Updated: 08/03/2018 by Computer Hope

Undo is a function performed to reverse the action of an earlier action. For example, the undo function can undo deleted text in a word processor. Some software programs may also have the capability of performing multiple undo's.

Undo overview

Cut copy and undo

The image above shows an example of how the undo function is similar to an eraser in the real world. Like an eraser, if you were to write or draw something and made a mistake you could erase (undo) the mistake.

Note: If you make changes and then close the document or program any changes that were made earlier cannot be undone.

Tip: In some programs you can also undo actions that are not related to text. For example, in most Internet browsers you can press Ctrl+Shift+T to undo any browser tab you close.

What is the keyboard shortcut for undo?

Below is a listing of keyboard shortcuts for how you can undo on different operating systems.

  • PC desktop and laptop = Ctrl+Z
  • Apple desktop and laptop = ⌘+Z
  • Google Chromebook = Ctrl+Z

Tip: Many programs support pressing the above keys multiple times for multiple undo's. In the case of Adobe Photoshop and other programs, you may need to add additional keys to perform a multiple undo. For example, in Adobe Photoshop you press Ctrl+Alt+Z to perform multiple undo's.

Tip: The shortcut key to redo an undo is usually Ctrl+Y (or ⌘+Y on a Mac).

Practice undoing a cut

Practice an undo by highlighting some or all of the below text and pressing Ctrl+X to cut the text. Once the text is cut, press Ctrl+Z to undo. Apple computer users should substitute "Ctrl" for "Cmd" (Command).

How many undo actions can be performed?

The number of times you can undo depends on the program you are using. Many programs only allow between one and five undo's where other programs can allow dozens of undo's. If the program or online service you are using does not support multiple undo's there is nothing you can change, it is up to the developer to add this feature.

How to undo on a phone

On Apple iPhones, you can shake your phone to activate the undo feature in a text program. Unfortunately, without installing an app on Android phones there is no way to undo on a Google Android phone. You can install the Inputting+ app to give your apps the ability to undo.

Redo, Revert, Software terms, Undelete