How to recover permanently deleted Excel files

At times a Microsoft excel user may permanently delete their excel file; after all, accidents happen from time to time. It may happen accidentally or unknowingly. Losing important Excel data, which you have painfully perfected and spent lots of hours on, can be a hard pain to swallow literally. There comes a time when one may still need to use the deleted File, seeking ways to recover the data. How will I recover this data when it is permanently deleted? It is a good question asked by many. We all know when we consider the permanent factor; it means the File is lost never to be recovered. But, this is not the case in Excel. Most times, deleted files end up in the Recycle bin on your computer. In case you empty your Recycle bin, you can still access your deleted File. It is possible as these files always remain in the exact location they were deleted from but become inaccessible. Note that this option is only offered temporarily by windows, as any new data added will automatically overwrite the older files, and your data is lost forever.

In the article below, we inform you about the different ways of recovering your permanently deleted excel file. Here we go.

Method 1: recover your data from Recycle Bin

1. On your computer, double click on the Recycle bin icon to open it. The icon is available on the desktop screen.

2. from the different deleted data, locate your exact lost excel file. You can use the search to find your File.

3. Right-click on the File and choose the Restore option. The Recycle bin will automatically restore this File to the initial location it was stored.

Method 2: how to recover excel files, not in the recycle bin but are in Backups

1. On your computer, locate the location and folder that used to contain the excel file.

2. Right-click and choose the option Properties to display a dialog box.

3. On the display box, click on the second tab, 'Previous Versions'

4. Choose the correct version of your deleted File and click Restore to retrieve the excel file.

How to recover from Backup

1. On your computer, access the taskbar's search box and type in restore File.'

2. Select Restore your files with File History.

3. Locate the File you want to recover. Use the arrow keys on your keyboard to see the available versions.

4. Select Restore to recover the File to its original location. You can also select Restore if you want to choose a different place to store the File.

When an Excel file is not saved

1. On your open excel workbook, click on the File menu tab.

2. From the list, select open and choose the option 'Manage Document.'

3. From the drop-down arrow, select Recover Unsaved Workbooks in Excel.

4. Select the excel file and choose Open.

5. Select the Restore option. After clicking this tab, select the Save As an option to save your File.

Use the command prompt.

When you use the command prompt, it helps you display hidden folders that may contain your deleted files.

1. Open the cmd prompt on your computer.

2. Type chkdsk 'drive letter' /f and press the Enter key.

3. Press the Y key until the command line appears

4. Type in the drive letter and hit Enter on your keyboard.

5. Enter the following command: drive letter: attrib – h -r –s/s/d *.*

Using Third-Party Tools

Using third-party tools can be an effective way to recover permanently deleted lost Excel files. The only problem is that you will need to install and launch the software on your PC or desktop to aid in file recovery. Also, some tools work with specific windows and Excel versions. Hence, of all the third-party tools you can trust, here are the best ones to try.

Stellar Data Recovery

To use Stellar Data Recovery software, you first need to download it from the official website and install it. After installing it, you can proceed with the following steps:

1. Open the Stellar Data Recovery software and locate the driver where you had previously saved the file. For example, if you had saved it in your system storage, you can select the New Volume option on your PC.

Select whatever you want to recover. Whether they are Excel worksheets, office documents, or folders.

2. Click the Next icon to recover permanently deleted or unsaved files.

3. When the Recover From screen opens, select the folder from which you want to restore the deleted file and click Scan.

4. When the scanning process completes, you will see the deleted files on the screen.

You can select the files to retrieve directly or preview them all and click Recover.

5. Click the Browse button to select where you want to store the recovered Excel files.

6. Click the Start Saving option to finally save the recovered file.

Recoverit (IS)

Recoverit (IS) is a lifesaver software that can help you overcome all your data loss problems. That is because it can recover any Excel file you lost through device formatting, system error, or intentional deletion. Therefore, to use the tool to recover your permanently deleted file, you can follow these simple steps:

1. Download Recoverit (IS) from its official website, install it on your PC and launch it.

2. Select the recovery mode based on the lost scenario of your Excel file, including recycle bin and formatted disk recovery.

3. Select the disk or an external device that had your lost data and click the Start button to start the scanning process.

4. When the scanning process ends, preview all the recovered files and pick the ones you need to restore by ticking in the adjacent box.

5. After selecting all the files you need to recover, click the Recover button at the bottom right corner of the page.

6. Choose where you want to store the recovered files, whether it is on your PC or an external disk.

Manual Recovery Methods

In this part, you can use already-enabled Excel programs to recover permanently deleted files easily. Some of the methods include the following:

Recovery Using Temporary Files

Whenever you start a new Excel file, there is always a temporary file created that contains unique characters after the squiggly line. It is, therefore, easier for you to recover your permanently deleted files using the temporary files through the following steps:

Opening the Temp File Folder

The location of the folder may differ based on the computer’s operating system. If you are using Windows 7;

  • You can go to the “C” section and open the User
  • Select Name > App Data > Roaming > Microsoft > Excel.

If you are using Windows 8 and later versions;

  • Open the “C” partition and click on the User
  • Select App Data > Local > Microsoft > Office > Unsaved Files.

Restoring Excel Temporary Files

1. After locating where the temporary files are, you can check on the Lost Unsaved Excel document if you are using Windows 8 and above.


2. If you are using Windows 7 and below, check on the Unsaved Excel Documents.

3. Copy your recovered Excel files to the desktop and save them as new to complete the temporary file recovery process. You can also choose to store your recovered file on an external disk as a backup technique.

Using AutoRecovery Option

The AutoRecovery method helps you recover files that you once saved but you cannot trace the latest version due to a system crash or power failure. However, to use this method, you need to configure the AutoRecovery settings on your PC using the following steps:

1. Go to the File Tab from the File menu and select Options.

2. Click on the Save Tab. However, ensure the Save AutoRecovery ability is enabled so that it can save your files for a given period.

3. Click OK. This allows you to easily recover your files whenever you lose them when they are not saved.

After configuring the AutoRecovery settings on your PC, you can now follow these steps to recover your permanently deleted Excel files:

4. Go to the File Tab and click on the Open option to open a new Excel workbook.

5. Click on the Recent Workbook option at the top-left of your screen. It should be the recent worksheet that failed to be saved.

When a new box opens, click on the Recover Unsaved Workbook button at the bottom of the screen.

6. The step will generate a new list. Scroll down to locate the file that you need to recover.

7. Double-click on the file to open it in Excel format.

8. Save the recovered file using the Save As You can give it a different name or save it on an external drive as a backup file.

Using OneDrive Backups

OneDrive is also among the preferred storage mode for most Excel users since it can save important files. That means you can use it to recover accidentally deleted files from any device, including pictures, Excel spreadsheets, videos, and other documents. To recover your lost data using the OneDrive Backups option, you can follow these steps:

1. Go to the Settings icon at the right corner of the service homepage and open the OneDrive service. You can also log in to your OneDrive account using any device.

2. Click on the Restore Your OneDrive option; found in the drop-down menu in Settings.

3. Select the period over which you lost the file. It is better if you select a precise period or date since it allows you to view a lot of data you lost during that specific time.

4. Pick on the exact Excel file you need to recover.

5. Click on the Restore button found at the top of the screen. This will automatically restore the file to its original location.