How to Recover Excel File? (Overwritten and Deleted Files)

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We often have to recover our overwritten or deleted Excel files. These files are important for retrieving important information.

To recover overwritten files, we will use the AutoRecoverRestore previous versions option. We will also recover overwritten files from the OneDrive cloud using Version history. To recover deleted files, we will use Recycle Bin. You can recover deleted Excel files both from the PC and OneDrive cloud using Recycle Bin.

Overall, we will cover all the basics of recovering Excel files.

Recover Excel File

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What are the Ways to Recover Excel Files?

There are simple ways to recover Excel files. To recover overwritten files, we can use the AutoRecover feature or the File History option. We can also use the OneDrive cloud to recover previous version files. And, to recover deleted Excel files, we have to use the Recycle Bin from the computer or from the OneDrive cloud.

1. How to Recover Excel Files with the AutoRecover Option?

To recover Excel files, you can turn on the AutoRecover mode. You can set a specific time interval after which the Excel file will automatically recover data. Let’s see the steps.

  • First, go to File > Options.
  • A dialog box named Excel Options will appear.
  • Click on the Save option.
  • You can set the Save AutoRecover information every option for certain specified minutes.
  • Then, click OK to save the changes.

Enabling AutoRecover information every 1 minute

  • Now, work on your Excel spreadsheet for some time.
  • To recover the previously saved file, go to File > Info.
  • Then navigate to Manage Workbook > select Recover Unsaved Workbooks.

Steps to Recover Unsaved Workbooks

  • The Excel file we are working with is named Recover Excel File, You will see a file named like the original file in the appearing window.
  • Select the file and click on Open.

Steps to Recover unsaved workbook

  • After that, you can see there are some files saved at different times.
  • Select the one you want to recover and click on Open.
  • To keep the file, you should save it in your desired location.

Selecting and recovering unsaved workbook

2. Can You Recover Overwritten Excel Files with OneDrive?

Yes, you can recover overwritten Excel files with OneDrive. For that, just follow these simple steps:

  • Go to the file location of your OneDrive and right-click on the file.
  • Then, click on the Version history option.

Steps to recover Excel files from OneDrive with Version history

  • A new tab will open with both the Current Version and Older Versions.
  • Select any of the old files with a specific date.

Showing different Excel file versions

  • Doing so, that old file will appear.
  • You can select the Restore option to recover that old version.
  • Also, you can Download that old version.

Restoring specific Excel file version

3. Can We Recover Deleted Excel Files from OneDrive Bin?

Yes! We can recover deleted Excel files from the OneDrive bin. If you accidentally delete important Excel files from your OneDrive, you can recover them by following these steps:

  • First, go to the Recycle bin option and find your desired file.

Steps to select files from OneDrive

  • Then, right-click on that file and select Restore.

Restoring Excel file from OneDrive Recycle bin

  • After all these processes, your file will be recovered in its original location.

4. How to Recover Overwritten Excel Files with File History?

To recover overwritten Excel files with file history, you have to navigate to the Restore Previous Versions. From there, you can recover any overwritten Excel files with file history.

  • Right-click on your Excel file and select the Restore previous versions option.

Steps to Restore previous versions

  • Doing so, you can see the window for Previous Versions will appear where you may find the files of older versions.

Showing previous versions file location

5. Can I Recover Deleted Files with Recycle Bin?

Yes! You can always use the Recycle Bin to recover files if the files are deleted mistakenly. Just follow these steps:

  • Open the Recycle Bin.
  • Then, right-click on the file that you want to recover.

Showing deleted Excel file in Recycle bin

  • After that, select Restore.

Restoring deleted file from Recycle bin

  • And, your file will be restored to the original location.

How to Repair Corrupt Excel Files?

  • To repair a corrupt Excel file first, open any Excel file.
  • Then, click on the File tab and go to Open.
  • Then, click on Browse to find the corrupted file.

Steps to open an Excel file

  • Then, select the corrupted file and click on the side arrow of the Open option.

Selecting and Opening an Excel file

  • Out of the many options, select Open and Repair.

selecting Open and Repair option

  • Another dialog box will appear asking your permission. Click on the Convert to Values option.

Converting Formulas to values

  • This procedure should solve the problem of corrupted files.
  • If your file is not recovered by this procedure, you can try another way by selecting the Extract Data option instead of Repair.

How to Enable Easy Recovery Option to Protect Data in Excel?

To enable easy recovery option to protect data, follow these steps:

  • Click on the File tab and select Options.

Steps to open Options tab

  • Then from the Excel Options go to the Save tab.
  • Here you can set the time interval for auto-recovery.
  • Also, you can set the file location for your recovery file.
Setting AutoRecover time interval and file location

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  • There is another option AutoSave to save your data automatically.
  • On the left side of your Excel file, click on the AutoSave button.

Showing how to turn on AutoSave mode

  • When you click on the button a new window will open asking your permission to save the file in OneDrive.
  • Select your OneDrive account to complete the procedure.

Selecting OneDrive Personal as Autosave option

Which Things Should You Remember?

  • If you somehow delete or lose data, you must try to recover it as quickly as possible. Otherwise, you might find it difficult to recover your file.
  • Before recovering your original file, make sure your recovery method is working as per requirement.
  • The AutoRecover mode or the AutoSave mode always saves your important data.


In conclusion, this article covers everything about how to recover an Excel file. The AutoRecovery option is very handy to recover files with specific versions. Also, we can use the File History option and OneDrive cloud to recover previous version files. To recover deleted Excel files, we can use Recycle Bin both from the computer and from the OneDrive cloud. We hope you find the content of this article useful. If there are further queries you can mention them in the comment section.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I Recover an Excel File that I Accidentally Deleted?

You can recover your accidentally removed file. For that, you have to use the Recycle Bin. You can restore your file very quickly with this method. If you don’t find your file in Recycle Bin, you may need to use dedicated software.

2. How Can I Recover Unsaved Excel Files?

To find your unsaved Excel file, go to File > Info and select Recover Unsaved Workbooks. You can find your unsaved file from the appearing window. But, you have to activate the AutoRecover mode.

3. Can I Recover an Excel File from OneDrive?

You can recover the Excel File from OneDrive. First, you have to save the file in your OneDrive. Then you can recover overwritten files with the Version History option. Also, if you delete any Excel file unexpectedly, you can recover it from the Recycle Bin.

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Sourav Kundu
Sourav Kundu

Sourav Kundu, BSc, Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, is a dedicated technical content creator of the ExcelDemy project. He has a keen interest in Excel and he leverages his problem-solving skills to provide solutions on user interface with Excel. In his position as an Excel & VBA Content Developer at ExcelDemy, Sourav Kundu not only adeptly addresses challenging issues but also demonstrates enthusiasm and expertise in navigating complex situations. Apart from creating... Read Full Bio

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