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

This is an overview.

Recover Excel File

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Method 1 – Recover Excel Files with the AutoRecover Option

  • Go to File > Options.
  • In Excel Options, click Save.
  • Set Save AutoRecover information every for specified minutes.
  • Click OK.

Enabling AutoRecover information every 1 minute


  • To recover the previously saved file, go to File > Info.
  • Select Manage Workbook > Recover Unsaved Workbooks.

Steps to Recover Unsaved Workbooks

  • The Excel file is named Recover Excel File. This name will be displayed in the window.
  • Select the file and click Open.

Steps to Recover unsaved workbook

  • There are files saved at different times.
  • Select the one you want to recover and click Open.
  • Choose a location and save it.

Selecting and recovering unsaved workbook

Method 2 – Recover Overwritten Excel Files using OneDrive

  • Go to the file location in OneDrive and right-click the file.
  • Click Version history.

Steps to recover Excel files from OneDrive with Version history

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

Showing different Excel file versions

  • The file will be displayed.
  • Select Restore to recover the old version.
  • Download the old version.

Restoring specific Excel file version

Method 3 – Recover Deleted Excel Files from the OneDrive Bin

  • Go to the Recycle bin and find your file.

Steps to select files from OneDrive

  • Right-click the file and select Restore.

Restoring Excel file from OneDrive Recycle bin

  • Your file will be recovered in its original location.

Method 4 – Recover Overwritten Excel Files using the File History

  • Right-click the file and select Restore previous versions.

Steps to Restore previous versions

  • In the Previous Versions window, find the files of older versions.

Showing previous versions file location

Method 5 –  Recover Deleted Files in the Recycle Bin

  • Open the Recycle Bin.
  • Right-click the file you want to recover.

Showing deleted Excel file in Recycle bin

  • Select Restore.

Restoring deleted file from Recycle bin

Your file will be restored to the original location.

How to Repair Corrupted Excel Files?

  • Open any Excel file.
  • Click the File tab and go to Open.
  • Click Browse to find the corrupted file.

Steps to open an Excel file

  • Select it and click the side arrow in Open.

Selecting and Opening an Excel file

  • Select Open and Repair.

selecting Open and Repair option

  • In the dialog box asking for your permission, click Convert to Values.

Converting Formulas to values


  • If your file is not recovered, select Extract Data instead of Repair.

How to Enable the Easy Recovery Option to Protect Data

  • Click the File tab and select Options.

Steps to open Options tab

  • In Excel Options, go to Save.
  • Set the time interval for auto-recovery.
  • Set the file location for the recovered file.
Setting AutoRecover time interval and file location

Click the image for a detailed view

  • Click AutoSave on the left side of your Excel file, to save your data automatically.

Showing how to turn on AutoSave mode

  • A new window will open asking for your permission to save the file in OneDrive.
  • Select your OneDrive account to complete the procedure.

Selecting OneDrive Personal as Autosave option


Frequently Asked Questions

1. How Can I Recover Unsaved Excel Files?

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


Recover Excel File: Knowledge Hub

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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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