The archaeology of great writing

  • Draftback
  • Draftback
  • Draftback
What is Draftback?
Draftback is a unique Chrome extension designed to provide a playback of the revision history of any editable Google Doc, akin to travelling back in time during the writing process. Aside from giving a new perspective of viewing data, Draftback ensures user data privacy by not sharing data with third parties and limiting data access to docs.google.com to fetch the necessary revision data.
Users: 100,000+
Rating: 4.14 (119)
Version: 0.0.16 (Last updated: 2024-05-02)
Creation date: 2020-08-01
Risk impact: Moderate risk impact
Risk likelihood: Moderate risk likelihood
Manifest version: 2
  • *://docs.google.com/*
Size: 958.46K
URLs: Website
Stats date:

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Draftback lets you play back the revision history of any Google Doc you can edit. It's like going back in time to look over your own shoulder as you write.


I designed the extension to be as careful as possible about user privacy. No data is collected by me, except in one unusual case: if a user explicitly decides to publish an excerpt of their playback to draftback.com, that excerpt will (obviously) be available on the public web at an obscure URL. This feature is hard to find, little-used, and after a recent update may in fact not work anymore.

It's possible that Google itself collects some user data on every one of its extensions, in which case Draftback wouldn't be an exception.

But, to reiterate, user data is stored locally on the user's computer and it is only stored/collected there so that future replays of an already-replayed document will go faster.


  • With Draftback, your data is kept entirely private. Draftback was purposely designed so that you could play back your own docs without having to share them with a third party. This is -your- data; Draftback just lets you see it in a new way.

  • Draftback only needs access to docs.google.com to get the revision data for playback—but that data never leaves your own browser.

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User reviews
User reviews summary
These summaries are automatically generated weekly using AI based on recent user reviews. Chrome Web Store does not verify user reviews, so some user reviews may be inaccurate, spammy, or outdated.
  • Useful for teachers to detect plagiarism
  • Helpful for visualizing writing process
  • Great for proving authorship of work
  • Inaccurate capturing of editing process
  • Glitches and errors in replaying the document
  • Privacy concerns regarding data recording
Most mentioned
  • Privacy concerns
  • Useful for teachers
  • Proving authorship of work
  • Glitches and errors
  • Inaccurate capturing of editing process
Recent reviews
Loved it but now it won't show me the video or anything. It says it renders it but then has nothing to show. Any solutions to this??
by Bonnie Day Bonnie Day, 2024-06-19

by Michel Clark Michel Clark, 2024-06-14

Great in concept, but this should not work if all users don't have it. Having my teachers assume I use AI because of how sporadically this shows me writing is problematic.
by Elijah Elijah, 2024-03-26
View all user reviews
Risk impact

Draftback may not be safe to use and it requires some risky permissions. Exercise caution when installing this extension. Review carefully before installing.

Risk likelihood

Draftback is probably trust-worthy. Prefer other publishers if available. Exercise caution when installing this extension.

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