where to find Make a copy option in Google Docs


  1. In the pop-up box, type a name for your file or leave it as is.
Text field for the name of the Google Docs copy


  1. Press “Make a copy” to create a new document.
Make a copy button in Google Docs


  1. Wait for the new copy to open in another tab on your browser. When you check the version history of the copy, there will only be one entry.
Google Docs version history comparison of original and copy

Alternative Method: How To Hide Version History on Google Docs

Instead of deleting the Google Doc history, you can consider hiding the edit history on your Google Docs. While other users are blocked from seeing it, you (as the owner or editor of the file) can still view the entire version history. Follow these steps to do that:

  1. Open the Google Docs file.
  2. Select the “Share” button at the top right.
Where to find Share on Google Docs


  1. If you’ve shared the document with specific email addresses before, press “Editor” next to their names and change each to “Viewer.”
Google Docs change editor to viewer role


  1. If you haven’t shared the document with specific people yet, click “Restricted Access” and change it to “Anyone with the link.” Leave the role as “Viewer.”
Anyone with the link Viewer in Google Docs


  1. Once you’re done, click on “Save.”
Where to find Save button in Google Docs share document


Anyone who opens your document will no longer have access to the version history (as shown here):

Version history grayed out in Google Docs

Bonus: How To Name a Version of a Document in Google Docs

If you’re frequently editing your Google Docs file, version histories can get messy — fast. To avoid getting lost in your long list of changes, you can name these document versions.

If you need to restore or check edits that have happened, having specific versions labeled makes it a lot easier to review. Here’s how you can name a specific version in your Google Docs:

  1. Open your Google Docs file.
  2. Go to “File > “Version History > “See version history.” Alternatively, press Ctrl + Alt + Shift + H (Windows) or Cmd + Option + Shift + H (Mac) to open the version history.
How to open version history in Google Docs


  1. In the version history panel on the right, scroll through the list and find the specific version you want to name.
Version history panel in Google Docs


  1. Hover your mouse over the specific version and select the three vertical dots (⋮) next to it.
More action icon in version of Google Docs


  1. Click on “Name this version.”
Version history name this version in Google Docs


  1. In the text field, enter the name of the version.
Entering new name for version in Google Docs


  1. Press “Enter” to save the name.
  2. Repeat Steps 3-7 for the other versions you want to name. Only 40 named versions per document are allowed.

Related: Google Sheets Version History

Frequently Asked Questions

Who Can See Version History in Google Docs?

Anyone who can edit the Google Docs file can see the version history. This includes the owner of the file and any “Editors” access.

How Long Does a Version History Last in Google Docs?

Google doesn’t mention an official time limit for the Google Docs version history. However, over time, you might not see all of the versions in your document (as they’ll be combined with each other to cut down on storage space).

Final Thoughts

When you know how to delete version history in Google Docs, you can rest easy knowing that others won’t be able to check how you wrote and edited your document. This not only increases your privacy, but it can also save you from embarrassing editorial moments.

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Marinel Sigue

Marinel Sigue

Marinel is a tech writer and electronics engineer. She has been writing about consumer tech and tools since 2019 and works with various tech outlets like MakeUseOf, SlashGear, and ProductivitySpot. In her free time, you'll typically find her learning new productivity tools and building DIY electronic projects.
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