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how to recover deleted excel files

Usually, excel files are your important documents. If they get lost or deleted by mistake, you must want to know how to recover deleted excel files. In this article, MiniTool introduces various methods based on different situations to recover excel files. No matter you are running Windows or Mac, you can always find a way to get your deleted excel files back.

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Do You Want to Recover Deleted Excel Files?

Microsoft Excel, a spreadsheet which features calculation, graphing tools, pivot tables, and more, is developed by Microsoft for Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. It is a widely used spreadsheet for these platforms nowadays.

The excel files contain some important data and information for you. If they get lost or deleted unexpectedly, you will ask: how to recover deleted excel files?

In practice, the situations of excel files loss are different. Thus, specific solutions are also diverse.

In the following contents, we will walk you through the steps to recover deleted excel files on Windows/Mac in different situations:

  • How to recover excel files from Recycle Bin or Trash
  • How to restore excel files from backup
  • How to recover deleted excel files via a third-party tool

Method 1: Recover Excel Files from Recycle Bin/Trash

When you delete files from your computer, these files will not be deleted from the device immediately. If you are running Windows, they will be moved to Recycle Bin. While if you are using Mac OS, they will be moved to Trash.

Before they are deleted permanently, you will be able to restore them from Recycle Bin or Trash. So, just open Recycle Bin or Trash on your computer to check whether your needed excel files are there. If yes, choose them and then restore them to their original path(s).

recycle bin corrupted thumbnail
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However, if the deleted excel file not in Recycle Bin or Trash, it must be deleted permanently. In this situation, this solution is unavailable. Then, you can try the next method.

Method 2: Restore Deleted Excel Files from Backup

This method also tells you how to recover deleted excel files without software. That is, how to restore deleted excel files from backup if there is an available backup file.

Of course, Windows and Mac are two different operating systems. So, their snap-in backup tools are also not the same. How to recover deleted excel files from backup in Windows 10 and Mac? We will introduce them respectively in the following contents.

How to Recover Deleted Excel Files in Windows 10 from Backup

Backup and Restore (Windows 7) is a Windows snap-in tool which can be used to back up your computer. If you have used this tool to back up your excel files, you will be able to restore your deleted excel files from the previous backup.

To do this work, please follow these steps:

  1. Press Start.
  2. Choose Setting.
  3. Go to Update & security > Backup > Go to Backup and Restore (Windows 7).
  4. Choose Restore my files and follow the wizards to restore your deleted excel files from the backup.

choose Restore my files

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How to Recover Deleted Excel Files Mac from Backup

The built-in tool on Mac which can back up your computer is Time Machine. If you have created a backup of your Mac with Time Machine, you can enter Time Machine to restore specific files such as excel files from that backup.

To recover excel files from your Time Machine backup, you can follow these steps:

1. Connect the Time Machine backup disk to Mac.

2. Open a window that contains or once contained the excel files you want to restore.

For instance, you want to restore the items from a folder which is named as REPORTS, thus, you need to open that folder firstly.

3. Select Enter Time Machine from the Time Machine menu. Then, you will enter the following interface:

enter backup

4. Find the excel files you want to restore. There is more than one way to do this work:

  • Use the timeline on the right edge of the screen to see the files in the Time Machine backup according to the backup date and time.
  • Use the up and down arrows on the screen to switch to the last time the contents of the window changed.
  • Use the Search function to find the target item and then move through time while seeing changes to that item.

5. To check whether it is the file you want to recover, you can select it and press Space Bar to preview it.

6. Choose the file you need and press Restore. Then, the file will be restored to its original path.

time machine for windows thumbnail
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Method 3: Recover Deleted Excel Files via a File Recovery Tool

If there is no available backup for you to restore, what should you do then?

When you search for recover deleted excel file free online, you will see third-party data recovery software is recommended. Here, you need to select a reliable tool to recover your excel files.

MiniTool has such kinds of tools for you to choose:

  • If you are running Windows, you can use MiniTool Power Data Recovery to retrieve your deleted excel files
  • If you are using Mac, you need to use MiniTool Mac Data Recovery to get your deleted excel files back.

How to Recover Deleted Excel Files in Windows 10

With MiniTool Power Data Recovery, you can rescue your lost and deleted files from computer hard drives, USB flash drives, memory cards, and more. It has a Trial Edition that allows you to scan the drive to find the files you want to recover. Press the following button to get it.

Free Download

In the following contents, we will show you how to recover deleted excel files in Windows 10 with this software.

Step 1: Open the Software to Scan the Target Drive

Open the software and you will enter This PC interface directly. Then, choose the drive which contained the deleted items before and press Scan to continue.

select the target drive to scan

Step 2: Find the Excel Files You Want to Restore

When the scanning process ends, you will see the scan results that are displayed by path. You can open each path to find the items you want to restore.

scan results by path

You can also use the Type feature to look for the files according to the data type. Additionally, you can also use the Find function to find your needed files by their names.

find files by type

Select one item and press Preview to check whether it is the file you want to recover. Currently, this software supports previewing 70 types of files.

Step 3: Upgrade the Software and Recover Excel Files

If you are sure this software can find your needed excel files, you can update it to a full edition to recover your data without limits. Just go to the MiniTool official store to get the edition you want.

For example, if you are a personal user, you can choose the Personal Deluxe Edition. Or, if you want to know how to recover deleted excel files from server with this program, the Business Standard Edition is the minimum choice.

After receiving the license key, you need to press the Register button in the scan result interface to register the software. Then, choose the items you need, press Save and choose a proper path to save them.

register the software

Note: Please keep in mind that do not save the files to the original path, otherwise, the deleted items on that path might be overwritten and become unrecoverable.

After these three simple steps, your needed excel files will be recovered to the specific path and you can use them directly.

Similarly, if you want to rescue excel files from removable disk drives like USB flash drives, memory cards, SD cards, you can use the Removable Disk Drive module of this software. Learn more information from this post: SD Card Recovery - MiniTool Helps You Solve Multiple Situations.

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How to Recover Deleted Excel Files Mac

MiniTool Mac Data Recovery is specially designed to restore deleted files Mac. It has a Demo Edition which also allows you to recover 1MB files. Press the following button to get this free edition.

Then, the following content is a full guide on how to recover deleted excel files Mac using this software.

Step 1: Choose a Proper Recovery Module

Open the software and choose Damaged Partition Recovery to continue.

choose Damaged Partition Recovery

Step 2: Select the Target Volume to Scan

This software will show you all the volumes it can find on Mac. You need to choose the one which saved the deleted excel files before deletion and then press Full Scan to start the scanning process.

scan the target volume

Step 3: Find the Items You Want to Restore

Likewise, the scanned files will be listed by path. You can open each path to find your needed excel files. On the other hand, you can also use the Type and Find features of this software to locate your needed items easily.

find your needed items by type

Step 4: Use a Full Edition to Get Your Data Back

Similarly, MiniTool Mac Data Recovery Demo Edition does not allow you to recover more than 1MB files. You need to use a full edition to recover more. Go to the MiniTool Store to get a suitable license and then register the software to retrieve the deleted excel files without limits.

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Bonus: How to Recover Unsaved Excel Files

The above 3 methods tell you how to recover deleted data in excel after save. However, in some cases, you also want to recover unsaved excel files. For example, the excel file may be closed unexpectedly due to a power failure, or you want to restore an earlier version of the excel file.

Here are two situations in which you can recover unsaved excel files:

1. If the excel file is closed unexpectedly before you save the most recent changes, Document Recovery will automatically open the next time you open the Office app. It will give you the opportunity to recover unsaved excel files.

You can get the detailed recovery steps in this article: Recover your Office files – Office Support.

2. If the AutoRecover feature of your excel is turned on, you can automatically save versions of the excel file while you’re working on it.

Learn the detailed steps in this post: Recover an earlier version of an Office file – Office Support.

Extra Tip: Back up Your Important Files

To protect your files including excel files, you’d better back up your data regularly. Using a third-party file backup software is recommended and MiniTool ShadowMaker is worth trying.

You can press the following download button to get the Trial Edition of this software to free use for 30 days. To get the detailed backup steps, you can refer to this post: How to Backup Files on Windows 10? Try These Top 4 Ways.

Free Download

Bottom Line

After reading this post, you must know how to recover deleted excel files in different situations. You can just choose one method based on your actual case. Hope these solutions can help you out.

Should you have any question when dealing with this excel file recovery issue, you can contact us via [email protected] or let us know in the comment. You can also share your opinions with us here.

Recover Deleted Excel File FAQ

How do I recover permanently deleted Excel files?

If you have backed up these deleted Excel files, you can restore them from your backup file. If not, you will need to use special data recovery software to get them back. You can try MiniTool Power Data Recovery:

  1. Download and install this software on your computer.
  2. Open the software and select the drive that contained the deleted Excel files before.
  3. Press Scan to start the scanning process.
  4. Go to find the needed Excel files and recover them.
How do I recover a deleted Excel file on Android?
  1. If you have backed up your Android Excel files, you can get the deleted ones from the backup.
  2. If there are no available backup files, you can use MiniTool Mobile Recovery for Android to rescue your deleted Excel files from Android.
How do I recover permanently deleted files?
The previous backup file is your first choice to recover the permanently deleted files. If this method don’t work for you, you can try MiniTool Power Data Recovery, professional data recovery software, to get your deleted data back.
Can you recover files deleted from Recycle Bin?

When you delete files from your computer, these files will be moved to Recycle Bin. If you don’t deleted them from the Recycle Bin, you can restore them to their original locations:

  1. Open Recycle Bin.
  2. Find the files you want to recover and select them all.
  3. Right-click on them and select Restore.
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