3 Ways to Undo Changes in WordPress Gutenberg Block Editor

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undo changes in WordPress - featured image

You’ve mistakenly deleted something in your WordPress editor and now you’re worried about losing your content, right? Never panic, I will show you how to undo changes in WordPress and recover back your content to its previous version.

Whether you’re using the classic editor or the Gutenberg block editor, this process works for both. And for the Gutenberg editor, there is even an easier way to quickly roll back to an earlier version of your content with a single click.

There are three ways to undo changes in WordPress and I will show all three in this article. However, there are two core features – revision and autosave. The third is the undo button.

The undo button available in the Gutenberg editor is a faster way to revert to an earlier version of your content. But first, lets’ see what are WordPress autosave and revisions.

What are Revision and Autosaves in WordPress?

Revision and autosave are WordPress features that save different versions of your WordPress content and make it easy to roll back to a previous version. 

They take a time snap of your content as you write and make it possible to undo changes in the case of mistakes. If there are unwanted changes you’ve made to the content, custom blocks, posts, pages, or custom post types, you can correct your mistakes without losing your content.

How Does WordPress Revision Work?

Each time you click on the save draft, publish, or update button, WordPress automatically saves a version of your content. These versions are permanently saved in the WordPress database and can bloat the size of your database if not checked.

By default, WordPress stored unlimited post revisions in its database. This is not a good optimization practice, since you don’t need more than two or three versions of your content. You can adjust the setting to reduce how many post revisions WordPress stored in its database.

The safest and easier way to set how many post revision WordPress keep in its database is to use a plugin. You can download the WP Revisions Control plugin. This plugin helps you with controlling how many revisions are saved. 

But if you prefer a manual approach, this post on the Kinsta blog can help you learn the process. 

How Does WordPress Auto-Saves Work?

WordPress autosave feature works differently but the purpose is the same with post revision. Both help with saving a previous version of your content so you can roll back if something unexpected happens.

In the classic editor, WordPress autosaves content every 60 seconds, but in the Gutenberg block editor, it saves every 10 seconds as you write. You don’t need to click on the save button, it automatically autosaves your content.

WordPress autosave doesn’t keep every version it automatically saves, instead, it replaces the previous one with each current autosave. That is, you can only have one autosave version to revert to but it will always be the most current version of your content before the incident happens.

Let’s say your web browser accidentally crashed, or your computer just lost power suddenly, you can use the WordPress autosave feature to restore your content from its latest backup draft.

How to undo Changes in WordPress

Auto Saves

WordPress will notify you if there is an autosave that’s more recent than the version you’re about to work on. You will see the notification at the top of your editor. 

This notification is not always available for every post, it only works when there is an unexpected closure of the browser or the system. Maybe you go offline or you navigate to another tab too long, WordPress will automatically save the post to your browser’s local storage.

When you return to the post, WordPress will let you there is a more recent version you might want to consider. If you prefer the current version in view, you don’t need to do anything. Just continue with your work or click the ( X ) close button.

But if you want to restore the autosave, click on the “View the Autosave” link.

View this autosave

On the autosave page, the content in green color indicates what was added before the sudden incident happened, while the content in red refers to what was deleted.

If you want to restore the autosave, you only need to click on the “restore this autosave” button.

Restore This autosave button

Once you click on the restore this autosave button, it will replace the content in your editor automatically. And unless you’ve manually saved any version of your content, there is only one version at that moment.

Post Revision

First, you need to open the post you want to view its WordPress revision. To do this, click to edit the post from the list of published or draft posts.

To access WordPress post revision in the Gutenberg editor, you need to switch to “post” on the sidebar. If you’re working on a block, you won’t have access to manage post revision. So first thing, switch to post as shown in the image below.

post revision feature in WordPress

Now that you’re on the revision page, you can now go through each post revision accordingly to determine which version you want to restore.

WordPress Post revision

You can move the slider to see different versions of your content. And also check the box to compare two different versions side by side. 

This feature lets you go back in time and see all the saved versions of your WordPress post. Once you’re done with the selection, you need to click on the “Restore this version” button. The version you selected will replace the WordPress post in your editor automatically.

Now, you can continue with your work. 

Undo Button 

The undo/redo button is my favorite method of going back in time to restore content to its previous version. It is the quickest means of reverting to the earlier version of WordPress posts.

On your WordPress Gutenberg editors toolbar, look for the undo/redo button.

undo button

Whatever (text, block, images, etc) you accidentally deleted in your Gutenberg editor while writing, you can quickly restore it with a single click.

Watch the gif image below to see how it works.

undo and redo button in WordPress

How simple is that? Awesome!

FAQ – How to Undo Changes in WordPress

  1. Is there an undo and redo button on WordPress?

    Yes, WordPress has an undo and redo button and it is located at the top left of your editing screen. See the image in this post to locate where it is.

  2. How do I revert to a previous version of a page in WordPress?

    The above content is a step-by-step guide on how to revert to a previous post or page in WordPress. Chose the option that best fits your situation from the three options discussed above.

  3. How do I Undo Text in WordPress?

    You can undo text by using the undo and redo feature in your WordPress editor. The function is on the left side of the top bar in the Gutenberg WordPress editor.

  4. How do I View Edit History in WordPress?

    You can view edit history or post revisions by opening the post you want to view its history. Open the post from the list, on the right sidebar of the editor screen, click on posts, scroll down to revision and click on it.

    You will see all the available post history you can revert to. If this is not clear enough, read this section for a more step guide on how to revert to a post-revision.

Conclusion…

One of the advantages of WordPress is that it provides several backup tools and features to protect you from losing your blog content. Autosave, post revision, and the undo/redo button are helpful features to back up your post and pages. 

However, if you’re worried about post revision hurting your blog performance, there are a few ways to manage the number of revisions in your database. 

You can use the WordPress WP-Sweep plugin. This plugin can help you manage and optimize your WordPress blog database. It cleans up auto drafts, revisions, deleted comments, spam comments, duplicate post meta, orphaned post meta, unapproved comments, etc. 

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