How to Undo in Word

Learn to redo in Word too

A notebook with a pencil and wadded up paper sitting on it.

CC0/Pxhere

What can you do when you want to undo a typo in Word? What if you accidentally delete the wrong thing? Microsoft Word has a couple of commands to recover overzealous editing. Learn about the Undo and Redo/Repeat command, two time-saving tricks to help keep your writing on track and a little less stressful.

Instructions in this article apply to Word 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010, 2007, Word for Mac, Word 365, and Word Online.

How to Undo in Word Via Your Keyboard

The Undo command can help you quickly undo an action or errant keystrokes. In Microsoft Word, you can even undo the last 100 undoable actions, if need be. Some actions that can be undone in Word include (but not limited to):

  • Any actions performed with a dialog box. (Ex. Changing font size.)
  • Reformatting an element. (Ex. Changing the font to bold.)
  • Any AutoCorrect actions. (Ex. Correcting a misspelling.)

The easiest way to access the Undo command is through your keyboard. If you’re on a Windows-based system and need to undo an action, on your keyboard, press Ctrl+Z to undo it.

On Mac, you’ll need to press +Z. A single press of either command will undo the last action you performed. If you want to undo more than the last command, press the keyboard shortcut until you’re satisfied with the results.

What if you’ve saved your document? No problem. Microsoft Word will still allow you to undo as long as you keep it to the last 100 undoable actions. Then you can save once you have your Word document where you want it.

Undo in Word Via Quick Access Toolbar

Continually using the above keyboard shortcut can become tedious if you need to go back several steps. This is where the Undo command on the Quick Access Toolbar comes in so handy.

Microsoft word showing the Undo command in the Quick Access Toolbar.

At the top left-hand corner is where the Quick Access Toolbar is located. The undo icon is a curved arrow pointing to the left. 

How to Add Shortcuts to the Quick Access Toolbar

If you don't see the undo icon, adding it to the Quick Access Toolbar is a snap.

  1. At the Quick Access Toolbar, select the small downward pointing arrow, then select Undo. You should see a checkmark next to it the next time you click on the customize menu.

    Microsoft Word showing the dropdown menu for customizing the Quick Access Toolbar.
  2. If you don't see Undo, select More Commands.

  3. Once the dialog box opens, select the Choose commands from dropdown box, then select All Commands.

    The Customize Quick Access Toolbar adding a command to the toolbar.
  4. Scroll down and select Undo, then select Add.

    Adding the Undo command to the Quick Access Toolbar.
  5. Select OK. You should now see the Undo command on the Quick Access Toolbar.

  6. To undo the last undoable action, open the Quick Access Toolbar and select Undo once. If you want to undo several actions, select the down arrow next to "Undo" to see the action history, then select the action you wish to Undo.

    The Undo command showing the history of undoable actions.

    This action allows you to do a single undo rather than continually undoing until you get to the action you want to undo.

  7. You're done!

How to Redo in Word Via Your Keyboard 

Redo comes in handy if you’ve undone an action and realize you need to reinstate it. Just like Undo, there's a handy keyboard shortcut to save you precious time. ON Windows, just press Ctrl+Y. For Macs, press +Y.

The Redo command is also used to repeat an action. If you have an element you need to repeat several times, there's no need to do it manually. Just use the Redo shortcut.

Redo in Word Via Quick Access Toolbar

The Redo/Repeat command can also be performed through the Quick Access Toolbar. The Redo icon is an arrow curved to the right, while Repeat looks like an arrow forming a circle.

The Repeat command will only appear if you haven't already undone something and replaces Redo.

The Redo command is being shown in the Quick Access Toolbar in Microsoft Word.

To use either command, select the Redo/Repeat icon. You should see the last undone action reappear or repeat.

Both of these commands do not show the action history in a dropdown menu.