I was working on a project and fixing some problems with a .bib file that I copied from another project, when suddenly I only got empty error messages by Overleaf and now the main.tex file is completely empty. I did not have any saved versions of the project yet. I cloned the project via git and the main-file there is empty as well. There is still a downloadable version of the pdf, but the project contained some very complicated tikz-graphs and other things that would kill me if I had to redo them. Is there any hope that I can recover my project?

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    Welcome! You need to ask Overleaf this, unless you have a saved version within the project.
    – cfr
    Commented Aug 13, 2017 at 15:09
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    Quick update: it turns out that the Pro version (which I just bought now) has a far more extensive versioning tool, so I was able to recover my code at least. I'll post another update if I get feedback from their support team.
    – Chris7b
    Commented Aug 13, 2017 at 15:23
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because the problem was fixed in the comments.
    – marsupilam
    Commented Aug 13, 2017 at 16:00
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    A fix in the comments will likely get the question deleted, meaning no use to people with the same issue in the future. Can't we have a sort of definitive answer here? knowing that Overleaf staff and support are registered members here on TeX.SX
    – Johannes_B
    Commented Aug 13, 2017 at 16:19
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    @LianTzeLim The question has been reopened. If you would like to add an answer that would be appreciated.
    – moewe
    Commented Aug 14, 2017 at 8:49

2 Answers 2


(Disclaimer: I'm a support personnel at Overleaf.com.)

If you have not saved a labelled snapshot in the "History & Versions" menu that you can restore from, there are two other possibilities.

The 24-hour File History (the clock icon just next to "Edit") can restore a file's history in the last day. Clicking on that icon will display the 24-hour history of the file currently loaded in the source code panel. (This is available across all subscription plans, including the Free plan.)

If the edits needed are beyond 24 hours ago, or an entire file was deleted, the Full History feature will be useful; see https://www.overleaf.com/help/286 for further details.

In brief: Browse through your project's Timeline or Recent Activities from the "History & Revisions" tab. If you then see an edit that you need, you can click on the view source link (before or after the change) and then on copy to copy the entire file contents at that point; or use the download .zip to download the entire project before/after that point.

The Full History is a Pro plan feature; it can be accessed by activating a free Pro trial at https://www.overleaf.com/plans if you don't want to subscribe immediately.

  • If you upgrade to a Pro plan for Full History, do you get access to past revisions from before you upgraded? Commented Oct 30, 2020 at 23:51
  • Is there something equivalent for Overleaf comments? After renaming a .tex file, the first git push timed out and the following one deleted & re-created the file. It has therefore still the original contents, but all comments were lost in the process.
    – user207046
    Commented Apr 14, 2021 at 16:33

Another approach is that you check the dashboard, check the "history" and click "restore file" given that there are no or 0 changes in the "main.tex" file, Good luck.

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