How To Recover Deleted & Unsaved Excel Files

Excel is one of the best spreadsheet programs out there that is used by millions of people worldwide. The benefit of Excel over Google Sheets is that it can be used offline and the spreadsheet can be saved on the local storage of your computer. However, the problem here is that the saved file can be deleted from the computer due to various reasons.

But you don’t have to worry because there are different ways through which you can recover a deleted Excel file back and we are here going to show you how. Also, we will share tips with you on how you can recover unsaved Excel files so you don’t have to do the work all again. So without any further ado let’s get started!

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Recover Deleted Excel Files From PC

There are three ways to recover the deleted Excel files from your PC. The first is to recover them from the recycle bin. If you cannot find the file in the recycle bin then you can use data recovery software to restore permanently deleted files. Lastly, if you do not want to use software then you can also recover the deleted Excel file from the backup (if you have enabled it).

Let’s discuss these methods one by one

Restore Deleted Files From Recycle Bin

When anything gets missing or deleted from your computer it goes straight to the Recycle Bin until or unless you have permanently deleted the file by pressing the Shift+Delete key combination. So you should first check out your Recycle Bin or Trash (Mac) for the deleted Excel file.

1. Open the Recycle Bin and locate the deleted file. You can also search for the file by typing its name in the search box of Recycle Bin.

2. Once the Excel file is found, simply right-click on it and select the Restore option. With this, the file will be restored to its original location.

restore deleted excel

It is the easiest way to recover your deleted Excel file. However, sometimes you may empty the recycle bin or a virus attack may permanently delete the file without sending it to the recycle bin. In such cases, you need to use professional data recovery software to undelete your important Excel files.

Recover Deleted Excel File Not In Recycle Bin

To recover a permanently deleted Excel file that is not present in the Recycle Bin you can use a data recovery tool that lets you recover data from all data loss scenarios. We are using EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for this purpose but other professional data recovery software are equally capable of doing so. You can choose your software accordingly. However, the steps to recover the Excel spreadsheet files remain the same in all software.

1. Upon launching the software you will find different locations to choose from. You can select the location from where the Excel file was deleted. After that click on the Scan/Start button to initiate the scanning process.

scan for excel

2. Now once the software completely scans the location of your choice it will show you results based on it. You can apply a filter to find your recovered Excel files in no time.


3. Once you find your file you can also see its preview before recovering it to your computer. Once you are satisfied you can Recover the Excel file by clicking on the Recover button.

recover deleted excel file

That’s it, with just 3 simple steps you can recover deleted Excel files using any professional data recovery software.

How To Recover Deleted Excel Files Without Software

Recovering lost or deleted Excel files without software is only possible if you have created a backup of the file prior to its deletion. The backup could be in cloud storage or an external device. However, most people don’t have a habit of creating a backup of their important data and that’s why they are here looking for ways to recover their deleted Excel files. But don’t worry even if you don’t have a backup of your files you could still recover them without using software if system restore points are enabled on your computer.

System Restore Points keeps a backup of your system files at regular intervals and helps you restore them in case of emergency. If the system restore points are enabled on your PC then you can go to the folder where the Excel file was stored before deletion (in our case, it was in the Documents folder) right-click on the folder, and select Restore Previous Versions.

Recover deleted excel without software

Now a new tab will open where all the restore points of the folder will be shown to you. From here you can select the appropriate version of the file and recover the deleted Excel File from it.

Recover Unsaved Excel Files

The Autosave feature is by default turned on in Microsoft Excel which keeps saving your file at regular intervals. This feature is given to tackle situations when due to a sudden shutdown you don’t get the time to save your work. To recover unsaved files this way you have to just relaunch the Excel program and it will automatically show you the unsaved recovered file on the left side of the spreadsheet. From here you can click on the recovered file and save it on your device.

Recover excel for autosave

The other way to recover unsaved files is to go to Files > Info > Manage Workbook and then select Recover Unsaved Workbooks.

Recover unsaved excel file

With this, a new tab will open where all the saved versions of the file will be shown. You can select any version and recover it.

Bonus Tip – Recover Saved Over Excel Files

If you have made changes to your Excel file and now want to revert back to its original state after saving over then you can make use of OneDrive to restore the previous version of the Excel Files. However, this method only works if you have enabled OneDrive recovery on your Microsoft account.

1. Log into your OneDrive account and select the Excel file that you want to restore to a previous version. After selecting the file click on the Version history option.

onedrive backup

2. On the new tab you will see the current version and older versions of the file. From the older versions select the one that you want to recover then select the Restore or Download option as per your choice.

Restore older version of excel

With this, you can easily restore the previous version of your Excel file.

Recover Deleted Excel File From Cell Phones

If you happen to edit and store Excel files on your phone rather than your computer then you will need data recovery software for a smartphone that can recover deleted Excel files for its internal storage. We have reviewed EaseUS MobiSaver for Android recovery software that allows you to recover deleted data from Android phones’ internal storage.

However, for recovering deleted files from Android smartphones you have to root it first. Then you need to connect the phone to your PC and allow the software to run the scan on your computer. Once the scan is completed you can recover any type of lost data from the phone including videos, audio, images, and also documents (Excel files).

recover deleted excel file from Android

In the case of the iPhone, you can make use of Stellar Data Recovery For iPhone to restore deleted Excel files from it. The best part is that you don’t have to jailbreak your iPhone for recovering data from it. You can learn about Stellar Data Recovery For iPhone in detail in our review here.

Final Verdict

We have shared with you all the tips and methods using which you can restore your deleted, unsaved, and saved over Excel files with ease. Although these methods are quite helpful to recover the Excel files, we would recommend you to keep a backup of your important spreadsheets so that you don’t have to use all these methods to recover your Excel files. You can make use of OneDrive or any other cloud storage of your choice to keep a backup of your files.


How Do I Recover A Permanently Deleted Excel File?

To recover a permanently deleted Excel file you can use data recovery software or recover it from the backup if you have any.

How Do I Recover An Excel File I Closed Without Saving?

You can recover unsaved Excel files using the autosave function of Microsoft Excel.

Where are Excel Autosave Files Saved?

The autosaved files are stored at C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Office\UnsavedFiles

About Me

I’m Satyam Pandey, a fellow data hoarder who keeps accidentally deleting files from time to time. I decided to start this blog after recovering all of my deleted high school photos from my old hard drive. With a knack to test data recovery software and see how well they perform I decided to create this blog.

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