Recover Overwritten or Replaced Excel/Word Document

Tracy King updated on Sep 16, 2020 to File Recovery | How-to Articles

While editing documents, it is common to accidentally saved over a Word document or an Excel and lose important content. In this article, you can learn two ways to recover overwritten Excel file or Word document, which are recovering saved over Word from temporary files or restoring restore previous version of Excel file. Besides, we also recommend you try EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard to recover deleted Excel or Word document, and use EaseUS Todo Backup to back up your Word or Excel to avoid data

How to restore accidentally saved over a Word document or how to recover overwritten Excel file? Try these two effective solutions to work out.

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
Method 1. Recover overwritten Excel or Word files from temp files When you are editing a Word or Excel, Microsoft Office will automatically create some temporary files as a backup. Open Excel > Click File > Info...Full steps
Method 2. Restore saved over Excel or Word file from previous versions You can restore previous version of excel file or Word document: create a new Excel/Word file > Select Properties > Go to Previous Versions...Full steps

How to Recover an Accidentally Saved Over Word Document

Case 1. "I accidentally overwrote an Excel file and saved it, is there any way I can restore the overwritten Excel file?"

Case 2. "Does anyone know how to restore a Word document that was saved over in Windows 10, 8, or 7? I replaced a Word document on Desktop and saved the file. I need to recover overwritten Word document!" 

excel restore previous version

Overwriting or replacing an Excel or Word file is not a new problem for most Windows PC users. However, the issue is familiar, yet the solution still eludes most. So what can you do when your Excel or Word file gets overwritten or replaced? Here, we provide two reliable methods to recover overwritten Excel files or Word documents.

And, in the end, two smart Word/Excel recovery and backup solutions are introduced to help you recover deleted Word Excel or back up Excel file with to prevent data loss.

Method 1. Recover Overwritten Excel Files/Word Document from Temporary Files

Usually, while you are editing a Word or Excel file, Microsoft Office Excel or Word will automatically create some temporary files as a backup on your Windows PC if you have enabled the AutoRecover feature. And the temp files won't overwrite the previous ones. Therefore, if you saved over an Excel or Word document, you can try to restore previous version of Excel file or Word document from the temporary files.

You can navigate to the temp file folder location on your PC and find the Excel/Word temp files. Then, open and save the files as you need.

  • On Windows 10/8/7/Vista: C:\Users\UserName\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Office\UnsavedFiles\
  • On Windows XP: C:\Documents and Settings\\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Office\UnsavedFiles

Or you can use the Recover unsaved file feature of Microsoft Office to recover Excel or Word from temporary files. 

Step 1. Open Excel, and click "File" > "Info" > "Manage Workbook". Click "Recover Unsaved Workbooks" from the drop-down menu.

restore excel file saved over

Step 2. Select the unsaved file and click the "Open" button. Then, on the pop-up window, choose "Save As" to recover it.

After this, you should have successfully restored the overwritten Excel or Word document on your PC and can continue using it as usual. If this doesn't work, move on to the next method.

Also read:

Method 2. Restore Previous Version of Excel File or Word Document

Another feasible way to recover overwritten Excel files or Word document is restoring from previous versions. The previous versions come from File History or from restore points. As long as you have activated the Windows backup option, you can restore previous version of Word document or Excel file with the steps below.

Step 1. Create a new Excel/Word file with the same name as your lost Excel/Word file or find your present, saved-over Excel/Word file.

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

Step 3. Go to "Previous Versions", find and select the latest version or the version you want back, click "Restore".

recover previous version of excel file

This is all there is to it, your replaced or overwritten Excel or Word file will be restored with the same file name.

Bonus Tips: How to Recover Deleted or Lost Word/Excel Files

Note: We don't advise you to try any data recovery software on the market for this task. Generally, all the third-party software only helps recover the original file after it is deleted from your storage device. In this case, the file has been saved over, and these tools will not help locate a previous version.

EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is no exception for retrieving an overwritten Word document. It is not designed to restore overwritten or unsaved files. However, it has a high reputation in recovering deleted files. It’s powerful in restoring lost data in complex circumstances.

  • Recover deleted, formatted, and inaccessible data in different data loss situations
  • Recover photos, audio, music, and emails from any storage effectively, safely and completely
  • Recover data from emptied recycle bin, hard drive, memory card, flash drive, digital camera, and camcorder

Download this data recovery software to help you get back any deleted or lost Word and Excel files.

Step 1. Launch EaseUS Office file recovery software on your computer. Your hard drives, as well as external hard drives, will be detected and displayed on the disk map. 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 start a quick scan after you click the Scan button, and very soon the deleted files will show up. It may take a little longer for the Advanced scan to find many more data. When the process is over, you can filter the Office files by the "Documents" category.

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

How to Back up Word/Excel to Avoid Data Loss

The best way to avoid document loss is by backing up your document regularly. Although Microsoft Office offers you the AutoRecover feature to automatically back up the unsaved files, it won't help protect the saved document. If you have a smart backup for the saved Excel or Word file, you can recover the backup even if it has been overwritten. In such a case, EaseUS file backup software can be set to back up your files every half hour. It is useful:

  • To back up database files that are frequently changed
  • To back up shared files that are frequently updated
  • To create multiple backup points for recovery or rollback

If you often edit important Word and Excel documents, you should back them up with this smart tool.

Step 1: Open EaseUS Todo Backup and select "File" as the backup mode.

You may have a large amount of vital data to be protected as time goes on, such as documents, pictures, music, and videos, etc. It is always a good habit to have a backup on a regular basis. File Backup is one of the best choices for you to get over unexpected data loss.

Step 2: Select the files that you want to back up.

Tick the option at the top left corner named User Defined, you can browse to back up one or some specific file types on your computer or external storage device.

click file backup to back up files

Step 3: Select a destination to save your backup file. 

You'd better create the backup file in some other storage media or in some other drive. If not, there may be a risk of the backup file getting corrupted or destroyed.

Step 4: Click "Proceed" to execute your operation.

FAQs About Accidentally Saved Over a Word Document

Here are the top frequently asked questions related to how to recover previous version of Excel file or Word document. If you also have any of these problems, you can find the methods here.

How do I retrieve a Word document that I saved over?

You can recover a saved over Word document from an earlier version:

  • Open the Word document.
  • Go to File > Info.
  • Under Manage Workbook, select Recover Unsaved Workbooks.
  • In the pop-up window, select the previous file to restore overwritten Word document.

Can you recover a file you saved over?

If you accidentally saved over a Word document or renamed a file/folder, you can restore a previous version of that file or folder, but you need to know the location where the file or folder was saved. To restore an overwritten file a perform Excel restore previous version, follow these steps:

  • Find the folder that used to contain the file or folder on your computer, right-click it, and then click Restore previous versions.
  • Double-click a previous version of the folder that contains the file or folder you want to restore.
  • Drag the file or folder that you want to restore to another location, such as your desktop or another folder.

Can you undo a save in Word?

If you open an existing file in Word to modify to create a new file, but you forget to save it with a new name before editing, you can use the Undo command to restore the original file contents. This method only works if the file is still open.

  • First, select the current contents of the file and copy them to a new file. Save this file with a new file name.
  • In the original file, use Ctrl+Z to undo up to 20 of your most recent changes. If this restores all of your original content, use Save As to save the file with the original file name.
  • If this doesn't work, try to undo a save in Excel or Word with the backup.

How do I undo a replaced file?

How to recover an overwritten file:

  • Right-click the overwritten or replaced file and click Properties.
  • Select Previous Versions.
  • If you want to view the old version, click View. To copy the old version to another location, click Copy... To replace the current version with the older version, click Restore.

Was This Page Helpful?


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

It's super easy to recover 250+ types of files after deletion, disk formatting and virus infection. Click the links and compare the difference of each version.