How to Recover Excel File on Windows Computer

By Jonny Lin in Tags: ExcelWindows

You may not be able to access the content in your Microsoft Office Excel file that you have been preparing for a long time. The Excel document may have disappeared or corrupted, or the changes you made have lost. In fact, many Windows users have been in this situation. They accidentally removed the document or closed it before they could click the save button. And they lost the current edit or, even worse, the whole file.

You may be driven mad. The data in your worksheet can be very important for your work, and you need to access it immediately. Now you may be trying desperately to find out a solution to recover your Excel file.

But don’t panic. You can still recover your Excel file. Here are some helpful tips for you to tackle this issue:

Method 1: Recover your Excel document from backup copies
Method 2: Recover your Excel file from previous versions
Method 3: Perform data recovery

Method 1: Recover your Excel document from backup copies

Your Excel program automatically creates backup copies for your document at regular intervals. When the program crashes or closes accidentally, you can use these copies to recover your Excel file the next time you open it. To do so:

1) Open your Excel file. A Document Recovery pane will appear on the left of the application, showing a list of available files it has saved for you. Check the date of those files and select the one that you want to recover.

2) If you are on Excel 2010 or above, you can also recover your workbook with unsaved versions by following the steps below:

i. On the Excel window, click FILE.

ii. Click Manage Versions and then Browse Unsaved Workbooks.

iii. In the window popping up, select the unsaved file of your workbook, and then click Open.

Your workbook will be restored to a previous unsaved version from the backup copies the program created. You can save at least some of the lost content through this method.

Method 2: Recover your Excel file from previous versions

NOTE: This method works ONLY when the Windows Backup, File History, or automatic System Restore feature on Windows are on.

Sometimes the method above can’t help you, or your Excel workbook has been missing or removed. In these cases, you can use the backup copies your operating system has created to recover your Excel file.

Windows automatically records the previous versions of your files or folders (which come from Windows Backup, File History or restore points). These previous versions are helpful in that they contains the backup copies you can use to restore your files.

To recover your Excel file using previous versions:

1) Right click the folder where your Excel file was stored. Then click Restore previous versions.

2) Check the date of the file versions and select the one that you want to restore. Then click Restore.

3) In the dialog popping up, click Replace the file in the destination.

4) In the File Explorer window appearing, open the folder you have just restored.

5) Check if your Excel document has been restored, and then see if you can open the file.

Method 3: Perform data recovery

If you happen to have no backup files for your Excel document, you need to perform data recovery to bring your worksheet back. You will need a third-party program or a specialist to help you recover your data.

Do some research on the Internet. Experiment with those notable data recovery programs and find out the one that really works for you. Or search for the data recovery service providers near you. Be extra careful about the reputation and reliability of these programs and providers. The more trustworthy they are, the more likely they are to save your Excel file.