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How to Undo Changes in WordPress (Revisions, Autosaves, Snapshots)

How to Undo Changes in WordPress (Revisions, Autosaves, Snapshots)

Undo Changes in WordPress

Do you want to undo changes you made in WordPress? Have you made a mistake and wish to go back to a previous version of your content?

We’ll show you how to undo in WordPress utilizing a fundamental feature called revisions and its related function, autosaves, in this tutorial.

Revisions and autosaves are essentially snapshots of your post, page, or custom post type that make it simple to undo changes.

We’ll start by showing you how to undo in WordPress using revisions in this post. After we’ve gone over the how-to, we’ll go over how revisions and autosaves operate, as well as some advice for using them efficiently. And if you make a major blunder, you can always take a snapshot.

How to Undo in WordPress Using Revisions

Additional Information on WordPress Revisions and Autosave
Why Do We Recommend Limiting WordPress Revisions?
Restore a Snapshot as a Last Resort (Backup)
Have you made a blunder? It’s no problem! Revisions, autosaves, and snapshots in WordPress make it simple to restore your work.
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Revisions in WordPress: How to Undo
We’ll start with the “how to” section because we understand you’re in a rush and need your work back as soon as possible. However, once you’ve made the necessary changes, we recommend that you read the entire text because there are some key performance concerns when using WordPress revisions.

Open the Revisions Interface in the first step.
Look for the Revisions link in the WordPress editor’s sidebar to use the revisions feature.

Here’s where you’ll find it in Gutenberg’s new block editor:

Block editor revisions
In the block editor, how do I access revisions?
In the Classic editor, it’s located as follows:

In the Classic editor, you can make changes.
In the Classic editor, how do I access revisions?
The revisions interface will seem the same no matter how you open it.

Step 2: Select the Revision To Restore option.
The revisions interface looks like this:

The interface for WordPress revisions

A couple of things are going on here. To begin, use the slider at the top to switch between revisions.

Below that, WordPress will compare the revision you’ve picked with the revision that comes before it:

Change the revision you’re looking at with the slider.

A red backdrop denotes the removal of something, while a green background denotes the addition of something new:

When two revisions are compared to one another,
The colors make it easier to see what was added or removed between versions.
If you don’t want to compare a revision to the one that came before it, click the Compare any two revisions box to compare any two revisions using the sliders:

How may different versions be compared to one another?

Step 3: Restore Changes
There are two methods for undoing and restoring a revision in WordPress:

Complete restoration
Copy and paste a single section to restore it manually.
To begin, click the Restore This Revision button to restore the currently selected revision (depending on whether you’re viewing a revision or an autosave).

It’s vital to keep in mind that this button has an all-or-nothing option. In other words, WordPress will totally replace the current text with the revised content:

How can I undo a revision?

You can use the low-tech manual copy-and-paste method if you don’t want to do that. This is useful if you’ve accidentally erased a single paragraph and don’t want to overwrite all of the other information you’ve added since then.

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Simply going in and copying the stuff you wish to restore is what we mean by low-tech. You may then paste it back into the editor as follows:

You can copy and paste only the sections you need.

That’s all there is to undoing changes with WordPress!

Is it possible to “Undo an Undo”?
Don’t worry if you change your mind after restoring an earlier version of your content. You can always return to the same revisions interface and restore your changes.

WordPress does not erase the other revisions when you use the Restore This Revision option. Rather, it just generates a new revision containing the content you’ve restored.

Additional Information on WordPress Revisions and Autosave
Let’s look at what’s going on behind the scenes now that we’ve shown you how to reclaim your material.

WordPress will “save” your modifications in one of two ways:

When you click Save Draft, Publish, or Update in the editor, WordPress saves a snapshot of your content. WordPress by default stores an unlimited number of revisions, but we advocate restricting this.
Even if you don’t click Save Draft, Publish, or Update, WordPress will save a snapshot every 60 seconds in the Classic editor or every 10 seconds in the new block editor if you’re working in the new block editor (Gutenberg). WordPress only stores one autosave at a time, therefore it replaces the previous autosave at each interval.
You can access both revisions and autosaves via the Revisions interface, and you can restore from either using the same procedure.

You can see how an Autosave looks almost identical to a revision, for example. The only difference is that WordPress will warn you that you’re looking at an autosave by using red text:

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This is how an autosave looks.

Why We Recommend Limiting Revisions in WordPress

While WordPress revisions are a useful tool for undoing changes, the fact that WordPress stores infinite revisions (by default) means that revisions can cause your database to bloat because each revision is a new row in your WordPress site’s database. Many older sites have 100,000 or more rows solely from revisions.

That doesn’t imply you should disable the revisions feature entirely, but rather than allowing WordPress to store unlimited revisions for each piece of content, we advocate establishing a hard limit on the number of revisions it will store for each piece of content.

To do so, read our guide to optimizing WordPress revisions to limit a few various strategies for limiting the number of changes WordPress stores.

Setting a limit of three to four revisions is recommended. This will still allow you to restore your work if you make a mistake, but it will not add to the size of your database.

With this limit, WordPress will only save the three to four most recent revisions for each piece of content. That is, after you reach the limit you specified, WordPress will automatically erase prior revisions.

You can also set a limit on autosaves.
When working in the Classic Editor, WordPress makes a fresh autosave every 60 seconds, as we explained earlier (though it only stores one autosave per post).

You can define a custom WordPress autosave interval in your wp-config.php file if you wish to adjust this interval.

The new Gutenberg block editor autosaves more frequently, by default every 10 seconds. You can alter the autosave interval right from the block editor interface if you use the Disable Gutenberg Autosave plugin.

Last Resort – Restore a Snapshot (Backup)

You can always restore your WordPress site from a snapshot if you’re a GreggHosting customer and make a significant mistake that revisions or autosave can’t cure (backup). Your site is automatically backed up every 24 hours by default. These photos are kept for a period of 14 days (and 20 to 30 days on higher plans).

Click into your site on the My GreggHosting dashboard, then on the “Backups” page. Select a backup (snapshot) from which you want to restore your site.

Using a snapshot, restore your WordPress site (backup)

Important: GreggHosting has restoration protections in place. When you restore a backup, a new backup is created that reflects the status of your website right before the restoration. In case anything goes wrong.

You can use a WordPress backup plugin if you aren’t a  customer. For the optimum speed, we always recommend using one with incremental backups.

Summary

WordPress revisions allow you to undo changes to your content and restore an older version (or just view an earlier version so that you can copy and paste something).

By clicking the Revisions link in the WordPress editor, you can see all of a post’s or page’s revisions.

However, as useful as revisions are, we do not advise storing a limitless number of them. Instead, we recommend that you follow these instructions to limit WordPress to only storing the last three to four revisions for each piece of content.

And if you make a major blunder, WordPress snapshots are always available (backups).

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