How to delete the autosave file version in macOS

One of the benefits of using your Mac on a daily basis is that if you use Apple’s various applications like Pages, Keynote, Preview, etc., MacOS saves the file automatically and saves you the stress of saving your work every few minutes. While many see it as a blessing, these older versions of a document / file can cause confusion later.

This versioning feature does not need to be enabled separately – it is enabled and enabled by default in supported applications. File versions also don’t take up much space because Apple only saves the differences between two files instead of the full versions.

Applications save a version of each working hour (more often if you make large edits) to a file, and they don’t really have a limit on the number of backup versions you save. However, if you’re worried about the state of your Mac and don’t want to shuffle between different versions of the same file, you can get rid of previous versions of those files.

The files aren’t visible in the Finder, so you’ll need to find them in the app’s settings and delete previous versions from there. Today’s guide covers just that, so follow these steps to delete previous versions of the document / file you want:

1. Open the document. Make sure it’s open in an app that supports saving previous versions of the file (mostly Apple-developed apps) to macOS.

2. Select “File -> Restore -> Browse All Versions” from the top menu.

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3. A window will appear showing all previous versions of the file you are using. You can scroll through them by clicking the arrows on the right side of the screen. A timeline appears, allowing you to easily browse versions of files by the date they were modified.

Delete previous versions Browse previous versions

4. Over time, scroll to the first version you want to delete by selecting it from the right side of the view. Once selected, move the cursor briefly to the top of the screen. the menus should be revealed.

5. Select “File -> Restore -> Delete this version” and confirm the deletion.

Delete previous versions Delete file

That’s it. Unfortunately. you must delete each version individually, because not all desired versions of the file can be deleted at once. You can repeat the steps listed above in any document that has previous versions, which can also free up space on your system (but not much).

Did you find this guide useful? Do you have any questions or comments? Let us know in the comments sections below.

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