How to Undo on Mac, iPhone, and iPad?

Velina Nenova
Velina Nenova

Updated · Aug 02, 2022

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The Undo option on computers was invented in the 1970s and is still relevant today. Undo and Redo buttons are handy when we make a typo or any other inadvertent error while working on a task. Our guide addresses how to undo (and redo) on a Mac.

How to Undo on a Mac?

The Undo button on a Mac is quite useful when you want to reverse your last action in a document. It can come to the rescue by rescinding such errors as typos, deleted paragraphs, or files moved to the wrong folder. This feature is present in almost every Mac app, including:

  • Pages
  • Keynotes
  • Apple notes
  • TextEdit
  • iMovie

The two options for performing an Undo action include a command via a keyboard 

shortcut or Edit menu.

Keyboard Command

The easiest way to execute this task is to use the Undo shortcut on your Mac by pressing Command + Z simultaneously, which will undo your last action. If you wish to reverse more actions, press the button combination again.

Edit Menu

If you cannot or don’t wish to use your keyboard, take the following steps.

  1. Find the Menu bar at the top of the app;
  2. Click on Edit;
  3. Press Undo Typing.

Undo Typing option

You can use the Undo command on a Mac as often as you wish.

How to Redo on a Mac?

Suppose you’ve marked a paragraph and clicked Undo inadvertently. In such cases, the Redo option is valuable. As with the Undo option, you can utilize the following two simple methods to redo your work.

 Keyboard Command

The redo keyboard shortcut on a Mac is Command + Z + Shift, which you press simultaneously.

Edit Menu 

You can use the Redo command on a Mac if you want your work reversed. Undo recent changes you make to a document, then Redo them if you change your mind. 

If you don’t wish to use your keyboard, take the following steps in the Edit menu

  1. Find the menu bar;
  2. Select Edit;
  3. Click Redo Typing.

selecting Redo typing option

You can also perform these actions on Apple devices, as seen below.

How to Undo and Redo on Mobile Apple Devices

The following steps for reversing unintentional actions on iPhones are straightforward. (This process is quite different [and amusing] than Undo Typing on a Mac.)

iPhone

1. Shake your phone (a pop-up window will prompt you to Undo Typing);

a pop-up window appearing after shaking the phone

2. Click Undo;

3. Shake your phone again if you want to Redo Typing;

Redo Typing window popping up

4. Select Redo Typing.

iPad

  1. Like Undo in Mac, go to the Edit menu
  2. Click the Undo/Redo buttons on the touch keyboard. (If you have a physical keyboard, perform the same combination as you do with a Mac.)

But what happens if the Undo/Redo buttons are grayed out, and you cannot access them?

Why Are Undo/Redo Buttons Grayed Out?

greyed out buttons shown

One of the reasons you can’t Undo or Redo on a Mac is because you may have just      

opened a document, and there’s nothing to change. (You start a new action each time 

you close a document and reopen it.)

What’s more, if you’ve exhausted all the changes that can be done, and there’s 

nothing left to reverse.

Undo History on a Mac

The Undo option was created in the 1970s for the Xerox Alto computer - specifically for the Bravo word processor. When Apple designed the Apple Lisa in 1983, it borrowed many interface elements from the Alto software. 

Wrap Up

Today, Undo and Redo are essential features of every major computer platform—available since the birth of Macintosh. Learning how to Undo on a Mac is easy and helpful when you make a mistake while working on a document. You can use the Undo shortcut on a Mac with your keyboard or go to the Edit menu and select the option. The Redo option is also beneficial when you’ve used the Undo button and want to reverse the action—simply execute it using the keyboard combination or Edit menu

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Velina Nenova

Velina Nenova

Velina describes herself as passionate media savvy and a versatile individual with numerous different interests, most a result of her Media & Communications BA. She has also developed a keen interest in Digital Marketing and Advertising. Her never-ending desire to constantly learn new things and enrich herself and her ultimate dream to go around the globe before 45 are her driving forces.

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