How to Recover Overwritten Files on Windows and Mac | 4 Ways

What should you do when you accidentally overwrite your important file? Read this article to learn how to recover overwritten files on Windows and Mac in four proven ways.


By Kelsey / Updated on April 3, 2024

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Can files be recovered after being overwritten?

How to recover overwritten files? Generally, when a file is overwritten, the original file cannot be recovered. This is because the place on the hard disk where the original file was kept has been overwritten by the new file, while the most important factor for successful file recovery is that the lost file is not overwritten by new data.

How To Recover Overwritten Files

But sometimes, the documents we edit often have temporary files because we have copied or saved them, or the software has stored them by itself. And these temporary files, which may have been deleted by us during editing, are recoverable.

Overwritten original files cannot be recovered. Fortunately, there are still possible ways to retrieve overwritten or replaced files. Here, we will cover four ways about how to recover excel file that was overwritten and other types of files on Windows and Mac. In addition, we will also provide free file recovery software to help you get back deleted/lost files easily.

Part 1. How to recover overwritten files on Windows

This section covers three methods on how to restore a file that was overwritten on Windows. Choose the method that works for you and retrieve your overwritten files now.

Way 1. Restore overwritten files from Previous Versions

Restoring from Previous Versions is an easy and free solution to the question - accidentally replaced file, how to recover. If you have created restore points for the Windows system or enabled File History to backup files, earlier/older file versions that you are looking for may be saved automatically.

How to recover overwritten Excel files, Word files, or other documents? Please proceed with the following guide:

Step 1. Go to File Explorer, locate and right-click the file/folder you need to restore an older version, and select Restore Previous Versions.

Step 2. Choose Previous Versions and choose the right version from the list of File versions.

Select Previous Version

Step 3. Click Restore to recover it to its original location.

Way 2. Recover overwritten files from Windows backup

If you want to recover overwritten files with no previous versions, you can turn to the Windows backup tool - Backup and Restore for help. Backup and Restore can store your files automatically to your selected location. To perform file overwrite recovery with this option, here is what to do:

Step 1. Open Control Panel, click on System and Security, and select Backup and Restore (Windows 7).

Step 2. Tap on Restore my files.

Restore My Files

Step 3. Click Browse for files to choose the available backup file, then click Next.

Browse For Files Or Folders

Step 4. Specify a new destination or restore the file to its original location, and click Restore to figure out how to recover overwritten files.

Restore To Its Original Location

Way 3. Restore overwritten files with System Restore

Another solution to how do I undo overwritten files is to use System Restore to revert to the last backup point. System Restore allows you to roll back the state of your computer to a previous point in time, by which you can restore overwritten files, restore missing DLL files, etc.

System Restore usually works only on system files, installed applications, the Windows registry, system settings, etc. It doesn't work on personal files.

To recover overwritten files on Windows 10 and other operating systems, you can follow these steps:

Step 1. Type "create restore point" in the Windows search bar > click Open.

Create A Restore Point Open

Step 2. Click the System Restore button, then the System Restore wizard will pop up. Tap on Next.

System Drive On System Restore Next

Step 3. Select the date to restore > click Scan for affected programs to view which programs will stop working after using this restore point > tap Close.

Scan For Affected Programs Close

Step 4. You can skip the scanning step and just click Next anyway. Then, confirm and start the restoration.

Part 2. How to recover overwritten files on Mac

Time Machine, the built-in backup feature of Mac, can automatically back up your personal data, including apps, music, photos, emails, and documents. Having a backup file lets you recover overwritten word documents and other files that you can't access without a hitch. Find out how to recover replaced files on Mac in the beneath content.

Step 1. Navigate to the folder that contains your overwritten files, use Launchpad to view and open apps on Mac and hit Enter Time Machine.

Mac Enter Time Machine

Step 2. Use the up and down arrows or timeline to browse the backups.

Mac Select Lost Files

Step 3. Select one or more items you want to restore and click Restore.

Mac Time Machine Restore

Part 3. The easiest way to recover lost/deleted files

As we mentioned earlier, if the file is not overwritten but deleted or there are temporary files before being overwritten, what you need is a professional data recovery tool.

MyRecover can easily help you recover recently or long ago deleted or lost files, as long as the files are not overwritten. It even supports recovering deleted files from Recycle Bin after emptying.

It applies to various data loss situations like accidental deletion, system crash, disk formatting, virus attack, partition loss, and so on.
It supports recovering TXT, DOC, PDF, PPT, and other documents, and JPG, PNG, GIF, and other images, and other 200 + types of files.
It can easily recover data from Sandisk memory card, computer, hard/flash drive, pen drive, HDD, SSD, etc.
It is compatible with Windows 11/10/8/7 and all Windows servers.

Step 1. Free download this tool on your computer. Run it and hover the mouse over the drive, and click Scan.

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

Select Partition To Scan

Step 2. A deep and quick scan for the drive will start automatically. You can preview and restore files during the scanning process.

Scan Lost Data

This tool offers “Filter” and “ Search” features to help you find the needed files quickly.

Step 3. Check the files you want to restore and click Recover x files to save the deleted data to your computer.

Recover Lost Data


How to recover overwritten files on Windows and Mac? Solutions are presented in this article. You can use any method of them to get back your overwritten or replaced files with ease. What’s more, a powerful file recovery freeware is provided for you to recover deleted and lost data hassle-free.

Kelsey · Editor
Kelsey is an English editor of AOMEI Technology. She is passionate about helping people find effective ways to deal with all problems in computer. She has great insights into data backup and recovery, disk partition and clone, and other data protection measures. She likes learn computer skills to improve herself and enjoy quality time with family and friends.