I have a web app that allows users to cancel records. Once cancelled, they are displayed under a tab called cancelled items. The users are also able to un-cancel these records, so that they become active again. This will be achieved through a button. What should the label of that button be? I am thinking restore or activate, but none sound exactly right to me...

  • 2
    Restore seems fine. Maybe it's cancel which is the incorrect term?
    – Fractional
    Mar 4, 2015 at 15:04
  • 1
    A tricky one – my first suggestion would be 'un-cancel' if that makes any sence? Mar 4, 2015 at 15:15
  • @RedSirius I take that. Do you have any other terms instead of Cancel. Within my app, cancel just changes the status and makes the record "invisible" throughout the application apart from one place where you can make it active again. I associate Restore more with Delete. Mar 4, 2015 at 15:20
  • @tillinberlin Though about it, but it just sounds and looks ugly to me. Mar 4, 2015 at 15:21
  • Cancel UnCancel does not look all the ugly to me and it is clear they are associated.
    – paparazzo
    Mar 4, 2015 at 15:32

3 Answers 3


Your two suggestions work:

  • Restore
  • Activate

Other options are

  • Undelete
  • Undo
  • -

However I'd probably go with

  • Reactivate

Restore works well for some uses, activate implies it's the first time, but reactivate seems to fit your needs better

I'd echo the comments, though, that you need to match your words to what is actually happening, some possible options include:

  • Delete => Restore / Retrieve
  • Deactivate => Reactivate
  • Remove => Restore / Replace / Add / Re-add
  • Cancel => Re-book, Restore, Undo
  • Thanks for this. I think I will go with Deactivate and Reactivate. In my web app, delete, deletes the record so I don't need a matching word for delete, just for cancel or deactivate. Mar 4, 2015 at 16:00

It seems to me that the term your looking for is "Restore".

That being said (ready to be proven wrong) that "Restore" revokes a "Purge" which means that the record is still there, while "Delete" completely removes an item or record.

On the other hand, the term "Cancel", stops a an ongoing task or a process.

With the above in mind: your cancelled items should read (Purged) and the action required to revoke that could be (Restore)

Hope that helps


An alternative approach is to treat the action as moving an item from one tab(where records are normally displayed) to another tab (cancelled items). So you can make the label 'move to ' instead of using restore or un-cancel since the action fits in with the way the items are manipulated.

An very good example of this method is for email applications where deleted items can be moved from 'trash' or 'spam' to 'inbox'.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.