CSV files always contain some important data that is related to your work. Do you know how to recover CSV files if they are deleted, lost, unsaved, or corrupted? MiniTool Software will introduce some useful methods in this article.

Need to recover CSV files? Explore various methods tailored to different situations right here.

What Are CSV Files?

CSV (Comma-Separated Values) files stand out as a widely embraced and user-friendly data storage format, excelling in their ability to organize and manipulate tabular data in a clear and readable manner. Comprising rows and columns with each element separated by a comma, CSV files offer simplicity and compatibility that have contributed to their widespread use across various applications.

The straightforward structure makes CSV files highly accessible, allowing individuals to easily interpret and work with the data they contain. This simplicity, coupled with broad compatibility, has led to CSV files becoming a staple in data analysis, spreadsheet programs, and database management.

In Which Situations Can Your CSV Files Be Deleted, Lost, Unsaved, or Corrupted?

CSV files, like any other digital files, can be subject to deletion, loss, unsaved changes, or corruption in various situations. Here are some common scenarios:

  1. Accidental Deletion: You might unintentionally delete CSV files while organizing or cleaning up them.
  2. Human Error: At times, you might mistakenly overwrite the content of a CSV file without keeping a backup. Or you close a CSV file without saving changes.
  3. Software or System Crashes: If the software or system running the CSV file crashes or experiences a sudden failure, it may result in unsaved changes or file corruption.
  4. Hardware Failure: Hard drive failure, power outages, or other hardware issues can lead to data loss or corruption.
  5. Virus or Malware Attacks: Malicious software can delete or corrupt files, including CSV files.
  6. Incomplete Downloads or Transfers: Interruptions during the download or transfer process can result in incomplete or corrupted CSV files.
  7. Software Compatibility Issues: Using incompatible software versions or applications to open or modify CSV files can lead to corruption.
  8. File System Errors: Errors within the file system structure can cause data loss or corruption.
  9. Unintended Format Changes: Accidentally changing the file format or extension may render the file unreadable.
  10. Storage Media Issues: Problems with the storage medium (e.g., hard drive, USB drive) can lead to file corruption or loss.
  11. Network Issues: Saving or accessing CSV files over a network can result in issues if there are interruptions or connectivity problems.
  12. Insufficient Permissions: Users may lose access to or be unable to modify CSV files due to insufficient permissions.

Can you recover CSV files when they are lost, deleted, unsaved, or corrupted? You cannot draw an absolute conclusion immediately because data loss situations are complex. Nonetheless, you can try the CSV file recovery methods mentioned in this article to see if they work for you.

How to Recover Deleted CSV Files?

Restore Deleted CSV Files from the Recycle Bin

When you delete CSV files from your computer’s internal drive, the deleted items won’t be immediately erased from the PC. Instead, they are moved to the Recycle Bin. The deleted items will remain until you choose to delete them from the Recycle Bin or empty the Recycle Bin. Before you do this, you can easily restore deleted CSV files from the Recycle Bin.

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Here is how to restore deleted CSV files from the Recycle Bin:

Step 1. Open Recycle Bin from the desktop.

Step 2. Find the CSV files you want to recover and click the Restore the selected items option from the top option bar. You can also right-click the selected CSV files and click Restore from the context menu. This will restore the selected deleted files to their original location. Alternatively, you can drag and drop these files to your desired path.

restore deleted CSV files from the Recycle Bin
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However, if you cannot find the needed CSV files in the Recycle Bin, this usually means that they are permanently deleted. Subsequently, you need to use specific data recovery software to get them back.

Recover Deleted CSV Files Using MiniTool Power Data Recovery

MiniTool Power Data Recovery is a professional data recovery tool that can help you recover various types of files including CSV files. This CSV file recovery software can recover data from hard drives, SSDs, USB flash drives, SD cards, and more. It can also recover deleted files from a specific location like the Recycle Bin, desktop, and your desired folder.

Regardless of the file recovery tool you use, it can only find and recover deleted files that haven’t been overwritten by new data. Determining whether a deleted CSV file has been overwritten is a challenge. In such cases, consider utilizing MiniTool Power Data Recovery Free as an initial attempt to find the required CSV files. This free tool enables recovery of up to 1GB of files without any cost.

To recover deleted CSV files using MiniTool Power Data Recovery, you can use these steps:

Step 1. Download and install this data restore tool on your PC. To prevent the deleted CSV files from being overwritten, you should not install the software on the partition where the deleted files were saved.

MiniTool Power Data Recovery FreeClick to Download100%Clean & Safe

Step 2. In this step, you need to select a location to scan for the deleted CSV files.

Open the software. Then, you can see all the detected drives under the Logical Drives tab. If you know where the needed CSV files were saved before deletion, you can select that partition to scan.

When you switch to the Devices tab, you can see the detected disks are displayed as a whole. This allows you to scan the entire disk when you don’t know which partition is the target one. Scanning a whole disk will take more time.

Additionally, under the Recover From Specific Location section, you can scan the desktop, Recycle Bin, and your desired folder. This can save a lot of scanning time for you.

Here, I take recovering CSV files from the Recycle Bin as an example. Hover over Recycle Bin and click the Scan button to start scanning the Recycle Bin.

scan the Recycle Bin

Step 3. After scanning, you can view the scan results listed according to the partitions they originate from. Go to the target path to find the needed deleted CSV file. Then, select it. Of course, you can select multiple CSV files from different paths.

find and select the needed CSV file

Step 4. Click the Save button and then choose a suitable location to save the selected files. You should not save the selected files to their original location. Because if you do this, the deleted CSV files could be overwritten and become irrecoverable.

select a directory to save files

You can directly use the recovered CSV files.

You need to upgrade this freeware to an advanced edition if you want to recover data without limitations.

MiniTool Power Data Recovery can help you easily recover permanently deleted CSV files in Windows.Click to Tweet

How to Recover Unsaved CSV Files?

You can open a CSV file using Microsoft Excel, which has an AutoRecover feature to help you automatically save the changes you make in a CSV file.

Now, you can go to check the AutoRecover settings in Excel:

Step 1. Open Excel.

Step 2. Go to File > Options > Save.

Step 3. You’d better check the Save AutoRecover information every * minutes option and set the desired time interval.

At the same time, check the Keep the last AutoRecovered version if I close without saving option. Under it, you can find the location of the AutoRecover file.

Step 4. Click OK to save the settings.

Excel AutoRecover settings

Once you complete these settings, the changes you make in the CSV file will be saved at the time interval you set. If you close the CSV file without saving it, the AutoRecover version can also be kept.

For example, if you close a CSV file without saving it, you will see a Document Recovery section on the left side after you open that file again. You can open the AutoRecover version to see the changes you have made. If it is the version you need, don’t remember to save it this time.

AutoRecover version

How to Recover Corrupted/Overwritten/Replaced CSV Files?

Usually, it is difficult to recover corrupted, overwritten, or replaced CSV files. But if you have backed them up using third-party backup software in advance, you can simply restore them from the backup.

To recover corrupted CSV files, you can also open it using another way. For example, you can also go to Google Sheets and upload the file to see if Google Sheets can open it successfully.

If you have backed up the CSV files using File History, you can also restore an overwritten or replaced CSV file from the previous version. It is simple to do this: right-click the CSV files > select Properties > switch to the Previous Versions tab > select the needed version to restore.

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How to Safeguard CSV Files?

You see CSV files can be deleted, overwritten, replaced, unsaved, or corrupted for various reasons. To protect these files, you can do the following things:

Back up the CSV Files

Implement a regular backup routine to ensure you have copies or images of your CSV files in case of accidental loss or corruption. You can use MiniTool ShadowMaker to make a backup of the CSV files. This backup software can back up files to an image. When your files are missing, you can restore files from the backup.

We think you can first use the MiniTool ShadowMaker Trial edition to back up CSV files. You can experience the backup and restore features for free within 30 days.

Use these steps to back up the CSV files:

Step 1. Download and install MiniTool ShadowMaker Trial on your PC.

MiniTool ShadowMaker TrialClick to Download100%Clean & Safe

Step 2. Open the software and click Keep Trial to continue.

Step 3. Click Backup from the left menu to enter the Backup interface.

Step 4. Go to SOURCE > Folders and Files > Computer > the specific location to find and check the CSV files you want to backup. Then click the OK button to go back to the Backup interface.

select the source CSV files to back up

Step 5. Click DESTINATION and select a location to save the backup.

Step 6. Click the Back Up Now button to start the backup process. Wait until the backup progress ends.

click Back Up Now

Now, the CSV files are safe. When a data loss issue happens, you can just restore the CSV files from the backup.

Enable the Antivirus Software

Install and regularly update antivirus software to protect your system from malicious threats that could compromise your CSV files.

Windows has a built-in antivirus tool: Windows Security. You can open Windows Security and see if you have enabled all needed security features. Typically, you’d better turn on the following security features:

  • Virus & threat protection
  • Account protection
  • Firewall & network protection
  • App & browser control
  • Device security

Alternatively, you can also use third-party antivirus software to protect your computer, as well as the data on it.

Bottom Line

CSV files are valuable for data management, and their loss can be inconvenient or even detrimental. However, you can use the easy methods in this article to help you recover CSV files in different situations.

Additionally, you can implement proactive measures such as regular backups and antivirus software to minimize the risk of data loss and ensure the safety of your CSV files.

Please feel free to contact us through [email protected] when you encounter issues related to MiniTool software.

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