6 Ways to View and Recover Previous Versions of Excel File

In the digital landscape, safeguarding your Excel files is crucial. However, the unforeseen can happen, leading to the loss of crucial data. Fear not; this comprehensive guide unveils 6 ingenious methods to not only view previous versions of Excel files but also recover them. Discover the tricks and tips that will empower you to navigate the world of Excel with confidence and efficiency.

Understanding the Challenge: Previous Version of Excel File Loss

Losing the previous version of an Excel file can be a frustrating experience. Picture this scenario: you’ve been meticulously working on a spreadsheet, and an accidental save wipes out your valuable data. Understanding the problem is the first step toward finding effective solutions.

What causes this problem?

  1. Accidental Saves: In the fast-paced world of data entry, accidental clicks or keystrokes leading to saves can erase previous versions.
  2. Software Glitches: Excel software glitches or unexpected crashes can contribute to the loss of previous versions.
  3. AutoSave Overwrites: While AutoSave is a handy feature, it can overwrite previous versions without giving you a chance to intervene.

6 Solutions to Recover Previous Version of Excel File

When the critical data in your Excel files faces the threat of being lost or altered, having a robust recovery strategy becomes paramount. Unveil six effective solutions to recover previous versions, ensuring your vital information remains intact and accessible.

1. WinfrGUI: Your Cost-Free Data Guardian

  • Efficiency meets Affordability:
    WinfrGUI, a leading solution in recovering previous versions of Excel files, stands out not just for its efficiency but for being entirely free. In the realm of data recovery, this tool offers a powerful and budget-friendly safeguard.
  • User-Friendly Interface:
    Navigate the recovery process seamlessly with a user-friendly interface. WinfrGUI prioritizes accessibility, making it an ideal choice for users, regardless of their technical expertise.
  • Zero-Cost Assurance:
    Emphasizing its cost-free nature, WinfrGUI ensures that retrieving previous versions of your Excel files doesn’t come with a financial burden, making it a go-to option for both individuals and businesses. It could also recover deleted word document in the same way.

2. Windows File History: Native Excellence

  • Automated Backup Functionality:
    Harness the power of Windows File History, a native solution that automates the backup process. Ensure that previous versions of your Excel files are systematically saved, creating a safety net against accidental deletions or modifications.
  • Seamless Rollback Capability:
    Windows File History offers a seamless experience when rolling back to a desired state. With a few clicks, recover previous versions of your Excel files, eliminating the stress associated with data loss.

3. Shadow Copies: Unveiling Hidden Snapshots

  • Temporal Snapshots:
    Explore the often underestimated feature of Shadow Copies, creating temporal snapshots of your Excel files. These snapshots become a valuable resource, allowing you to recover previous versions effortlessly.
  • Underutilized Potency:
    While not in the spotlight, the potency of Shadow Copies lies in its ability to capture different versions discreetly, providing an additional layer of recovery options beyond traditional backups.

4. AutoRecover in Excel: Automatic Safeguard

  • Built-In Safety Net:
    Excel itself offers a robust solution with its AutoRecover feature. This built-in functionality ensures periodic saves of your work, acting as an automatic safety net against unexpected data losses.
  • Progress Insurance:
    Imagine an unforeseen event disrupting your work; AutoRecover acts as insurance, minimizing the impact by allowing you to retrieve previous versions of your Excel files without missing a beat.

5. Google Drive: Cloud-Based Resilience

  • Sync and Protect:
    Embrace the security of cloud storage with Google Drive. Sync your Excel files to the cloud for not only safekeeping but also easy retrieval of previous versions, ensuring your data remains resilient against local mishaps.
  • Access Anywhere, Recover Anytime:
    The cloud-based assurance of Google Drive means you can access your Excel files from anywhere. In the event of data loss, recover previous versions effortlessly, transcending the limitations of physical location.

6. Recuva: Versatile Data Resurrection

  • Last Line of Defense:
    When native solutions fall short, Recuva steps in as a versatile data recovery tool. While not exclusively designed for Excel files, it becomes your last line of defense, capable of retrieving previous versions from various storage media.
  • Tailored Recovery Options:
    Recuva offers tailored solutions, ensuring that even in complex scenarios, you have a reliable option for recovering previous versions of your Excel files.

In summary, these six solutions provide a comprehensive toolkit for recovering previous versions of your Excel files. From the cost-free efficiency of WinfrGUI to the versatile capabilities of Recuva, each solution brings unique strengths to ensure your data remains secure and accessible.

FAQ on Recovering Previous Versions of Excel Files

Q1: How can I recover a previous version of an Excel file?

A1: Recovering a previous version of an Excel file involves utilizing various built-in and third-party tools. One effective method is to leverage the native features of Windows, such as Windows File History. This built-in tool automatically backs up your files, including Excel documents, allowing you to revert to an earlier version effortlessly. Simply access the File History settings, select the desired file, and navigate through the available versions to restore the one you need.

Another option is to explore third-party data recovery software. WinfrGUI, for instance, is a powerful and free tool that specializes in retrieving previous versions of Excel files. To use WinfrGUI, download and install the software, select the drive or location where the Excel file is stored, and let the tool scan for previous versions. Once identified, choose the version you wish to recover, and WinfrGUI will restore it, ensuring your data is back in its desired state.

Q2: Can I recover a previous version of an Excel file without using additional software?

A2: Yes, you can recover a previous version of an Excel file without resorting to third-party software. Excel itself offers an AutoRecover feature, acting as a built-in safety net. When enabled, AutoRecover automatically saves your work at regular intervals. In the event of an unexpected closure or system crash, Excel will prompt you to recover the unsaved versions when you reopen the program. Simply follow the prompts to retrieve your previous version.

Additionally, Windows operating systems have a feature called Shadow Copies that creates snapshots of files at different points in time. To recover a previous version without external tools, right-click on the file, select “Properties,” and navigate to the “Previous Versions” tab. Here, you can view and restore available snapshots, ensuring a hassle-free recovery process.

Q3: How can I recover a corrupted previous version of an Excel file?

A3: Recovering a corrupted previous version of an Excel file requires a strategic approach. One effective method is to utilize Excel’s built-in file repair feature. Open Excel, navigate to “File,” select “Open,” and choose the corrupted file. Click the arrow next to the “Open” button, choose “Open and Repair,” and let Excel attempt to fix the corruption. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process, and if successful, your previous version should be accessible without data loss.

If the built-in repair doesn’t suffice, consider using third-party file recovery software like Recuva. Download and install the software, select the drive containing the corrupted file, and initiate the scan. Recuva’s advanced algorithms can often recover data from corrupted files, providing an alternative solution for retrieving your previous Excel version.

Q4: Is there a way to recover a previous version of an Excel file from a backup?

A4: Absolutely, recovering a previous version of an Excel file from a backup is a reliable method. If you have been diligent in creating backups using Windows File History or other backup solutions, locate the backup source. Access the backup drive or folder, find the Excel file, and select the version you wish to recover. Copy the chosen version back to its original location, and your Excel file is restored to the desired previous state.

For those who use cloud storage services like Google Drive, check the version history feature. Open the Excel file in Google Sheets, go to “File,” and select “Version history” to view all available versions. Choose the desired version, and Google Drive will restore the Excel file to that specific point in time.

Q5: Can you elaborate on a specific function of WinfrGUI for recovering previous versions of Excel files?

A5: Certainly! WinfrGUI excels in simplicity and effectiveness. One notable function is its ability to scan and display a detailed list of previous versions of Excel files. After launching WinfrGUI and selecting the drive or location where the Excel file is stored, initiate the scan. The software will meticulously analyze the selected location and present a comprehensive list of recoverable previous versions.

Once the scan is complete, WinfrGUI categorizes the versions based on their date and time stamps. This intuitive presentation allows users to choose the precise version they want to recover. Select the desired version from the list, follow the prompts, and WinfrGUI will seamlessly restore the chosen previous version of your Excel file, ensuring a hassle-free and user-friendly experience.

Understanding Key Tech Concepts for Recovering Previous Versions of Excel Files

Navigating the realm of data resilience and recovery involves grasping key tech concepts. Familiarize yourself with these crucial terms to ensure a seamless experience in managing and recovering previous versions of Excel files.

File History:
Embrace the built-in ‘File History’ feature on your Windows system. Activate this function to automatically back up your Excel files, creating a history of versions that can be easily accessed and restored when needed.

Version Control:
Implement ‘Version Control’ strategies to track changes systematically. Whether through collaborative tools or dedicated software, version control ensures that each modification in your Excel files is recorded, simplifying the process of reverting to a previous state.

Cloud-Based Backups:
Rely on ‘Cloud-Based Backups’ for enhanced data protection. Services like Google Drive provide seamless synchronization, safeguarding your Excel files in the cloud and allowing you to recover previous versions from anywhere, at any time.

Tips for Excel File Protection

Regularly Backup Manually:

Ensure the safety of your critical Excel files by making it a habit to regularly backup manually before undertaking significant changes. This straightforward precautionary step acts as a safety net against unexpected data loss or alterations.

Explore Cloud-Based Version History:

Leverage the version history features provided by cloud-based storage solutions. Platforms like Google Drive offer a seamless way to track changes, enabling you to review and revert to previous versions effortlessly, ensuring your Excel files remain intact.

Enable Automatic Backup Tools:

Take advantage of built-in tools such as File History on Windows or Time Machine on Mac. Enabling these automatic backup features ensures that your Excel files are consistently and systematically saved, providing an added layer of protection against unforeseen incidents.

Consider Third-Party Recovery Software:

As a precautionary measure, consider integrating third-party recovery software into your toolkit. These tools, such as Recuva, offer an extra layer of security, allowing you to recover Excel files and previous versions in case native solutions fall short.

Utilize Excel Online for Version History:

Optimize your Excel file protection by utilizing Excel Online’s built-in version history capabilities. This web-based version of Excel simplifies tracking changes and ensures that you can easily revert to previous states when needed.


In the ever-evolving digital landscape, the ability to view and recover previous versions of Excel files is a skill every user should master. By employing the methods outlined in this guide, you empower yourself to navigate the challenges of accidental saves and software glitches with confidence. Remember, prevention through regular backups is the key to ensuring that your Excel files remain resilient in the face of unexpected data loss scenarios. Embrace these techniques, and safeguard your digital work with resilience and ease.