Methods to Undo and Redo on a Mac

One of the best things about working on a computer is being able to quickly undo mistakes. This also applies to any undo actions you accidentally perform – the redo button can save you as much time and effort as the undo button!

But how do you undo and redo on a Mac? We're here to give you all of the keyboard shortcuts and menu options you need to perform these actions so that you can instantly fix any mistakes you are making on your Mac.

Mac keyboard shortcuts for undo and redo commands

Very often, the fastest way to perform an action on your Mac is by using a keyboard shortcut. Some of the most important keyboard shortcuts to know are the Cancel and Repeat Abbreviations.

Undo and Redo have standard keyboard shortcuts built into your Mac that basically work in all Mac programs.

This key combination is used to undo Command + Z. This key combination is used to repeat Shift + Command + Z.


It can be useful to have such similar shortcuts as you can remember them more easily. However, if you find them too close or prefer not to repeat an additional key, you can always remap your Mac keys to change them.

Navigate the undo and redo menus on Mac

Undo and redo are not only available through keyboard shortcuts. You can also access and activate them from within app menus.

About 99% of the time, the undo and redo actions can be found under the To edit Mac app menu. Just click To edit, and then select Cancel or Repeat from there to perform the action.

Undo is often listed just above the redo so you don't have to go far to find one or the other.

In certain apps, the undo and redo menu listings can tell you what action to undo or redo when you select them. This can be undoing the input or repeating the movement of a file or an object.

Apps like Word also have undo and redo buttons in their main application windows as well as the Edit menu. These buttons often look like arc arrows, with the Undo button pointing to the left and the Redo button pointing to the right.

You can also use these buttons to undo and redo any action you've done on your Mac. Not every app has these buttons, but you can at least always check the Edit menu and use keyboard shortcuts to perform the actions too!

How to undo file deletion

Sometimes something happens that pressing the undo button or pressing a key doesn't fix. This could include emptying your Recycle Bin, which will permanently delete files.

Well, mostly permanently. You can sort of undo when you've deleted a file that you didn't want to delete.

If you've already backed up your Mac using Time Machine, you can browse your Time Machine backup disk for previous versions of the deleted document and click Restore Button to save the document back on your Mac.

Even if you haven't connected your backup drive in a while, your Mac will save local snapshots every hour whenever you use Time Machine. You can go over these snapshots and those Restore click there to save files as well.

If you store files in iCloud, you can recover deleted files there too. Sign in to and go to settings, then scroll down to Progressive Find Restore files.

In the list that appears, find the file you want to get back and check the box next to it. Then click on that Restore files to put it back on your computer.

Other backup software and cloud storage services offer file recovery options similar to Time Machine. If you don't back up your Mac, we highly recommend that you start right away so that you have these options in the future.

But files that you lost before starting a backup still have a chance of recovery. Once the Recycle Bin is emptied, the deleted files will still take up some space until your Mac overwrites that space as you create and save other documents and data.

So don't use your Mac for much at first to avoid this overwriting. Next, get hold of some data recovery software to break into your Mac and find the file that you want to recover.

Once it is found, you should be able to add the missing file back to your computer through the data recovery software and be able to use it as many times as you want!

Undo and Redo: Simple but important actions

The ability to undo and redo actions you've taken on your Mac is a great boon and something your Mac allows in virtually all situations.

Errors, even serious ones, do not have to be permanent. As long as you know how to undo and redo, and know a little about how your computer stores data, you can basically correct any mistake.

We hope we have helped you learn all of this and that you can use your Mac more safely knowing that even if you have problems, there are always ways to fix it!

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About the author

Jessica Lanman
(49 articles published)

Jessica has been writing tech articles since 2018 and loves knitting, crocheting, and embroidering little things in her free time.

Posted by Jessica Lanman

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