My friend shared a document with me on Google Docs. The document was then edited, and is now at revision 2.

How do I view revision 1?

file menu of google docs

For some reason I cannot click "see revision history".

Are there other solutions I could do? Like "revert my Google Docs state to 1 day before" or something like that?

  • I had the same issue. Problem solved when I switched to Chrome and logged into my Google account. Sep 3, 2015 at 13:10

3 Answers 3


If the See revision history is greyed out or you can't select it, the document you are viewing does not allow you to edit and hence, you can't see the revision history.

This is usually the case when the owner of the document has set you to either:

  • Can comment
  • Can view

To be able to see the revision history your permissions on the document must be either of the two:

  • Is owner
  • Can edit
  • 13
    I must say this is very un-intuitive of google-docs. It doesn't make sense that if I want the "history" of a document that I am allowed to view, I'd have to manually do backups of that document every day/every few days.
    – Pacerier
    Oct 5, 2011 at 0:48
  • 3
    @Pacerier Think of it from the other side. I think someone sharing a document could easily think that it doesn't make sense that sharing a document read-only should allow someone to see the entire revision history. I suppose you could limit this to starting when the document was first shared, but this gets complicated. Apr 2, 2019 at 19:15
  • 2
    @Pacerier I see what you mean. But even with this method, you wouldn't be able to access the revision history of a document before it was shared with you. So sharing the entire revision history is more than just a convenience, it's revealing information that would be impossible to get otherwise.
    – Flimm
    Jul 16, 2020 at 14:32

Even if you have Edit permission, sometimes the File -> "See revision history" menu option is grey-out. I've seen this happen after the page has been loaded in a tab for a long time.

In this situation, reloading the Chrome tab for the Sheet has restored the Revision History menu option.


This also occurs when you use an incompatible browser. I used Mozilla and had the problem, switched to IE and it worked. Also, it never happened to be while using Chrome.

  • Something similar also happened to me: I am able to edit the document, but in IE 11 the revision history is greyed out. In Chrome, the history is available. Weird.
    – anon
    Dec 30, 2014 at 15:04

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