How to Restore Previous Version of Excel File

Tracy King updated on Jan 21, 2021 to File Recovery | How-to Articles

Don't worry if you saved over an Excel or Word by mistake. This page will show you how to effortlessly recover previous version of Excel. You can restore an Excel file to an earlier version from a temporary file or auto-recovery if you haven't saved the file. If you've saved the file, you can recover Excel from previous version and Excel's built-in tool. And if you need to recover deleted Excel file, you can resort to a professional file recovery software.

Quick navigation for solutions to recover previous version of Excel whether the Excel file is saved or not:

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
Fix 1. Restore from Previous Version To recover saved over Excel file, right-click on the saved Excel > "Properties" > "Previous Versions"...Full steps
Fix 2. Recover previous saved Excel To recover overwritten Excel file, open Excel > "File" > "Info" > "Manage Documents" > "When I closed"...Full steps
Fix 3. Recover from AutoRecover Recover unsaved Excel file, open Excel > "File" > "Info" > "Manage Workbook" > "Recover Unsaved..."...Full steps
Fix 4. Recover from .TMP File Restore Excel previous version, Find Excel temp file with .TMP extension > Copy and change extension...Full steps

Q: How to recover a previous version of an Excel spreadsheet after saving it?

"Is it possible to recover a saved-over Excel to a previous version? I got a very important two-sheet Excel file, but it was saved by mistake, and there was only one spreadsheet left with much useful data loss. I don't know how it happened without me knowing it. I need the lost data back. So, I'm hoping someone will be able to help and tell me if I can recover a previous version of this spreadsheet before the deletion occurred? If so, how do I do this?"

Recovering an Excel file that was saved over is a long-standing hot issue for many users. How you can restore earlier Excel depends on whether you've saved it or not. If the Excel file is still open, you can directly use Ctrl + Z or the Undo option to revert the Excel file to an earlier state.

However, if the edited Excel is saved and closed, recovery is not so easy. In the following content, we will discuss how to recover previous version of Excel file 2016, 2013, 2010, and 2007 in two cases. One is restoring older Excel version if you've saved the file, the other is recovering the previous version of Excel if you haven't saved it. Besides, in the end, we highly recommend you try EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard to recover lost saved Excel file without effort. 

How to Recover Previous Version of Excel File After Saving

Two ways are available to help you restore previous version of Excel file by using Windows backup feature and Excel's Manage Wordbook feature.

1. Recover Earlier Version of Excel File from Previous Versions

Windows can automatically save old versions of your data files when you have enabled the File History and system backup and restore.

Step 1. Open File Explorer and locate the Excel/Word file.

Step 2. Right-click on the Excel file and select "Properties".

Step 3. Click the "Previous Versions" tab and select the version you would like to get back and then hit "Restore'.

restore Excel file from previous versions

2. Restore Excel File to Previous Version with Excel's Built-in Tool

Step 1. Open the file you are working on;

Step 2. Go to "File" and click "Info". Under "Manage Documents", click the file labeled "When I closed without saving".

Step 3. Click "Restore" in the bar at the top of the file to overwrite any previously saved versions.

Restore previous version of Excel/Word.

How to Restore Previous Version of Excel File Not Saved

If you haven't saved the file, try below two approaches to get an Excel file earlier version back.

1. Recover Unsaved Excel File from AutoRecover

If the AutoRecover option is turned on, Windows can automatically save versions of your file while you're working on it. You can recover previous version of Excel that is not saved by following steps below.

Step 1. Click "File" > "Info" > "Manage Workbook" > "Recover Unsaved Workbooks" .

Restore unsaved excel or word earlier version.

Step 2. Select the file and click "Open".

Step 3. In the bar at the top of the file, click "Save As" to save the file.

Restore previous version of Excel or Word.

2. Recover Old Version of Excel File from .TMP file

Microsoft Office has this feature that it would automatically save temp files for the file that you are editing. So you can try to find the .TMP file to get an earlier version of Excel or Word file back:

Step 1. Follow the temp file folder location on your PC and find the Excel/Word temp files with .TMP extension.

  • For Windows 7 users: C:\Users\UserName\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Excel\ 
  • For Windows 8/10 users: C:\Users\UserName\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Office\UnsavedFiles\

Step 2. Locate and find the temporary excel or word files begin with "$" or "~" and end with “.TMP”, select the right version of Excel/Word temp file by date, then copy and save to another safe spot by changing the extension from .TMP to .XLS/.XLSX or .DOC/.DOCX.

Conclusion: If your Excel file got overwritten accidentally with data loss, you could use the four methods in total to recover previous version of the Excel file. In addition to Excel getting saved over, users also have trouble with Excel loss caused by mistaken deletion, storage device formatting, OS crash, virus attack, recycle bin emptying, and so on. Under these circumstances, the above approaches are not useful any longer. Then, how to recover deleted Excel document? Calm down and use the data recovery software demonstrated below to get back lost Excel easily.

How to Retrieve Deleted/Lost Excel File with Data Recovery Software

If you've already deleted the earlier version of Excel file, or if the saved Excel gets lost due to careless deletion, hard drive formatting, and other reasons, you can use EaseUS Data Recovery to help you restore the deleted Excel from your PC or other storage devices within three steps. It even enables you to recover files from emptied recycle bin.

Now, install this program and follow to see how to get your lost Excel/Word file back effortlessly. 

Step 1. Launch EaseUS Office file recovery software on your computer. Choose the exact location where you lost the Office files and click the Scan button.

select the office file location

Step 2. The software will immediately start scanning the drive and very soon the deleted files will show up. When the process is over, you can filter the Office files by clicking "Filter" > "Documents".

scan lost office files

Step 3. Select the Office files (e.g. Word, Excel, and PowerPoint) and click the Recover button. You can browse for a different location to save the recovered files.

select office files and recover

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why choose EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard?

"EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is the best we've seen. It's far from perfect, partly because today's advanced disk technology makes data-recovery more difficult than it was with the simpler technology of the past, but it's fast and efficient..."PCMag

"The first thing you'll notice about EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro is that its interface is very clear and uncluttered, with only a small collection of self-explanatory controls. You won't find lots of extra options hidden in a system of hidden menus, either; what you see really is what you get."techradar

"Recover lost files, even after deleting a partition or formatting your drive."Macworld

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

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

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

6. 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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