(Recommended) How to Recover Lost Excel Files Freely?

How to recover lost Excel files? This tutorial shares several free and efficient solutions with you to restore lost Excel files.


By Penny / Updated on April 3, 2024

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Can I restore lost Excel files?


Hello! I deleted my Excel files several days ago. Since then, I haven’t used Microsoft Excel. Today, I want to retrieve one of them, but I cannot find these Excel files in my recycle bin. They were gone! Is there any way to restore lost Excel files?


Released in 1985, Microsoft Excel has grown into a well-powerful application for mass arithmetic calculations. It’s convenient for the company and individuals to add, subtract, multiply and divide numbers within simple clicks.

Many possible reasons could lead to data loss such as accidental deletion, misplacement of physical storage media, administration errors, or an empty recycle bin. If you’re eager to recover your deleted Excel files or lost ones with regrets, please read on. 

How to recover lost Excel files freely?

How to recover lost Excel files? There’re three feasible solutions. There is an official way provided by Microsoft Office. Apart from that, Windows File Recovery is another option. Perhaps you will be attracted by the most recommended Windows data recovery software. 

Way 1. Restore lost Excel files with AutoSave

If your files are stored on OneDrive, OneDrive for Business, or SharePoint Online, AutoSave will be enabled by default in Microsoft 365. Built-in Microsoft Excel, Word, and PowerPoint, AutoSave is a new feature subscriber that automatically saves your file every few seconds as you work.   

Ensure you’ve switched and enabled AutoSave when you open Excel files. 
If it is corrupted, you'd better recover the corrupted ones

Step 1. Press the "Start" button and enter "Excel“ in the search bar, then click "Open" your Excel. 

Step 2. Click "Save as" > "OneDrive", then log in to your OneDrive account.


Step 3. Choose a sub-folder location from the list on the screen.

Step 4. Input the Excel file you need in the search box and click "Save".  

Step 5. Open the Excel file that you’ve saved. Then you'll find your lost Excel files.

Way 2. Restore lost Excel files with Windows File Recovery  

If you have not switched and enabled your AutoSave, you can turn to Windows File Recovery. Supported by Microsoft, this command-line software can recover lost files that have been deleted from your internal and external drives and USB devices. It can work to some extent with solid-extent drives (SSD).

You can get this free software for Windows 10 version 200 and later from the Microsoft Store. This program has two basic modes: Regular and Extensive.

Regular mode: the standard recovery option for non-corrupted NTFS drives.

Extensive mode: a thorough recovery option suitable for all file systems.

Although there’s no graphical user interface, Windows File Recovery can still recover MP3 files, MP4 videos, PDF documents, JPG images, Word, Excel, and PPT files using the command prompt. The steps below describe how to recover lost excel files.

Adjust command lines according to winfr source-drive: destination drive: [/mode] [/switches]  
If you cannot find your Excel files, stop using your electronic device and don’t write new data on it.
 The source drive (locate where are the lost files before deletion/loss) and destination drive (where to save your recovered files) are different.
 Click “This PC”, and right-click on the source drive including your lost files before losing, then click “Properties” to check your file system.


Step 1. Download Windows File Recovery from the Microsoft Store and install it on your PC.


Step 2. Search Windows File Recovery in the search box, and click "Run as administrator".


Step 3. Select a suitable mode after checking your file systems.   

File system


Recommended mode


Deleted recently



Deleted a while ago

Segment, followed by Signature


After formatting a disk

Segment, followed by Signature


A corrupted disk

Segment, followed by Signature

FAT and exFAT



Step 4. Resemble your command lines with the following common switches. 



Supported mode(s)


Filter the scan range: scans for a specific file with its file name/path/type, etc.



Recover specific extension groups.



Recovers system files.

NTFS Segment​​​​​


Recovers undeleted files, for example, from the Recycle Bin.

NTFS Segment

Example:  Enter winfr C: E: /regular /n *.docx to salvage your Word from the C drive and save them on the E drive. 

Step 5. Enter “y” to continue and wait for the process to be finished. Then your recovered excel files will be saved in the destination drive.

Alternative 100% free tool: WinfrGUI

Without a doubt, Windows File Recovery is hard to operate with entering CMD to recover files. If you are bothered by it, why not try free WinfrGUI to salvage your lost Excel files. 

WinfrGUI enjoys all the functions of Windows File Recovery.
WinfrGUI offers a graphical user interface for users. 
It can recover Media/Office/Zip files/Word/Excel/PDF/JPEG and more. 
This 100% tool is only compatible with Windows 10/11

Step 1. Install and run WinfrGUI on your computer. Then you can see all the partitions on your Windows.

Download Freeware Win 10 2004 and above
Secure Download

Step 2. Scan one partition which has saved your lost excel files. Then select a destination place to save your recovered Excel files.


Step 3. Select Quick Scan or Deep Scan. Then go to “Advanced Settings” and select “Documents”.


Step 4. Click “Start Recovery” and wait patiently, your recovered Excel files will be saved in the destination drive or folder which you’ve targeted.


Way 3. Restore lost Excel files with MyRecover 

Have you not enabled AutoSave before? Are you subjected to the operating system of WinfrGUI? If the above scenarios fit your situation, why not seek another more user-friendly helper?

Here comes the most recommended software-MyRecover. Regarded as the leading Windows data recovery software, it embeds an advanced scanning algorithm. Moreover, it is an easy-to-operate tool with a higher data recovery rate. 

Get an overview of other highlights:

Keep the original format for the deleted/lost files.
 Recover the deleted/lost files from SSD/HDD/USB in Windows 11/10/8/7 and Windows Server. 
Recover 200+ types of data: Word, Excel, PPT, Photos, Audios, Videos, Emails, Webpages, and Compressed files. 
Adopt the combined scanning method of Quick Scan and Deep Scan.

Are you bothered by data loss because of deletion, disk formatting, system crash, or more? Download it and restore lost Excel files now!

Download SoftwareWin 11/10/8/7/Server
Secure Download

Step 1. Launch MyRecover on your PC. Then hover the mouse over the partition/disk that includes your Excel files before deletion/loss, and click Scan.


Step 2. The software will run Quick Scan and Deep Scan automatically. After scanning, you'll see all the deleted files and other lost Excel files.


Step 3. Confirm your scanning results and click "Recover x files". Then save these recovered Excel files in a new location. 


Wrapping up

This tutorial provides several free ways to recover lost excel files. If you’ve switched and enabled AutoSave, you can make use of the AutoSave feature to restore lost excel files.

If you're familiar with the command prompt, you can utilize Windows File Recovery to recover with our explicit instructions. If not, why not consider the highly-praised MyRecover? 

Penny · Editor
Penny works as an editor at AOMEI Technology, while she's a tester and editor for AOMEI Data Recovery Tools. She enjoys helping users with data recovery issues on Windows and iPhones using simple and practical solutions. Outside of work, she has a strong affection for pets, particularly giant pandas.