How to Recover Permanently Deleted Excel Files?

Summary: Executives in the business world use Excel regularly. However, Excel is not just used for business. A large number of people use Excel for personal reasons. Therefore, excel files that people create are of great importance to them. The creators would place a lot of work into them. Excel is a versatile spreadsheet from Microsoft that can organize data, graph data, has computing abilities, and can even be programmed using VBA.

A business can work without Trello, Jira, Asana, Basecamp, etc but not without Excel.  If you have deleted an Excel file by mistake or it has been corrupted, valuable data may have been lost. Do not worry about how to recover deleted Excel files. With a few simple steps, you can recover a deleted Excel file. 


Excel has become an indispensable tool for businesses and individuals alike. Its ability to organize, analyze, and store data efficiently makes it a go-to application for various purposes. However, accidents happen, and sometimes crucial Excel files get deleted.

Losing important data can be stressful, but fortunately, there are several methods to recover permanently deleted Excel files. This guide tells you how to recover deleted Excel files. We offer five effective strategies for deleted Excel file recovery.

What are the Methods to Recover Permanently Deleted Excel Files?

Let’s explore, ways to restore deleted Excel files with the help of a few & tried and tested tricks.


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Restore Files from the Recycle Bin

Maybe you deleted the Excel file from the original folder. In this case, Windows would move your Excel file to the Recycle Bin. In this case, recovery of the data is easy. To recover the deleted Excel sheets follow the below steps.

1. Go to the Recycle Bin

If the Recycle Bin does not show on your desktop, right-click on an empty area of the desktop and select Personalize. Now select Themes > Change Desktop Icons. Click on the Recycle Bin icon click Apply and then OK.

Recycle Bin Folder

2. Search if the file or data you need is present.

3. Right-click on the file and click on the Restore option to get back the files.

4. The Excel files will return to the folder they initially were present.

Restore File from Recycle Bin

[NOTE]: You can access the data upon completion of this step. This action is not possible in the case of the permanent deletion of the file. A permanent data deletion happens with the Shift-Delete method. This ensures permanent deletion of the data and the file not moved to the Recycle Bin.

In such a case, you can use one of the below methods to recover permanently deleted Excel files.

Note, if the folder has been deleted then the file cannot return according to its original path. In that case, right-click on the Excel file and cut and paste it onto the desktop. From there you can transfer it to the folder of your choice. This is the easiest way to recover deleted Excel sheet data.

Also Read: ‘File Could Not Be Found’ Error in Excel: How To Fix?

Use the Restore function

You can achieve this with two methods.  Both these methods require the Windows Backup function to be enabled. You may be unaware of this but, this may be a default option in your system. Windows 7, 8, 8.1 10, and 11 have this option. Click Start & type Backup and configure it, if you have not already.

1. Go to the original folder of the Excel file. This is the folder where the file was present before deletion.

2. Right-click on the folder and select the option of Restore Previous Versions. This will display multiple versions saved by Windows.

Restore Previous Version of File

3. Select the latest version of the file.

Previous Version of file

4. The last step is to select the Restore option. This way for deleted Excel file recovery works best if you have emptied your Recycle Bin.

The indirect method involves using the System Restore function. This method is part of the Windows functions.

To perform this method, follow the steps below.

1. Go to your Control Panel.

2. Navigate to the “System and Security” tab.

System and Security Tab3. If you can’t find this tab, navigate to the “System” tab.

System Tab

4. On the tray located on the left side, click on the “System Protection” option.

System Protection

5. A Pop-Up window would appear. Go to the System Protection tab and click the System Restore button.

Restore System Files and Settings

6. Click ‘Next’ and choose a restore point that would bring back the file.

[NOTE]: However, please ensure that you don’t pick an older restore point. This action may also make some changes to your system files.

This shows us that the direct method is a better way to recover deleted Excel files. You should use the indirect method to restore permanently deleted Excel files if you have tried the direct method and failed.

Also Read: How to Fix Blank White Screen of Death on Windows 11/10?

How to Recover Deleted Excel Files with the Help of Stellar Data Recovery Software? 

for Permanent Deleted Excel file recovery with the above methods might not work all the time. Windows Backup does not take a snapshot of the system every minute. You may be able to recover a partial file at best. In such cases, don’t lose hope. Let us review other options. You may download Stellar Data Recovery software. This helps you to get your deleted Excel sheets back.

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1. Download and install the Stellar Data Recovery Software.

recover deleted excel files

2. Scan the original location of the file.

recover deleted excel files

3. If the intelligent software locates your file, you can recover it.

Recover Files from Data Recovery Software

4. You can access the original data after you recover it.

[NOTE]: There are two versions of the software available. If you want to recover up to 1 GB of deleted data then you can try our Free Data Recovery software. If you want to recover more than 1 GB of data then buy a licensed version of our software.

Also Read: How to fix ‘Unexpected Error: Changes to Data Can’t Be Saved” in Windows 11?

Go ahead and download Data Recovery software and get back all your valuable Excel files in a few hours. The software has been developed over years of intuitive efforts and hard work. Months of research and development have taken the form of this software. Enjoy the benefits of this software that helps you in file recovery. Retrieve a range of files including lost and permanently deleted Excel files or more.

Here is the video on “How to Recover Deleted Excel Files?

How to Retrieve/Restore Deleted Excel File in Office 365?

Recover from Recent Files:

  1. Go to the “File” tab in Excel, select “Open,” then click on “Recent.”
  2. Search for your deleted excel file you want to recover in the list of recently accessed files.
  3. If located, click on it to recover that deleted Excel file.

Recover from OneDrive or SharePoint Recycle Bin:

  1. Log into your OneDrive or SharePoint online.
  2. Find the “Recycle Bin” or “Deleted Items” section.
  3. Choose your deleted Excel file, select it, and opt to restore.

Also Read: How To Recover Files Deleted From Recycle Bin?

Restore Deleted Excel File Using Command Prompt

  • Search and open ‘cmd’ in the Windows search box.
  • Enter chkdsk ‘drive letter’ /f. For Excel deleted file recovery, replace ‘drive letter’ with the actual drive letter where the Excel file resided.
  • Press ‘Y’, re-enter the drive letter, and hit ‘Enter’.
  • Type attrib –h –r –s /s /d *.* and press enter. This command is crucial for how to retrieve/restore deleted excel file from the specified drive.

Get help from a Data Recovery Service Provider

If you can’t recover the deleted file with the help of DIY methods, then you may seek expert help. These experts operate in the domain of Data Recovery. Experienced firms like Stellar ensure up to 100% data recovery. The experienced staff ensures your data is in the right hands.

No. 1 Data Recovery Company

Stellar has decades of experience and uses the latest technology. You don’t have to worry about your data privacy and confidentiality. Relax, as Stellar takes care of your data with 100% security and privacy. The experts will recover the Excel file with ease. Your data is in safe and experienced hands.

How to Prevent Accidental Deletion?

1. Leverage Auto-Save

Activate the Auto-Save feature in Excel, which automatically saves your progress. This diminishes the chances of file loss, aiding in excel deleted file recovery.

2. Implement Backup Files

Maintain two versions of your work to safeguard against accidental deletions. This practice is essential for deleted excel file recovery.

3. Secure Files with Password Protection

Employ third-party tools or Excel’s feature to password-protect your files. This step is vital to prevent unintended actions and supports the process to how to recover deleted excel files.

Also Read: How to Fix the Pink Screen of Death on Windows 11?


Q1. How does Data Recovery work?

Data Recovery software uses a powerful algorithm to scan the hard drive. The software can recognize fragments of files and recover them perfectly. If you are confused about how to recover a deleted Excel file, download Stellar Data Recovery software and let it do the heavy lifting.

Also Read: Download Free Data Recovery Software Full Version

Q2.What is the footprint?

The software requires 250 MB of free space on your disk. Recovery itself requires computing power that is drawn from the device’s CPU. high-end CPUs can deliver faster results.

Q3. Can the software make corrupted Excel Files usable?

As long as the location of the original data was not written over by a new file, Stellar Data Recovery can piece together the original file. If you have an SSD for internal storage, the TRIM command should be disabled from the CMD prompt by typing “fsutil behavior set DisableDeleteNotify 1” and Enter followed by a restart.

Also Read: Best Methods to Find Lost or Missing Files on Windows 10/11

Q4.How to set up Auto Recover for my Excel files?

Auto Recover lets you save your work every 10 minutes (this duration can be changed).

  • Open a blank Excel Sheet.
  • Select File and Options (older versions may have Excel Options)
  • Find Save on the left pane and click on it.
  • Tick the option called ‘Save AutoRecover information every’
  • The default is 10 minutes but you can set it to 2 minutes.

recover deleted excel files

Q.5 How to set up AutoSave on OneDrive in Excel?

AutoSave is a new function in Microsoft 365 that makes it easier to recover deleted Excel sheets. It only works if you are using a OneDrive account with an MSN login.

  • Use the same steps as in the last answer.
  • Tick the option called ‘AutoSave OneDrive and SharePoint Online files by default in Excel’

Also Read: How to fix ‘Unexpected Error: Changes to Data Can’t Be Saved” in Windows 11?

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