How to Recover Excel Files [Unsaved/Overwritten/Deleted]

Microsoft Excel is robust office software for Microsoft subscribers. Users can create various workbook to add productivity to their work life. However, you may feel overwhelmed when you accidentally delete some important Excel files or your Excel files are unsaved due to power failures or software crashes. In that situation, you can explore our post and find appropriate method for you to recover Excel files.

Part 1. How to Recover Deleted Excel Files

If you have accidentally deleted Excel files for a long time and want to restore them to facilitate your work. You can make use of Apeaksoft Data Recovery to recover all the deleted Excel files from internal and external drives within a few clicks.

Data Recovery

4,000,000+ Downloads

It supports a variety of Excel file formats, including XLSX, XLS, HTML and more.

Users could preview all excel files and decide to recover all of them or specific workbooks.

This Excel recovery tool is available to various situations, like mistake operation, accidental deletion, virus attack, sudden interruptions, or format.

It is quicker, lightweight, effective, and safer.

How to recover deleted Excel files without limitation:

Step 1 Detect All Excel Files

Download and install Data Recovery on your computer and launch it. If your excel file was stored on an external drive, connect it to your PC too. First of all, head to the data type area and check the box on the Document option. Then go to the locations area and choose where you save the excel file. Data Recovery will work as soon as you hit the Scan button.

Detect All Excel FilesStep 2 Recover the Excel Files

When the program finishes scanning, you can click the Document button to view all Excel files on your computer. Click to choose them and click the Recover button to recover unsaved or overwritten Excel files at once.

Recover Excel Files

Part 2. How to Recover Unsaved Excel Files

AutoRecover and AutoSave are built-in features in Excel. And if you have set it up, you can recover excel file saved over or unsaved. Bear in mind that AutoRecover feature only works on workbooks that have been saved at least once.

Step 1 Make sure you have configured AutoRecover and AutoSave features in File > Options > Save.

Turn On AtuSave

Step 2 To restore the previous version of Excel files without saving, open the File tab and go to Open from the left sidebar. You can click the Recent and then the Workbooks buttons to display all Excel files that you opened recently.


Step 3 Scroll down and select Recover Unsaved Workbooks at the bottom. Then the previous version of workbook will open in Excel and prompted you to save it. Click on the Save As button on the yellow alert bar to save the previous workbook to your computer.

Other Microsoft Office products like Word, PowerPoint, etc. are also equipped with this feature. You can easily restore your Word document, PowerPoint, etc. in this way.

restore your Word document

Part 3. How to Recover Overwritten Excel Files

The AutoSave feature not only saves your workbook automatically, but also allows you to set intervals and more custom options. That makes recovering overwritten excel file possible.

Step 1Go to File > Info and locate to the Manage Versions section. Then you can look at several previous versions titled with time. Click on the desired version, the file will reopen in Excel.

Manage Version

Step 2When you open the Excel file, it's in read-only mode. You can click the Save As button to save this file to your computer.

Recover Excel

Part 4. FAQs about Recovering an Excel File

Why can’t I find unsaved Excel files?

The unsaved Excel files discovered in the Excel folder have changed their names. Therefore, you have to check them one by one. When you find the one you need, don’t forget to click the Save As button to recover the unsaved Excel files.

How do I get Excel to autosave?

Go to the File tab and choose Options from the File menu. Click Save on the left-hand pane of the Excel Options dialog. Make sure that both Save AutoRecover information every X minutes and Keep the last autosaved version if I close without saving are checked. Click OK. If your Excel is not responding, click there to troubleshoot this error.

Can I restore replaced XLS file from the previous version?

If your XLS files got replaced or saved over, relax. You can follow the step-by-step guide in Part 3 of this page, and then you can get your Excel file XLS restored without losing any saved data. Moreover, you can encrypt Excel files to keep your valuable workbooks from prying eyes.

How to recover a corrupted Excel file?

If you encounter corrupted Excel files, you can try to open the previous version to see if the Excel file is normal. You can also change the extension of a corrupted Excel file, such as changing xlsx to xls or html.


In this tutorial, we have discussed how to recover an Excel file that was saved over. Firstly, Microsoft has introduced several features into the Excel program to help users get back old versions easily, such as Undo, AutoRecover, and AutoSave. They all have prerequisites, for example, undo is only available when the Excel file is still open. And if you want to use AutoRecover and AutoSave, you have to configure them first. On the other hand, we also shared a professional Excel recovery application, Apeaksoft Data Recovery. It does not require any settings. All you need to do is a single click; then your workbooks and data will be restored to your computer. What’s more, it can recover unsaved Excel files. Don’t hesitate and now make an Excel file recovery.

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