6 Ways to Recover Earlier Version Of Excel File

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recover earlier version of excel file

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you accidentally saved over an important Excel file, only to realize later that you need to revert to an earlier version? It can be a frustrating experience, but fear not! In this guide, we’ll explore six effective methods to recover earlier versions of Excel file, ensuring that you can retrieve your valuable data with ease.

Understanding the Problem: Why You Need to Recover Earlier Versions

Losing important data due to accidental overwriting or deletion is a common problem faced by many Excel users. When you realize that you need to access an earlier version of a file, it’s crucial to understand why this issue occurs. There are several reasons why you might need to recover an earlier version of an Excel file:

  1. Accidental Overwriting: You might inadvertently save changes to a file without realizing that you need to preserve an earlier version.
  2. File Corruption: Excel files can become corrupted due to various reasons, such as power outages, system crashes, or errors in the file structure.
  3. Deleted Data: Sometimes, crucial data within an Excel file gets deleted accidentally, and you need to retrieve a previous version that contains the missing information.

Now that we’ve explored the reasons behind the need to recover earlier versions of Excel files, let’s delve into the solutions.

6 Ways to Recover Earlier Version Of Excel File

Solution 1: Using WinfrGUI

Losing an earlier version of an Excel file can be frustrating, but WinfrGUI offers a straightforward solution. WinfrGUI is a powerful tool that allows you to recover lost or deleted files effortlessly.

How to Use WinfrGUI:

  • Download and install WinfrGUI on your system.
  • Launch the program and select the drive where your Excel file was saved.
  • Click on the “Scan” button to initiate the scanning process.
  • Once the scan is complete, browse through the results to locate your earlier version of the Excel file.
  • Select the file and click on the “Recover” button to restore it to your desired location.

WinfrGUI simplifies the process of recovering earlier versions of Excel files and recover word file that was not saved, making it an invaluable tool for users facing such issues.

Solution 2: Utilize File History Feature

The File History feature in Windows is a built-in tool designed to help you recover previous versions of files, including Excel documents.

Steps to Utilize File History:

  • Navigate to the folder where your Excel file was saved.
  • Right-click on the folder and select “Restore previous versions” from the context menu.
  • A list of previous versions of the folder will appear. Look for the version containing your Excel file.
  • Select the desired version and click on the “Restore” button to recover it.

File History offers a convenient way to retrieve earlier versions of Excel files without the need for third-party software.

Solution 3: Check AutoRecover Settings in Excel

Excel comes equipped with an AutoRecover feature that automatically saves versions of your file at regular intervals, providing an additional layer of protection against data loss.

How to Check AutoRecover Settings:

  • Open Excel and click on the “File” tab.
  • Select “Options” from the dropdown menu.
  • In the Excel Options dialog box, navigate to the “Save” tab.
  • Check if the “Save AutoRecover information every X minutes” option is enabled and set to a suitable interval.
  • Note the AutoRecover file location listed in the settings.

By leveraging Excel’s AutoRecover feature, you can easily recover earlier versions of your Excel files in case of unexpected closures or crashes.

Solution 4: Retrieve from Previous Versions in OneDrive

If you have saved your Excel file in OneDrive, you can take advantage of its version history feature to recover earlier versions effortlessly.

Steps to Retrieve from OneDrive:

  • Log in to your OneDrive account and navigate to the folder containing your Excel file.
  • Right-click on the file and select “Version history” from the context menu.
  • A list of previous versions will appear. Choose the version you wish to restore.
  • Click on the “Restore” button to recover the selected version.

OneDrive’s version history feature ensures that you can easily revert to earlier iterations of your Excel files with just a few clicks.

Solution 5: Restore from Backup

Regularly backing up your files is a proactive measure that can save you from the headache of losing important data, including earlier versions of Excel files.

Steps to Restore from Backup:

  • Access your backup storage device or service where your Excel files are backed up.
  • Navigate to the location of the backup containing the earlier version of your Excel file.
  • Select the desired version and initiate the restoration process.
  • Follow any on-screen prompts to complete the restoration.

By maintaining up-to-date backups of your Excel files, you can ensure that you always have access to earlier versions in case of emergencies.

Solution 6: Use Third-Party Data Recovery Software

In situations where other methods fail, third-party data recovery software can often come to the rescue, providing advanced capabilities for recovering lost or deleted Excel files.

Steps to Use Data Recovery Software:

  • Research and choose a reputable data recovery software that supports Excel file recovery.
  • Download and install the software on your system.
  • Launch the program and follow the on-screen instructions to scan your storage device for lost Excel files.
  • Once the scan is complete, review the results and select the earlier version of your Excel file.
  • Proceed with the recovery process and save the file to a secure location.

While third-party data recovery software may require a financial investment, it can be a valuable resource for retrieving earlier versions of Excel files when other methods fall short.

These six solutions provide a range of options for recovering earlier versions of Excel files, ensuring that you can retrieve your valuable data with ease and efficiency. Remember to choose the method that best suits your specific circumstances and preferences.

Understanding the concepts behind recovering earlier versions of Excel files can help you navigate the process more effectively. Some key concepts to be aware of include:

  1. AutoRecover: AutoRecover is a feature ingrained within Excel, diligently safeguarding your work against unexpected disruptions. It automatically saves your progress at regular intervals, ensuring minimal data loss in case of unforeseen events like power outages or software crashes.
  2. Temporary Files: Temporary files in Excel are generated during editing sessions, serving as transient repositories for your data. These files may contain earlier versions of your document, providing a fallback option to retrieve prior iterations if needed.
  3. Backup and Restore: Backup and Restore is a proactive strategy to fortify your data’s integrity. By creating duplicates of your files at regular intervals, it establishes a safety net against potential calamities. In the event of data corruption or accidental deletion, the restoration process facilitates the retrieval of lost or compromised files from these backups.

Tips for Excel File Recovery

  • Regularly save your Excel files to avoid losing important data.
  • Enable the AutoRecover feature in Excel to automatically save versions of your work at specified intervals.
  • Keep backups of your files in multiple locations to ensure redundancy and protect against data loss.
  • Use cloud storage services with version history features to track changes and access earlier versions of your files.


Recovering earlier versions of Excel files is a crucial skill for anyone who works with spreadsheets regularly. By understanding the causes of data loss and familiarizing yourself with effective recovery methods, you can minimize the impact of accidental deletions or overwrites and ensure that your valuable data remains intact. Remember to utilize the built-in features of Excel, explore alternative recovery options, and maintain a proactive approach to file management to safeguard your files against unexpected events. With the right strategies in place, you can recover earlier versions of Excel files with confidence and efficiency.