Solutions to Recover Deleted or Permanently Deleted Office Excel Files

Abby Haines updated on Aug 27, 2019 to Data Recovery | How-to Articles


Here are 3 ways to recover deleted Excel files. Follow the details to recover deleted or permanently deleted files. Also, you can learn how to recover unsaved Excel files. EaseUS data recovery software makes Excel file recovery simple and effective for both Windows and Mac users.

Part 1. Three Methods to Restore Deleted Excel Files
Part 2. Two Solutions to Retrieve Unsaved Excel

Overview of Deleted Excel File Recovery

Microsoft Office Excel, a spreadsheet application, distributed by Microsoft. Its wonderful features make it a very widely applied spreadsheet. From Microsoft Office Excel 2007 for Windows, 2008 for Mac, Office Excel 2009/2010 till now Office Excel 2016, Microsoft really made a great job in updating its Office tools.

When you delete excel files from the computer and empty them from the Recycle Bin or Trash Bin, they would disappear from your computer. The excel contents would not be destroyed immediately. Windows or Mac will mark excel files for deletion and removes them from the file system database when you delete them. This doesn't mean they are immediately gone, and you still have a chance to undelete excel files. 

Part 1. Three Methods to Restore Deleted Excel Files

In fact, when you delete a file, Windows or Mac will mark the space occupied. Therefore, if you need to recover deleted excel files, don't save new data into space where you used to store the excel files so to prevent new data overwriting the deleted excel files.

So, how to recover deleted excel files? Here are three methods on how to recover deleted Excel, follow the details below:

If you are using Mac, also read how to recover unsaved excel files on Mac.

Method 1. Restore Deleted Excel from the Previous Version

This method is very helpful for users to restore excel files or documents in partitions, not the desktop. How to do it?

  • Step 1: Right-click the Excel document and choose "Properties".
  • recover excel from previous version
  • Step 2: Open the "Previous Version" tab to list all the previously stored version of the Excel file.
  • Step 3: Choose the right version and click "Restore" to retrieve the document.

Method 2. Undelete Excel Files from Recycle Bin

If you've created Excel files on the desktop and you carelessly deleted it, it will be simple for you to restore it from the recycle bin.

  • Step 1: Open "Recycle bin".
  • Step 2: Right-click the deleted Excel and choose "Restore".

recover excel from recycle bin

Method 3. Recover Deleted Excel Files with Undelete Software

This method is used to restore permanently deleted excel files without backups. If you have emptied the recycle bin in Windows 10/8/7 etc, you'll need professional data recovery software to help you. 

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is a powerful data recovery software. It undeletes files even if you've emptied the Recycle Bin or format the file. 

Supported OS

  • Windows 10/8.1/8/7/Vista/XP, Windows Server 2003 - 2019.
  • Mac OS X 10.6 - 10.11 macOS 10.12 - 10.14.

If you use Mac, you can also download the Mac version data recovery software to restore lost excel files.

Supported Office Version

Simple steps for Excel file recovery are as follows:

Step 1. Specify a location

Run EaseUS Data Recovery Software, firstly, you're asked to choose a location to start. Choose the drive X: or perhaps a specific folder on Desktop or somewhere else, and then click "Scan".

select the excel file location

Step 2. Scan data

During the scan, you'll see more and more data showing up very quickly in the "Deleted files" result. That's part of what the software has found and displayed.

scan excel files

Step 3. Preview and recover

To quickly find the Excel files in the massive data in the scan results, click on the "Filter" on the top area and choose "Documents". Or, search .xls or .xlsx in the Search box. Select the desired files and click "Recover".

select excel files and recover

Part 2. Two Solutions to Retrieve Unsaved Excel

If you forget to save your Excel files, you can follow the two solutions to restore Excel files.

Solution 1. From Temp File 

Step 1: Follow the temporary file folder location on your PC and find the crashed or unsaved/lost Excel document.

  • For Windows 10/8 users:


  • For Windows 7 users:


Step 2: Check and select the temporary unsaved Excel file which the program crashes, then copy and save it as a new file.

recover excel from temp files

Solution 2. From AutoRecover

Make sure that you have turned on the AutoRecover feature in Excel and then you can recover data.

Step 1: Open a new Excel file.

Step 2: Click "File" > "Open" > "Recent" option.

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

Step 4: Click "Recover Unsaved Workbooks" and wait.

recover unsaved excel from autorecover

Step 5: You can open the Excel file and click "Save AS" to store the Excel as a new file to a safe location on your PC.


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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why cannot I recover 2GB data for free?

It is recommended to check the version installed is Free or Trial because they are different versions.

Trial has data preview function but cannot save any files, while the Free version enables to recover 2 GB files. The default free space is 500 MB and you may share the product on social media to get another 1.5 GB.

2. Why cannot the recovered files be opened?

A file is saved as 2 parts on the storage device: directory info (which is comprised by file name, time stamp and size info, etc.) and data content.

If the files with original file names and folder structures cannot be opened, one possible reason is the corrupted directory info. There is still a chance to recover the data content with the RAW Recovery method in our software.

3. Why isn't it suggested to recover the files back to the original drive?

The storage structure of the lost files would be altered or damaged by any changes on the drive. If you save the recovered files back to the same drive, the original data structures and data content would be corrupted or overwritten, which causes permanent data loss. So you should prepare another disk to save the files.

4. How can I check whether my data is recoverable or not before purchase?

The Free version helps you save 2GB files to better verify the recovery quality of our product before purchase.

5. How long does it take to scan the drive?

It strongly depends on the capacity of your hard drive and the performance of your computer. As reference,most drive recoveries can be completed in around 10 to 12 hours for a 1-TB healthy hard drive in general conditions.

About Data Recovery Wizard

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