How To Recover Deleted Excel Files for Free?

Summary: Accidentally deleted your excel files? Read this guide to learn how to recover deleted excel files on your Windows PC. You may also try Stellar Data Recovery Free Edition to retrieve files quickly. Download now!

How To Recover Deleted Excel Files for Free?

There are times when your Microsoft excel files get deleted – accidentally or unknowingly. Losing critical excel files you have spent hours on is a hard pill to swallow. Fortunately, you may use a few methods to get your hands on the deleted excel files again. However, before you recover deleted excel file, learn what happens to the deleted files.

What happens when you delete an excel file?

When an excel file is deleted mistakenly, it generally goes to the Recycle bin. However, if they don’t show up in the Recycle Bin, the files might be lost permanently. So, where do the permanently deleted files go?

Permanently lost or deleted files remain in the same location from where they have been deleted but become inaccessible. Windows makes the space available for users to save or add more data. However, if you keep adding data to it, new data will overwrite the space, and you won’t be able to retrieve files, even with a data recovery software. So, it is advised to immediately stop using the location or drive from where you have lost your files.

5 methods to recover deleted excel files for free infographic

Methods to Recover Deleted Files in Windows for Free

Method 1: Restore from Recycle Bin

Recycle Bin is the first place where you should look for the files when they get deleted. Recycle Bin in Windows system acts as a container, which holds all the recyclables items before getting lost permanently, i.e., after 30 days from the storage date. If you have used the ‘Del’ key to delete the files, recover excel files with the given steps:

a. Open Recycle Bin and locate the files that you want to retrieve. (See Image 1)

Image 1: Select files you want to restore

b. Select the files, right-click on them, and click Restore. (See Image 2)

Image 2: Restore Files from Recycle Bin

c. After this, the files will be restored to the original place from where they got deleted.
d. You may also drag and drop the selected files to the desired location.

Important Note:
Using the ‘Shift + Del’ key to remove the files or emptying the Recycle bin will cause you permanent data loss. To recover a permanently deleted excel file, you would either need to have the backup or reliable data recovery software.

Method 2: Restore From Backup

If you have a backup of your files, you can use it to retrieve files. Try out the following methods:

[Note: Always use a different Windows partition or external storage media drives, such as HDD, SSD, etc., to save the recovered files from backup, and prevent data overwriting.]

A. Use Windows Backup & Restore (Windows 7)

Windows have a built-in backup utility – Backup and Restore (Windows 7). It lets you create a backup of the system files and folders daily, weekly, or monthly. If you have taken a backup of your system data, then file recovery is possible. To do so, follow the below stated steps:

a. Connect an external storage media (HDD, SSD, USB, etc.) to your PC.
b. Go to Control Panel > System and Security.
c. Navigate to Backup and Restore (Windows 7) or directly go to Restore files from backup option. (See Image 3)

Image 3: Open Backup and Restore (Windows 7)

d. Next, click Restore my files or Restore all users’ files. (See Image 4)

Image 4: Choose Restore Users’ file/Restore my files

e. Select your excel files that you want to recover. (See Image 5)

Image 5: Select files from the window

f. Now, choose ‘Browse for files.’ You may also choose ‘Browse for folder.’ Click Next. (See Image 6)

Image 6: Browse for Files/Browse for folders Window

g. Finally, select the location where you want to save the recovered files.

B. Restore with File History

File History is another backup utility offered by Microsoft for Windows users. It backs up the files stored in Documents, Pictures, Music, Videos, and Desktop folders and the OneDrive files saved offline on your system. You may also set up a drive for File History.  If you have saved your essential excel files to these folders and kept ‘File History’ on, you can restore them using the following steps:

a. Open ‘Control Panel’ and navigate to File History (See Image 7).

Image 7: Open File History

b. Click Restore Personal Files, and you will see the files as per the backup time (See Image 8).

Image 8: Restore Personal Files Screen

c. Now, choose the files and click Restore. (See Image 9)

Image 9: Select the files to Restore

d. Select the location where you want to save the retrieved files.

C. Restore Files from Previous Versions

You can also restore excel files with the help of the Previous Version utility. The Previous Version can be referred to as the copies of the files and folders saved by Windows automatically as part of a restore point. You can also refer to the Previous Version as the copies of files created by Windows backup. You can recover files using the Previous Versions that are accidentally deleted or modified.

Note: This utility will keep your files but will delete the applications and drivers installed after upgrading to the latest version again, along with the changes you made to settings.

Method 3: Use Google Drive Backup

If you have backed up your files on Google Drive, you can also use Google Drive backup to recover deleted excel files. Follow the given steps to do so:

a. Log into your Google Account.
b. You will be able to see all the files on the screen. (See Image 10)

Image 10: Google Drive Screen

c. Choose the files you want to retrieve, right-click on them, and select Download. (See Image 11)

Image 11: Download the files and store them

d. Save the recovered files at a different location or use an external storage media drive.

Recover Deleted Excel Files with Data Recovery Software

If you don’t have a backup and have permanently lost the excel files, you may use a robust data recovery software, such as Stellar Data Recovery – Free Edition. This DIY software can extract all kinds of data, including files, folders, documents, emails, photos, videos, audio files, and more. It supports recovery from Windows PCs, laptops, HDDs, SSDs, USB, SD, etc. The software can recover data in case of deletion, formatting, corruption, or malware infection. Follow the below-said steps to recover permanently deleted excel files in windows 10.

a. Download, install and run Stellar Data Recovery – Free Edition on your system.

b. The ‘Select What to Recover’ screen will show up. You may select ‘Everything’ or select the type of data you want to recover, such as ‘Office documents’ or ‘Folders,’ and click Next. (See Image 12)

Image 12: Select What to Recover Screen

c. Select the location or the drive from where you lost the data on the ‘Recover from’ screen and click Scan. (See Image 13)

Image 13: Scan drive

d. Let the scanning process complete; the deleted files will appear on the screen.
e. Select the files you want to retrieve. You can also preview them and click Recover. (See Image 14)

Image 14: Select the documents to recover

f. Now, click Browse to choose a location where you want to store the extracted file. Finally, click Start Saving to save the recovered excel files. (See Image 15)

Save recovered documents

Note: Do not save the retrieved files in the same drive/location to store them and prevent overwriting the data.

Tips to Avoid File Deletion in Future

You may end up deleting files under any circumstance. However, you may use the above-shared methods to recover deleted excel files. But there’s no point overstating how better it is to safeguard the data and having a backup to avoid file deletion in future. Here are some tips that may help you avoid file deletion:

  • Stop using the device or drive from which you lost data in the first place to avoid data overwriting.
  • Don’t perform any hit-and-trial method to clean junks or unnecessary files from your system.
  • Take caution and be more attentive while using the Clean Disk utility or emptying the Recycle Bin folder.
  • Keep the Antivirus program updated to prevent virus attack on your system.
  • Avoid transferring data while your laptop is running short on battery.
  • Always keep reliable data recovery software handy.

Closing Thoughts

Recovering deleted excel files may be quite tricky but isn’t impossible. First, look if you can find the files in the Recycle Bin. If the files are there, select them, and restore them to the original location. Recycle Bin doesn’t show deleted items? Use your data backup to retrieve deleted excel files. However, if you have lost files permanently and run out of backup, use Stellar Data Recovery Free Edition to retrieve the files for free! The software can extract all types of data lost due to deletion, formatting, corruption, or malware attack.

  1. Calvin Moore March 25, 2019
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  3. Zoey Carter August 10, 2018
  4. Jake Holmes May 24, 2018
    • Isha Rikhi May 25, 2018

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