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XLSX Recovery: Recover Deleted/Unsaved Excel Files in 3 Steps

Wondershare Recoverit Authors

Mar 21, 2024 • Filed to: Recover Files • Proven solutions

Excel is the most popular spreadsheet software used by organizations and individuals. It stores important financial documents. Losing these documents often has serious consequences. This article will show you seven methods to recover deleted xlsx files.

When Can Microsoft Excel Files Be Recovered?

.xlsx is the default Microsoft Excel spreadsheet file extension. Microsoft Inc first debuted it in Windows Office 2007. It is an open format introduced in response to Open Office competition and replaced the proprietary .xls. Microsoft Excel files are recoverable depending on each situation's particular circumstances. We explain this in detail in the sections that follow.

Part 1: Restore from the Recycle Bin

This method is a no-brainer and the first thing you should do whenever you have lost or deleted a file in Windows. Upon deletion, a file first goes to the Trash until the bin is purged automatically or through the user's action. To recover an xlsx file from the Trash, follow the steps below:

  1. Double-click the Trash icon to enter the bin folder.
  2. Identify the deleted file, right-click against it, and choose Restore.

restore deleted xlsx from recycle bin

Part 2. Recover Deleted or Unsaved XLSX Files Using Recoverit

Recoverit or Recoverit for Mac is an Excel data recovery program to recover you're lost, deleted or unsaved excel XLSX and XLS files. It can retrieve files on your computer, external hard drive, USB storage, memory card, and other storage devices.

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Before recovery, there is one thing you need to know: Please stop putting data into the original folder where you lost XLSX file or stop using your storage device until you recover lost XLSX file. Now let’s perform the XLSX recovery with the Windows version of Recoverit Excel file recovery software. Mac users please download the Mac version.

Step 1. Select a Hard Disk Drive to Scan Lost XLSX File

The program will display all hard disk drives on your computer. You just need to select the right one to scan your lost XLSX file.

scan the drive

Step 2. Scan your selected hard drive

Recoverit will start a quick scan on your selected hard drive. After it is completed, it will allow you to preview your recoverable XLSX files. And if you're looking for the unsaved excel file, you can check the "Unsaved files" folder.

unsaved xlsx file

Note: When the scanning process completes, you can use the filter or Search option to quickly find the xlsx file that you need.

search for the xlsx file

Step 3. Preview and recover your lost XLSX files

When the scan is done, all files that were found and displayed in categories and paths. You can preview and select the targeted XLSX files, then click the "Recover" button to retrieve your XLSX files.

preview the file

Note: To avoid data overwriting again, please save the recovered XLSX file to a new partition. To recover deleted word documents or PowerPoint files, you can also try Recoverit Data Recovery Software.

Part 3: Recover a Lost xlsx/xls from the .tmp Folder

If the first method does work, try recovering the deleted excel file from the .tmp folder. A .tmp folder holds temporary files. Content deletion happens at regular intervals or when the computer reboots. Activating Autorecovery in Microsoft Office leads to creating a .tmp folder to store unsaved and saved Microsoft Office files. To recover a lost xlsx file from the .tmp folder, follow the steps below:

  1. Go to the system folder containing the .tmp files. In Windows 10, go to C:\Users\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Office\UnsavedFiles and in Windows 7, go to C:\Users\name\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Excel\ .
  2. Find the folder containing the temporary excel files. The file is usually in Excel binary workbook format.

find the temp folder

  1. Copy the file and save it to a different location using another name. Open the read-only file in Excel, go to Save as, and save as an Excel workbook.

save the file

Part 4: Recover Lost XLSX files with the Recent Unsaved Option

The Microsoft Excel Autosave function saves files every few minutes and is a useful feature in a computer crash or sudden power shutdown. The exact process depends on your Excel version. To recover deleted xlsx files using this in Excel 2019, follow the steps below.

Step 1: Open Excel, click Open, and in the Workbooks tab, scroll down and click Recover Unsaved Workbooks.

recover unsaved workbooks

Step 2: Select the desired file from the list and click Open.

open the excel file

Step 3: Click Save as and save the file to a different location on your computer.

Part 5: Use Windows Backup & Restore (Windows 7)

The Windows Backup and Restore feature also helps recover deleted xlsx files in the event of a crash or other problem. The feature must be on to use this method. Check if it has been activated by going to Start > Control Panel > System & Security > Backup and Restore.

go to backup and restore

Recover xlsx files using this method by following the steps below.

  1. Go to Start > Control Panel > System & Security > Backup and Restore.
  2. Click Restore my files.

restore my files

  1. Locate the backup file based on the date. Click Next, select a location, and click Restore. In a few seconds, the file is available.

Part 6: Restore with File History (Only for Windows 10)

This method only works in Windows 10. Check if the File History feature is active by going to Settings > Update & Security > click Backup. The "Automatically back up my files option" should be turned on.

Recover an xlsx file using this method by following the steps below:

  1. Navigate to the folder containing the missing excel file.
  2. Click the Home tab, then click the history button.
  3. Identify the missing file, double-click it and then click Restore.

click restore

Part 7: Restore Files from Previous Versions

This method works when you have created a Restore Point in Windows 10. To use this method to recover deleted xlsx files, follow the steps below:

  1. Go to Windows Explorer and right-click against the file.
  1. Click the version you wish to recover and click Restore.

restore the xlsx

Part 8: Use Google Drive Backup

If you use a cloud storage service such as Google Drive on your windows, then you're in luck. The deleted excel file may still be on the cloud server. To recover deleted xlsx files using this method, follow the steps below.

  1. Log into your Google Drive account using a browser. This step is critical. Do not connect your local Google App to the Internet because it will sync the latest changes and delete the missing file from cloud storage.
  2. Browse your Google Drive folders to find the missing file. Right-click against the file, click Download and save the file at the desired location on your computer.

recover xlsx from google drive

Tips to Avoid File Deletion in Future

Accidental file deletion in Windows is a common problem. Windows system doesn't have a default anti-delete protection, but you can avoid losing important files by taking a few measures, as explained below.

Tip 1: Change the Advanced Settings

Tip 2: Hide the Files

Hiding the files to protect them from deletion is another useful tip.

The Bottom Line

These methods will help you recover xlsx files. However, in permanent file deletion, you will need advanced file recovery software such as Wondershare Recoverit to get the job done.

Recoverit author

Amy Dennis

staff Editor

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