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How to retrieve deleted excel file?

Updated on 07 28, 2020 | Tutorials

Accidentally deleting a excel file you’ve spent hours working on, or worse, collaborating on with others, can be unnerving and painful. Is it gone permanently? Do you need to recreate the entire file? Is it possible to get the file back? Keep calm and follow this guide to learn about how to retrieve deleted Excel file.

Excel file

Retrieve Deleted Excel File

Microsoft Excel is widely used for creating, storing, sorting and modifying data. There are times when excel files are deleted accidentally or intentionally. Don’t worry. Now there are several solutions available for you to retrieve deleted excel file.

Check Recycle Bin

Deleted files will go straight to the recycle bin. If you haven’t emptied the recycle bin and the excel files are in it, you can restore files. Just open the recycle bin, select the files you want to recover, right click on the files and click Restore.

Restore Deleted Excel File from the Previous Version

If the deleted excel files are not in the recycle bin, you can use restore them from previous version. This method only works when Windows Backup functionality is enabled.

Step 1. Right click on the folder that used to contain the files and choose “Properties”

Step 2. Open the Previous Version tab. It will list all the previously stored version of the Excel files.

Step 3. Choose the right version and click “Restore” to get excel files back

Undelete Excel Files from Computer

Once you deleted your excel files, you can click “Ctrl + Z” to undo delete excel files. Please note that after deleting the excel files, you should perform no further action on the computer.

You can hit “Ctrl + Z” key to undo delete your Excel files, and the files will go back to the computer hard drive location. Alternatively, you can right-click on the panel and click “Undo Delete” option to bring your files back.

Retrieve Deleted Excel File Using Data Recovery Software

This method is used to retrieve permanently deleted excel files without backups. A professional data recovery software like Data Recovery Master comes into play. It can retrieve deleted excel files even if you’ve emptied the recycle bin. It support Windows 7, 8, 10.

Simple steps for Excel file recovery are as follows:

Step 1. Select a location when you lost the excel files and then click “Loss Scan”. You can pause, save and resume scans during scanning process.

Loss Scan

Step 2. Select and preview the deleted files before recovery. This software allows you to preview the desired files, which guarantees actual recovery.

recovery file

Step 3. Click Recover to get excel files back and save them to a new location.

get excel files back

You can follow the above-mentioned steps to retrieve deleted excel files. It provides a free trial version for users to test out. It applies to any data loss situations like accidental deletion, system failure, hard drive failure, virus attack, etc. Furthermore, it offers 100% security and protects your computer from virus attack. Thus, you can use it without any worries.

Bonus: Retrieve Unsaved Excel File

When you are working on an important excel file for hours but you don’t save it or the computer shut down, you still can retrieve unsaved files. You can follow the two solutions to recover excel files.

Restore Unsaved Excel File from Temporary File

Step 1. Click file tab by clicking “Info” and select “Manage Workbook”

Step 2. Click on the button and click “Recover Unsaved Workbooks”

Alternatively, you can follow the address: C:\Users\Username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Office\Unsaved files.

Recover from within Excel Document

When the files closed unexpectedly like a computer crash and shut down, you can recover your unsaved excel files back. Please reopen Excel when the system is back online. You can see the Recovered heading, select “Show Recovered Files”. The Excel will display all that it finds in Document Recovery panel, double click the Excel file on the Available File list. Finally, you can get the unsaved files.

Recover Unsaved Excel File from AutoRecover

Another solution is that you can recover unsaved excel file from AutoRecover.

Step 1. Open a new excel file

Step 2. Click “File” > “Open” > “Recent” option.

Step 3:Check the recently used Excel document and find the unsaved file.

Step 4: Click “Recover Unsaved Workbooks” and wait.


When it comes to retrieve deleted excel files, there are three possible solutions available for you to test out. It’s much easier to get files back from recycle bin or restore them from previous version. If these two methods don’t work, using a data recovery software like Data Recovery Master can efficiently retrieve deleted excel files. It doesn’t require professional knowledge although it delivers excellent results. Download and try it now. If you forget to save excel files, you can also try the above-mentioned methods to get unsaved excel files back.



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