Accidentally Deleted Excel File: How to Recover [5 Methods]

When you have accidentally deleted excel file, how to recover? Don’t worry, we provide you with five options in this post. Besides, solutions on how to recover unsaved excel files are also given.


By Ellie / Updated on April 3, 2024

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Accidentally deleted excel file, how to recover it?


I need some help here! I have accidentally deleted the wrong excel file. The one I actually deleted has a similar name to the one I want to delete. And I have just deleted it without checking the content in it. Now I really need to get it back. How can I recover an accidentally deleted excel file?”


You can run into the problem of needing to recover an excel file for several reasons. Except for accidentally deleting the file, an excel file may be corrupted because of causes like bad sectors on the hard drive or malware attacks. But don’t worry, your excel file is recoverable with the right tools.  

How to recover accidentally deleted excel file [5 methods]

Here in this post, we’re going to introduce an accidentally deleted excel file how to recover. 5 methods are mentioned here.

Method 1. Get back deleted excel file from the Recycle Bin directly

The easiest way is to recover deleted excel file from Recycle Bin if it is not permanently deleted.

Step 1. Double click Recycle Bin on your desktop to open it.

Step 2. Locate the excel file you have deleted. Right-click it, and click Restore. Then your file will come back to the location where it was before being deleted.

Click Restore

Method 2. Recover excel files use the Microsoft Excel

Microsoft Excel has a file recovery tool that often helps you recover these accidentally deleted files if you can’t just pull them out of the Recycle Bin. Also, you can use this method to recover unsaved excel files. But you need to pay attention to the following two things:

  • This isn’t foolproof, and it doesn’t always work.
  • You need to have the AutoRecover function (in Step 3) enabled to use this method.

Step 1. Open a blank Microsoft Excel document and click the File tab.

Click File

Step 2. Click the Options link at the bottom.

Click Option

Step 3. Click Save from the left. Then make sure you have AutoRecover enabled. If not, you can jump to the next method.


Step 4. Once you find the section with a path showing where your auto-saved documents go, select and copy it. In my case, it’s here: C:\Users\Bryan\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Excel\


Step 5. Open File Explorer and paste in the copied file path. Hit Enter.


Step 6. Here, we’ll see the last save of the document you were working on. Click it to open the file.


Step 7. Right-click the Microsoft Excel Binary file, and select Open with.


Step 8. Choose Excel, and click OK. Then your file will be reopened with Excel.


Method 3. Restore accidentally deleted excel file from a Windows backup

The third solution to accidentally deleted excel file how to recover is to use the Windows built-in utility Backup and Restore. The same as the previous method, you need to first have this function enabled in order to use it.

Step 1. Input Control Panel in the Windows search bar, and start it.

Open Control Panel

Step 2. Click System and Security and then Backup and Restore (Windows 7).

System and Security

Step 3. Here you’ll see if you have this function enabled. If you do, click Select another backup to restore files from. If you don’t, jump to the next method.

Select Another Backup to Restore Files from

Step 4. Select the backup and then click Next.

Select a Backup

Step 5. Search for your excel file by using the Browse for files or Browse for folders option.

Restore with Windows Backup

Step 6. Choose a location to save the backup, select your excel file and click Restore to recover it.

Method 4. Use the Previous Versions facility to revert to an older copy of the excel file

Another feature provided by Microsoft which could help you recover your deleted excel file is File History. If you have this feature turned on, you can recover any previously saved version from your backup drive.

 Step 1. Go to Control Panel > System and Security > File History.

File History

Step 2. Here you’ll see if you have this feature turned on. If yes, click Restore personal files. If not, go to the final method.

Restore Personal Files

Step 3. Select the excel file you need to recover and then click the Restore button.

Locate Deleted Excel File Restore

Method 5. Recover permanently deleted files via professional data recovery software

The final method is to recover an excel file with the MyRecover. Compared with the previous four methods, the biggest advantage of the final method is that it can help you recover your excel file without any conditions. It allows you to recover permanently deleted excel files even if you don’t have any backups. How to recover permanently deleted excel files in Windows 10, simply download this software and then follow the steps below.

Step 1. Download, install and launch MyRecover on your computer.  

Download FreewareWin 11/10/8.1/8/7/Server
Secure Download

Step 2. Hover the mouse over the drive, and click Scan.

Scan D Drive

Step 3. Then the scanning process will start automatically. You don’t need to wait for the process to complete if you find the excel files you want to recover. You can also input the file name in the search box in the upper-right corner to find the files quickly.

Scan Lost Data

Step 4. Choose the excel files that you want to recover. Click Recover xx files and choose a destination path to save the restored files.

Select Deleted Excel Files Click Recover

Bonus tips: How to recover unsaved excel files

You may also lose your excel file because of application failure-the program can sometimes hang, making it necessary to perform a force quit without saving the file, or PC crash-your machine might suddenly stop working, leaving you with unsaved files.

In Method 2, we have mentioned AutoRecover, a tool that can help you recover unsaved excel files if you have it enabled. In this section, we’re going to introduce two more options to recover unsaved excel files. But they work for different scenarios, read carefully.

Option 1. Check the temporary files to recover unsaved excel files

If you are working on a new file and have never saved the file at all, Microsoft office will help you save temporary files as backups.

Step 1. Start the Excel on your PC, and click File. Go to Info, find Manage Workbook, then click Recover Unsaved Workbooks.

Info Recover Unsaved Workbooks

Step 2. Then your unsaved files will be shown in the pop-up window. Select the files you want to restore and then click on Open.

Select File to Recover

Step 3. Don’t forget to click File and then go to Save As to save your files carefully.

Option 2. Recover unsaved excel files from Excel recovered files

If your previously saved file closes before you can save the changes made since your last save, Excel will recover the files for you and you can decide which to keep.

Step 1. Once you open the Excel file again, you can see the Recovered heading, select Show Recovered Files.


Step 2. The Excel will open a new sheet with the Document Recovery panel, double click the Excel file on the Available File list, and you can get the unsaved excel files.


How can I avoid unexpected excel file loss in the future?

To prevent excel file loss, backing up these files is always a better bet. Here we recommend you to use the professional backup freeware AOMEI Backupper. It has the following advantages:

  • Backup partition automatically. It supports daily, weekly, and monthly schedule backup, so you can choose to backup the partition with one of them.
  • Incremental backup. It supports incremental backup by default, which backups only changes since the last backup.
  • Diverse backup. It supports backing up system, file/folder, partition, and entire disk to internal or external hard drive, USB drive, network drive, or cloud drive.
  • Other useful tools. It allows you to boot your computer from the bootable media to a backup hard drive even if the system crashes by creating bootable media from a CD or USB disk.

Step 1. Download, install and launch AOMEI Backupper for Windows on your computer. 

Download FreewareWin 11/0/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

 Step 2. Under the Backup tab, select the File Backup.

File Backup

Step 3. Edit the task name for distinguishing. Click Add Folder or Add File > This PC > Devices and drives to add the photos.

Add File or Folder

Step 4. Select the destination path to store the backup photos. Network path and cloud drive are supported.

Backup to Hard Drive

Step 5. Click Start Backup to carry out disk backup and wait until the operation is complete. Click Finish to exit the interface.

Backup Finish


This post introduces an accidentally deleted excel file how to recover with five methods. The first four methods have their respective prerequisite, please read carefully. With the final method, MyRecover, you’re able to recover deleted excel files infallibly. Besides, two options on how to recover unsaved excel files are also introduced in case you need it.

Ellie · Editor
Ellie, a professional and experienced writer who is good at solving iOS-related problems and writing iOS backup/transfer tips.