6 Solutions to Recover Excel File Previous Version

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In today’s fast-paced digital world, losing valuable data can be a nightmare, especially when it comes to important Excel files. Whether it’s due to accidental deletion, software malfunction, or system crash, the loss of an Excel file can disrupt your workflow and cause unnecessary stress. However, there’s no need to panic. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore six effective solutions to recover excel file previous version, ensuring that you can retrieve your data swiftly and efficiently.

Understanding the Problem

Before delving into the solutions, it’s essential to understand the problem at hand. Losing access to a previous version of an Excel file can occur due to various reasons, including accidental deletion, file corruption, software issues, system crashes, or even human error. These incidents can lead to significant data loss, impacting your productivity and causing frustration. By identifying the root cause of the problem, you can take the necessary steps to address it effectively.

Potential Causes of Excel File Loss:

  1. Accidental Deletion: Human error, such as mistakenly deleting an Excel file, is one of the most common causes of data loss.
  2. File Corruption: Corruption of Excel files can occur due to software glitches, viruses, or improper shutdowns, rendering them inaccessible.
  3. Software Issues: Incompatibility issues, software bugs, or updates gone wrong can result in the loss of Excel file versions.
  4. System Crashes: Unexpected system crashes or hardware failures can lead to the loss of unsaved Excel file versions.
  5. Overwriting: Saving changes to an Excel file without creating backups can overwrite previous versions, making them unrecoverable.
  6. Storage Media Failure: Damage to the storage device storing Excel files, such as a hard drive or USB drive, can result in data loss.

6 Solutions to Recover Excel File Previous Version

Now that we’ve identified the potential causes let’s explore six solutions to recover previous versions of Excel files.

Solution 1: WinfrGUI

Leveraging WinfrGUI, a powerful tool in Windows, offers a straightforward approach to recover deleted document like recover deleted document in word.

WinfrGUI operates in three simple steps:

  1. Launch WinfrGUI: Begin by opening WinfrGUI on your Windows system.
  2. Select Drive: Choose the drive where your Excel file was saved.
  3. Initiate Scan: Initiate a scan to locate previous versions of your Excel file.

Once the scan is complete, WinfrGUI will present you with a list of recoverable previous versions. Select the desired version, and voila! Your Excel file is restored.

Solution 2: Restore from Windows File History

Windows File History is a built-in feature that enables users to retrieve previous versions of files, including Excel documents.

Here’s how to use Windows File History:

  • Open File History: Access File History from the Control Panel or Settings menu.
  • Select Specific File: Navigate to the location of your Excel file.
  • View Versions: Browse through the available versions of your file.
  • Restore Desired Version: Choose the previous version you wish to recover and restore it.

With Windows File History, recovering Excel file previous versions becomes a breeze.

Solution 3: Utilize Previous Versions Tab

Windows operating systems offer a handy feature called “Previous Versions” that allows users to restore earlier iterations of files, including Excel documents.

Here’s how to access and utilize the Previous Versions tab:

  • Right-click File: Navigate to the location of your Excel file and right-click on it.
  • Select Properties: Choose “Properties” from the context menu.
  • Navigate to Previous Versions: In the Properties window, go to the “Previous Versions” tab.
  • Choose Version to Restore: Select the desired version from the list and click “Restore”.

By utilizing the Previous Versions tab, you can effortlessly recover Excel file previous versions.

Solution 4: Employ Shadow Copies

Shadow Copies, also known as Volume Shadow Copies or Shadow Copy Service, create backups of files at various points in time, allowing users to retrieve previous versions.

Here’s how to employ Shadow Copies:

  • Access Properties: Right-click on the drive where your Excel file is located and choose “Properties”.
  • Navigate to Shadow Copies: In the Properties window, go to the “Shadow Copies” tab.
  • Select Desired Version: Browse through the available copies and choose the version of your Excel file you want to recover.
  • Restore Previous Version: Click “Restore” to retrieve the selected version.

With Shadow Copies, recovering Excel file previous versions is a seamless process.

Solution 5: Retrieve from Backup

Maintaining regular backups of your Excel files is a proactive approach to ensure you can recover previous versions whenever needed.

Here’s how to retrieve from backup:

  • Access Backup: Open your backup storage location.
  • Locate Excel File: Navigate to the folder where your Excel file backups are stored.
  • Choose Previous Version: Select the version of the Excel file you wish to recover.
  • Restore File: Copy the selected version and paste it into your desired location.

By regularly backing up your Excel files, you can easily recover previous versions whenever necessary.

Solution 6: Use Third-Party Data Recovery Software

In instances where built-in Windows features aren’t sufficient, third-party data recovery software can be a lifesaver.

Here’s how to use third-party data recovery software:

  • Choose Reliable Software: Select a reputable data recovery software compatible with Excel files.
  • Install and Launch: Install the software on your system and launch it.
  • Scan for Excel Files: Initiate a scan to locate all Excel files, including previous versions.
  • Recover Desired Version: Once the scan is complete, choose the previous version of your Excel file you want to recover and proceed with the recovery process.

With the help of third-party data recovery software, you can recover Excel file previous versions efficiently and effectively.

FAQ of Recover Excel File Previous Version

Question 1: How can I recover a previous version of an Excel file?

To recover a previous version of an Excel file, follow these steps:

  1. Open File Explorer and navigate to the folder where the Excel file is located.
  2. Right-click on the Excel file and select “Properties” from the dropdown menu.
  3. In the Properties window, go to the “Previous Versions” tab.
  4. Here, you’ll see a list of previous versions of the file that are available for recovery.
  5. Select the version you want to recover and click on the “Restore” button.
  6. Confirm the action, and the selected previous version of the Excel file will be restored.

Question 2: Can I recover an Excel file that I accidentally deleted or overwritten?

Yes, you can recover an Excel file that you accidentally deleted or overwritten by using built-in features or third-party software:

  1. Check the Recycle Bin: If you’ve recently deleted the Excel file, check the Recycle Bin first. You can restore it from there by right-clicking on the file and selecting “Restore.”
  2. Use File History: If you’ve enabled File History on your Windows computer, you can recover previous versions of files, including Excel files. Open File Explorer, right-click on the folder where the Excel file was located, and select “Restore previous versions.”
  3. Try Data Recovery Software: If the above methods don’t work, consider using data recovery software like EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard or Recuva. These tools can scan your computer for deleted or overwritten files and help you recover them.

Question 3: How do I use WinfrGUI to recover a previous version of an Excel file?

WinfrGUI is a powerful tool that can help you recover previous versions of files, including Excel files. Follow these steps to use WinfrGUI for file recovery:

  1. Download and install WinfrGUI on your computer.
  2. Launch the program and select the drive where the Excel file was located.
  3. Click on the “Start” button to begin the scanning process.
  4. Once the scan is complete, WinfrGUI will display a list of recoverable files.
  5. Locate the Excel file you want to recover and select it.
  6. Click on the “Recover” button to restore the selected Excel file to its previous version.

Question 4: Is it possible to recover an Excel file from a backup?

Yes, if you have a backup of your Excel file, you can easily recover it. Here’s how:

  1. Open your backup software or service.
  2. Navigate to the location where the Excel file was backed up.
  3. Select the backup version of the Excel file that you want to restore.
  4. Follow the prompts to restore the Excel file to its original location or a new location on your computer.

Question 5: What should I do if none of the above methods work to recover my Excel file?

If none of the above methods work to recover your Excel file, consider reaching out to a professional data recovery service. These services specialize in recovering lost or deleted files and may have advanced techniques or tools that can help retrieve your Excel file. Additionally, they can provide guidance on preventing data loss in the future. Be sure to choose a reputable and reliable data recovery service to ensure the best chance of success.

Tips to Prevent Future Loss of Excel File Versions:

Regularly Save and Backup Excel Files:

Losing important data due to unexpected system crashes or accidental deletions can be a nightmare for anyone relying heavily on Excel files. However, implementing a few simple practices can significantly reduce the risk of such mishaps. One of the most fundamental steps in safeguarding your Excel files is to regularly save and backup your work. By doing so, you create multiple copies of your files, ensuring that even if one version becomes corrupted or inaccessible, you have backups to fall back on. Here are some tips on how to effectively save and backup your Excel files:

  • Set up automatic saving: Most modern versions of Excel offer the option to automatically save your work at regular intervals. Take advantage of this feature to ensure that your progress is continuously being saved, minimizing the chances of losing data in the event of a sudden system crash or power outage.
  • Utilize cloud storage services: Storing your Excel files on cloud-based platforms such as Google Drive, Dropbox, or Microsoft OneDrive provides an extra layer of protection against data loss. These services offer automatic syncing and versioning capabilities, allowing you to access previous versions of your files and restore them if needed.
  • Establish a backup schedule: Create a routine backup schedule to regularly save copies of your Excel files to an external hard drive, USB flash drive, or another storage device. Set reminders to ensure that you don’t forget to backup your files, especially after making significant changes or updates.

Importance of Consistent File Backup Practices:

Consistency is key when it comes to file backup practices. While it may seem tedious to regularly save and backup your Excel files, the potential consequences of not doing so far outweigh the minimal effort required to implement these practices. Consistent file backup not only protects your data from accidental loss but also provides peace of mind knowing that your important files are safe and accessible when you need them. Here’s why maintaining consistent file backup practices is essential:

  • Protection against data loss: Accidents happen, whether it’s a hardware failure, software glitch, or human error. Consistently backing up your Excel files ensures that you have copies of your data stored in multiple locations, reducing the risk of permanent data loss.
  • Disaster recovery preparedness: In the event of a catastrophic event such as a fire, flood, or theft, having backups of your Excel files can be a lifesaver. Consistent file backup practices ensure that you’re prepared for any unforeseen circumstances that may compromise the integrity of your data.
  • Facilitates collaboration and sharing: If you collaborate with others on Excel files, consistent file backup practices allow you to easily share and sync your work across multiple devices and users. This ensures that everyone involved has access to the most up-to-date versions of the files, promoting seamless collaboration and productivity.

Enable Version Control Features:

Excel offers built-in version control features that allow you to track changes made to your files over time and revert to previous versions if necessary. Enabling version control in Excel provides an added layer of protection against accidental changes or deletions, ensuring that you can always recover your work in the event of data loss. Here’s how to enable version control in Excel for seamless recovery:

  • Enable AutoSave: Excel’s AutoSave feature automatically saves your work as you go, creating versions of your file at regular intervals. To enable AutoSave, simply click on the “File” tab, select “Options,” navigate to the “Save” tab, and check the box next to “AutoSave OneDrive and SharePoint Online files by default.”
  • Use Track Changes: Excel’s Track Changes feature allows you to track and review changes made to your workbook by yourself and other collaborators. To enable Track Changes, click on the “Review” tab, select “Track Changes,” and choose “Highlight Changes.” You can then specify the types of changes you want to track and set options for reviewing and accepting changes.
  • Protect your workbook: Excel’s workbook protection features allow you to control who can make changes to your file and what changes they can make. To protect your workbook, click on the “Review” tab, select “Protect Workbook,” and choose the desired protection settings. You can password-protect the workbook, restrict editing permissions, and specify which elements of the workbook are protected.

By following these steps, you can easily enable version control in Excel and protect your important files against data loss. With version control enabled, you can rest assured knowing that you can recover previous versions of your Excel files with just a few clicks, ensuring the integrity and accessibility of your data.

  • File History: A built-in feature in Windows operating systems that automatically backs up files stored in designated folders, allowing users to restore previous versions.
  • Temporary Files: Files created by software programs as part of the auto-save process, often containing unsaved or previous versions of documents.
  • Previous Versions: A feature in Windows that enables users to restore earlier versions of files from a specific point in time, utilizing System Restore points or Shadow Copies.
  • Data Recovery Software: Specialized tools designed to scan storage devices for lost or deleted files and offer various recovery options, such as file restoration and data extraction.


Losing access to a previous version of an Excel file can be a frustrating experience, but it’s not the end of the world. By understanding the potential causes of Excel file loss and employing the right recovery strategies, you can retrieve your valuable data and minimize disruption to your workflow. Whether you utilize built-in Windows features, third-party software, or professional assistance, the key is to act swiftly and methodically to increase the likelihood of successful recovery. Remember to prioritize preventive measures, such as regular backups and data management best practices, to mitigate the risk of future Excel file loss. With the solutions and tips outlined in this guide, you can regain control over your Excel files and ensure their safety and accessibility for years to come.