What is the correct way to restore a deleted file from SVN?

I deleted a file from a repo and now want to put it back. The best I can figure out is to:

  • update to the revision before the delete
  • copy the files elsewhere
  • update to head
  • copy the files back
  • add them
  • commit

That just smells bad and it looses all history to boot. There has got to be a better way to do this. I have already looked in The SVN Book but didn’t find anything and am now looking down the SVN tag list.


The problem with doing an svn merge as suggested by Sean Bright is that is reintroduces other changes made in the same revision as the deletion. An svn copy is a more targeted operation that will only affect the deleted files.

Using Tortoise SVN you can resurrect a file that has been deleted from your working copy directory and from later SVN revisions, via a svn copy as follows:

  • Browse to the working copy folder that previously contained the file.
  • Right click on the folder in Explorer, go to TortoiseSVN -> Show log.
  • Right click on the revision number just prior to the revision that deleted the file and select “Browse repository”.
  • Right click on the deleted file and select “Copy to working copy…” and save.

The deleted file will now be in the working copy folder. To re-add it back to SVN, right click on the restored file and select SVN Commit.

NB: This method will preserve the previous history of the restored file, however to see the prior history in the TortoiseSVN log you need to make sure “Stop on copy/rename” is unchecked in the Log messages dialog.

Source : Link , Question Author : BCS , Answer Author : tekumara

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