How to recover excel spreadsheet

Today we will consider the issue of recovering XLS, XLSX Microsoft Excel spreadsheets. In the computer field, it is very rarely touched upon, and therefore we will be happy to help you with a simple job, which we will describe below.

Restoring Microsoft Excel Spreadsheets

We think you will agree with us if we make a simple association between modern society and the information environment. Someone will say that these two components run parallel to each other, and they will be partly right, someone, in turn, will answer that all these are parts of a single and indivisible – our society and the infosphere. We support the second assertion.

Every day, a modern user passes through their personal computer gigabytes of data and spreadsheets in documents – a significant component of this data. They affect our social lives, our well-being in the form of online shopping, and even payment information, the privacy of which is often a top priority for security.

Method number 1. Basket

The first thing to do in case of loss of any file, no matter what file it is, is to check the contents of the basket. It is quite possible that you simply did not notice the accidental deletion of the document, and because of the high, as it seems, low probability of such an outcome, you simply did not check the utility storage.

To restore spreadsheets, use the following instructions:

1. Open the Cart .

2. Right-click on the deleted file and select the Restore command .

Now all files will return to their original places.

Method number 2. Internal recovery tool

Fortunately, Microsoft developers took into account the fact of a possible failure in the work of spreadsheets and created a kind of backup that allows you to return the document intact and safe without the need to use third-party software.

It is important to mention that the structure of a document directly depends on the frequency of its autosave. Let’s say your Microsoft Excel refresh rate is 10 minutes and 9 minutes have passed since the last save. This suggests that the last 9 minutes of work will be irretrievably lost. Therefore, if you encounter frequent freezes, we recommend that you increase the frequency of autosaves along the path File\u003e Options \u003e Save.

Let’s consider a situation in which we need to restore a file directly from Microsoft Excel:

1. Launch Microsoft Excel.

2. In the window that opens, you should immediately notice changes on the left side of the interface. It informs you that Excel has already recovered all the files.

3. Let’s open the folder and see the list of recovered files. To do this, click on the Show recovered files button .

4. You will see a complete list of recently lost documents. Click on the one you want to save the file.

Now you can safely continue working with the document, being sure of its complete integrity.

Method number 3. Excel Temp Folder

In the previous method, we already touched on the topic of autosaving Excel documents, but did not explain the mechanism of this function. The thing is that the application creates temporary files that allow the user to backup data in case of an unexpected application failure or accidental deletion of a valuable document.

How to check the list of temporary files? Let’s take a closer look:

1. Launch Microsoft Excel.

2. In the latest versions of the application, access to the settings, unfortunately, is not available, so we will have to perform one extra step. Create absolutely any document that you like best.

3. Click the File menu .

4. In the Details section , click the Book Management option .

5. Now click on Recover Unsaved Copies .

6. Specify the save path.

Now your files are ready for further work.

Method number 4. tmp folder

Method #4 is basically the same as Method #3. Nevertheless, we recommend that you pay attention to it, because thanks to it in the future you will be able to recover not only spreadsheets, but also any other documents until they have left the temporary folder forever.

The path to the folder with temporary files is different for different versions of systems, so we will list a few of them:

Windows 8/8.1/10:

Windows 7/XP:

Now find your Excel temporary files. Usually their names begin with the symbols “ $ ” and “

” with .TMP format at the end.

Save these files in a safe folder by changing the .TMP format to .XLS or .XLSX .

Method number 5. Starus Excel Recovery

If none of the methods above have been able to help you recover your data, the only option available is to use third-party software.

We recommend using the Starus Excel REcovery application. Recover spreadsheets easily and quickly!

1. Run the program.

2. Select the logical or physical drive you want to scan and click Next .

3. Select the type of scan. We recommend a Full Analysis . This feature will allow you to check each sector of the disk and is guaranteed to identify all lost files.

4. Specify criteria for searching files.

5. Wait for the scan to complete.

6. Select the required files and click Next .

7. Select the type of data export.

Under no circumstances should you export your data to the drive you are restoring it from. Such an action can lead to permanent loss of files without the possibility of their further recovery.

Method number 6. Starus Office Recovery

An alternative way to recover spreadsheets is the Starus Office Recovery application. Its main difference from Starus Excel Recovery is its complexity – the program works with all types of office documents. You can restore both Excel and any other file of the Microsoft Office suite.

To recover data, follow the simple instructions below:

1. Launch the application.

2. Select the drive you want to scan.

3. Select the type of analysis.

4. If necessary, specify criteria for searching files.

5. Wait for the scan to complete.

6. Select the files you want to restore and click the Next button .

7. Select the type of export.

8. Specify the recovery path and complete the process.

Under no circumstances should you export your data to the drive you are restoring it from. Such an action can lead to permanent loss of files without the possibility of their further recovery.

In case of loss of personal files, regardless of their type, you should never give up immediately. In most cases, they are subject to easy and effective recovery, which, often, will take practically no of your free time.

The main thing to remember is that even the Shift + Delete combination is not a sentence – information will never leave the hard drive until it is overwritten with new files.

We hope the article was useful for you and helped you find answers to your questions.

If suddenly you are unable to open a working file with Excel data, then what is the probability of successful recovery of this data and what needs to be done for this? Unfortunately, this is a common error in Microsoft Excel. The problem has several solutions. Only after trying all the options, you can say whether it is possible to recover a damaged Excel file.

Ways to recover a damaged Excel file:

  1. Using the built-in function of Microsoft Excel.
  2. Opening a file with OpenOffice.
  3. Use of the online service.
  4. Recovery using third-party utilities.

1. Built -in function of Microsoft Excel

Recent versions of Microsoft Excel have added the ability to restore a file. Previously, this function was either missing or was frankly poorly functional when used with real files. Now this feature helps in 10-20% of file corruption incidents. To do this, just follow a few simple steps:

  1. Select the “File” menu item.
  2. Select “Open”.
  3. Select the damaged file on the disk.
  4. Click on the arrow next to the “Open” button in the lower right corner.
  5. Select “Open and Repair” from the drop-down submenu.

Everything is simple and does not require special knowledge. For many users, this feature is more than enough to successfully repair a corrupted Excel file. If this method did not work to restore the file, then can help

2. Opening file with OpenOffice

Microsoft Office files since Office 2007 share a common format with OpenOffice. Accordingly, you can download and install the software package from and try to restore the damaged file with it.

Please note that the file to be restored using OpenOffice must have the XLSX extension – this is the version for Excel 2007 and higher files.

3. Using the online service

If options 1 and 2 do not help recover the file, then you need special services or programs designed specifically to recover data from damaged Excel files.

There are several online services available for recovering corrupted Microsoft Excel files. The most convenient and affordable (only $5 per file) is located at this address:

Just upload the file to the service and wait for the result. A statistic from the developers of the service claims that in 40% of cases, data from a damaged Excel file can be recovered in one form or another.

The service is convenient because it works on all operating systems (Windows, MacOS, iOS, Android and others) and on all devices (computer, tablet, phone and others).

4. Recovery using third – party utilities

If you have a lot of corrupted Excel files or you cannot transfer these files to third parties due to their confidentiality, then use special utilities from third-party developers (not Microsoft).

An example of such a utility is Recovery Toolbox for Excel :

The utility has been developed and distributed since the early 2000s, has a multilingual interface (including Russian), restores all types of Excel files of all versions, starting with the now exotic Excel 97.

Attention: the utility works only on computers with Windows OS.

Useful Tips for Microsoft Excel Users

When working with Microsoft Excel, turn on the autosave feature. This will eliminate cases where a computer failure results in the loss of several hours of work:

Excel is a program that is included in the Microsoft Office package and is needed to create, edit and view documents. The main purpose of Excel is to work with graphs, charts, and tables, but other objects can be recycled. There is a version of the program for a desktop computer, as well as for mobile devices and an online counterpart. As you work, you can create multi-page documents (Excel workbooks) that are saved as a standalone file in one of the popular extensions or remain in the cloud if you use OneDrive.

First of all, you need to set up automatic saving of all changes in the document.

All programs from Microsoft Office have a function to automatically save changes. This is necessary in order not to lose progress in the document if the user forgets to click “Save”, there will be a power failure or computer breakdown. This way, if a problem occurs, you can revert to an older version without having to restore everything manually. In addition, you can recover data from a damaged or unsaved document using third-party methods:

  • Online Services;
  • Downloadable programs.

How to prevent data loss

Unfortunately, it is not always possible to restore data if you forgot to save changes or a failure occurred. Therefore, it is best to prevent the loss of information.

The easiest way to do this is to set a smaller autosave interval:

  1. Click “File”;
  2. Select the “Options” link;
  3. Open the “Save” tab;
  4. In the “Save documents” area, make sure that the “Autosave every” item is activated;
  5. Set a small interval so that the computer has a better chance of saving data from loss in case you forget to save it or system crashes;
  6. Click OK.

Another option that will help you not lose your data is to use Excel OneDrive. This is a Microsoft platform that organizes cloud storage of information. Working in OneDrive, the user will not only not lose data if he forgets to save them or if a failure occurs, but he will not lose the document itself on an electronic computer. The service periodically saves progress in the background, and they are on a virtual disk. You can use OneDrive spreadsheets or sync your Excel with it.

The third way is to use the “History of changes” function. In order to access the list of versions, you must first enable this feature:

  1. Click on the “Review” tab;
  2. In the Tracking group, select Patches.

If the command is not available, you need to disable file protection. In “Review” – “Protect” click “Restrict editing”, then turn off protection (if a password is set on the file, you will have to enter it).

Data Recovery with Excel Functions

The 2010 version of Excel received new features. It has become easier to restore information if it was not saved, or if a failure occurred. New features include the emergence of tools to undo changes that were made by accident, synchronization with online storage, the ability to operate Excel on mobile devices, and more.

Restoring an unsaved file

Before trying to retrieve data from an unsaved document, make sure it has been created. It is impossible to restore a file that did not get into the system – such a table will have to be remade manually. To prevent creation from being canceled, periodically click the “Save” button or set the automatic function.

Before the Excel spreadsheet closes, a notification will appear prompting you to save changes to the document. If the file has already been created, you can restore the data even after clicking “Do not save”. This also happens when the program, computer or power supply fails. A copy of the most recent version of the document will be available for restoration. In order to return to it, you need to find a backup copy:

  1. Open the Excel workbook you are having problems with;
  2. Click “File”, go to “Details”;
  3. Launch the “Recover Unsaved Books” feature.

After you click on the last button, the program itself will display a list of document versions that you can refer to on the monitor. You can view the contents of each and decide which one you want – usually the most recent one. This feature can be accessed more easily: click “File”, then select “Recent”.

Remember that the draft version of the file is stored for 4 days – after that they are simply deleted. Therefore, restore should be done as soon as possible after you discover that changes have been lost. Drafts also disappear if you later edit the file, saving progress, the program considers that they are no longer needed.

As a rule, when you open a document that has not been saved, Excel will show a window where you can select one of the latest draft versions. Choose the copy that contains the most data, as well as the most up-to-date. If it was not possible to return them partially or completely, then it will never work out – you will have to fill out the table again.

Restoring Unwanted Changes

If you have entered data that is not needed in the table and want to restore the previous version, try:

  • Press Ctrl+Z one or more times. This combination undoes the last action and can make the table look like it had some time ago. The function will not work if the document was closed and opened – then the information from the buffer is deleted.
  • Find previous versions of a document with a feature introduced in Excel 2010 and later. Click “File” – “Details”, then use “File History” if the option is enabled. Most likely, you will be able to return the version from the archive.
  • Find copies of the document itself in the state it was in before the change. Perhaps there is an equivalent on a portable device, in the downloads folder, or in another location.

Restoring a file damaged before saving

If an application, file, computer, or power supply crashes while working with an Excel spreadsheet, it may be “corrupted”. For example, the document will stop opening or will show incorrect data. To restore it you need:

  1. Open Excel, go to the path “File” – “Open” – “Open and Restore”;
  2. Select one of the versions, as is done in the case of unsaved changes;
  3. Apply it and save your progress.

Perhaps, during the specified variant, some information will be lost that was added most recently.

Restoring a Replaced File

If the file has been replaced with another one, its contents usually cannot be returned. You can prevent the situation by backing up – for example, using “File History”, which is available in Windows 7 and higher.

You can also try the key combination Ctrl + “Z” – it may work if the computer has not restarted. Then the original file will return to its place, and the new version will be deleted. Use this option carefully, as sometimes you may need both versions of the document. In that case, give them different names.

Data recovery using online services

In some cases, the functionality of Excel itself is not enough to return the previous view of the file. Then you can exploit free and paid programs on the World Wide Web – they do not need to be downloaded. With their help, you can restore more complex document defects.

There are situations when the document was saved, but does not open or does it incorrectly. This means that the information that is in it has been corrupted, but Excel displays it incompletely or incorrectly. These types of files can be recovered by loading them into Office Recovery, a partially free online program from Microsoft that analyzes and, if possible, restores a document to a working state. For this:

  1. Open an internet browser;
  2. Go to the page of the official Office Recovery service (;
  3. Click on “Choose File” and upload the corrupted Excel workbook;
  4. Next, click “Safe Boot and Recovery” – the service will determine the document format, the type of problem and its solution;
  5. Download the final file (you can do it for free by writing a recommendation about the service).

This method does not allow you to recover all problems with documents. For example, it is powerless when the data in an Excel workbook has been completely rewritten and then saved.

An alternative option would be to use Online Recovery from Munsoft. Services have similar functionality, but in the second there is no possibility of free work. To use it, go to, download the desired document by clicking on “Select”, and then perform the recovery. You will be redirected to a screen where you can purchase paid access.

Data recovery with downloadable programs

There are several ways to recover a damaged Excel document or recover data from it. This is done using various downloadable programs. All of them have wider functionality than online services. In addition, there are completely free utilities.

Using Recuva

Recuva is a completely free program that has good functionality for recovering deleted, lost or damaged data. Most often, it is used by users who could not achieve the desired result using the Excel options. Its features and benefits include recovering data from formatted and damaged media, deleted messages in email services and music in digital players, folder structures and unsaved Microsoft Office documents. The free version of Recuva is enough to get back files – damaged or lost. More advanced options do not affect recovery in any way.

  1. Run the program, select the file type (“Documents” for an Excel workbook);
  2. Specify the file location path – the more accurate it is, the easier it will be to find the document in the list;
  3. Click “Next”, then “Start” – a menu will appear in which you need to select a file;
  4. Restore it by saving it to a different location.

Also, in some cases, saving in a different format is more efficient.

Using Repair Excel Free

It is a free and efficient application for working with many extensions. The program supports Excel documents and can recover damaged workbooks. It is very easy to use it:

  1. Open Excel and click “File” – “Open”;
  2. Select the damaged document;
  3. In the same window, in the drop-down menu, click “Open and repair” (“Open and repair”).

Usually this program returns all data even from a damaged document.

Using ExcelFIX

The most popular and powerful, but at the same time expensive utility for working with lost and defective Excel files. It solves problems with documents that cannot be opened on a PC – it restores all kinds of book objects of any format. The demo version of Excel FIX allows you to view the recovered file, but does not allow you to download it.

Most Excel users find themselves in a situation where they need to recover an unsaved or damaged document. There are several ways to do this, which vary in complexity and functionality. It is recommended that you first try to restore the document through Excel, and then move on to third-party programs, including paid ones.

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