6 Proven Ways to Recover Old Version Of Excel File

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recover old version of excel file

In today’s digital age, where data is paramount, losing an important Excel file or overwriting crucial information can be a nightmare. Fortunately, there are proven methods to recover old versions of Excel files, ensuring you never lose valuable data again. Whether it’s accidentally deleting a file or mistakenly saving over it, these solutions offer a lifeline in times of data distress.

6 Solutions to Recover Old Version Of Excel File

Solution 1: Using WinfrGUI

Leverage WinfrGUI as a Powerful Recovery Tool

WinfrGUI stands out as a reliable solution for retrieving old versions of Excel files. It’s user-friendly interface coupled with robust functionality makes it a top choice for users seeking efficient file recovery. Follow these steps to recover your old version of Excel file:

  • Download and Install WinfrGUI: Begin by downloading and installing WinfrGUI on your system.
  • Launch the Application: Once installed, launch the WinfrGUI application to initiate the recovery process.
  • Select File Recovery Option: From the main menu, choose the “File Recovery” option to proceed.
  • Scan for Excel Files: Select the drive or location where your Excel file was stored and initiate the scanning process.
  • Preview and Recover: After the scan is complete, preview the recovered Excel files and select the old version you wish to recover.
  • Save Recovered File: Finally, choose a safe location to save the recovered old version of your Excel file.

With WinfrGUI, retrieving old versions of Excel files becomes a streamlined process, ensuring minimal hassle and maximum efficiency. Don’t let accidental deletions or modifications deter your productivity – harness the power of WinfrGUI to reclaim your valuable data.

Solution 2: Utilizing File History Feature

Tap into Windows File History for Seamless Recovery

Windows File History serves as a built-in feature designed to safeguard your files against unexpected loss or modifications. Here’s how you can utilize File History to recover old versions of Excel files:

  • Access File History Settings: Navigate to the Control Panel and access the File History settings.
  • Enable File History: If not already enabled, activate File History to begin creating backups of your files.
  • Locate Excel File: Open File History and search for the specific Excel file for which you need to recover an old version.
  • Restore Previous Versions: Once located, browse through the file history timeline and select the desired old version of the Excel file.
  • Confirm Restoration: Confirm the restoration process, and File History will revert the Excel file to its previous state.

By using File History, easily retrieve old Excel versions with a few simple steps, adding extra data protection and peace of mind.

Solution 3: Using Previous Versions Tab

Harness the Power of Previous Versions Tab in Windows

Windows operating system offers a convenient feature known as the “Previous Versions” tab, which enables users to access and restore earlier iterations of files. Here’s how you can utilize this feature to recover old versions of Excel files:

  • Locate Excel File: Right-click on the folder containing the Excel file you wish to recover and select “Properties.”
  • Access Previous Versions: In the Properties window, navigate to the “Previous Versions” tab to view a list of available versions.
  • Select Desired Version: From the list of previous versions, select the specific iteration of the Excel file that you want to recover.
  • Restore the File: After selecting the desired version, click on the “Restore” button to initiate the restoration process.

The Previous Versions tab offers a straightforward solution for recovering old versions of Excel files directly within the Windows interface. By leveraging this feature, you can quickly revert to earlier iterations of your Excel documents, ensuring data integrity and continuity.

Solution 4: Utilizing Excel AutoRecover Feature

Maximize Efficiency with Excel’s AutoRecover Functionality

Excel comes equipped with an AutoRecover feature designed to automatically save your work at regular intervals, providing an added layer of protection against data loss. Here’s how you can use Excel’s AutoRecover feature to retrieve old versions of your files:

  • Check AutoRecover Settings: Open Excel and navigate to the “Options” menu. Ensure that AutoRecover is enabled and configured to save files at frequent intervals.
  • Locate AutoRecover Files: In the event of an unexpected closure or loss of data, reopen Excel to prompt the AutoRecover feature. Excel will display a list of recovered files.
  • Select the Desired Version: Review the list of recovered files and select the old version of the Excel file that you wish to retrieve.
  • Save the Recovered File: Once selected, save the recovered version of the Excel file to your desired location.

By using Excel’s AutoRecover feature, easily recover old file versions and minimize disruptions. This automated function keeps your work safe, letting you focus on tasks confidently.

Solution 5: Utilizing Third-Party Data Recovery Software

Explore Third-Party Data Recovery Software for Comprehensive Solutions

In addition to built-in features, various third-party data recovery software solutions offer advanced capabilities for retrieving old versions of Excel files. Consider utilizing reputable software options such as EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard or Recuva for comprehensive file recovery. Here’s how you can use third-party data recovery software to recover old versions of Excel files:

  • Download and Install Software: Begin by downloading and installing the chosen data recovery software on your system.
  • Initiate Scan: Launch the software and initiate a scan of the relevant drive or location where the Excel file was stored.
  • Review Scan Results: Once the scan is complete, review the scan results to locate the old versions of your Excel files.
  • Select and Recover: Select the desired old version of the Excel file from the scan results and proceed to recover it.
  • Save Recovered File: Choose a secure location to save the recovered Excel file and complete the recovery process.

By leveraging third-party data recovery software, you can augment your file recovery capabilities and increase the likelihood of successfully retrieving old versions of Excel files. These robust solutions offer a comprehensive approach to data recovery, ensuring minimal data loss and maximum efficiency.

Solution 6: Consultation with IT Support Professionals

Seek Expert Guidance from IT Support Professionals

When conventional methods fail, IT support professionals offer valuable insights and assistance in complex scenarios for recovering old Excel file versions. Here’s how you can benefit from seeking expert guidance:

  • Contact IT Support: Reach out to your organization’s IT support team or enlist the services of external IT professionals specializing in data recovery.
  • Provide Relevant Details: Furnish the IT support professionals with relevant details regarding the Excel file and the circumstances surrounding its loss or modification.
  • Collaborate on Recovery Strategy: Collaborate with IT support to create a customized recovery strategy for your needs.
  • Implement Recommended Solutions: Follow IT support’s recommendations and implement suggested solutions to recover old Excel file versions.
  • Ensure Data Security: During recovery, prioritize data security to protect sensitive information and comply with regulations.

By leveraging the expertise of IT support professionals, you can navigate complex data recovery challenges with confidence and efficiency. Their specialized knowledge and resources can significantly enhance your chances of successfully recovering old versions of Excel files, ensuring continuity and productivity within your organization.

Understanding the Problem of Lost Data:

Losing an old version of an Excel file can happen to anyone, from seasoned professionals to casual users. It often occurs due to accidental deletion, inadvertent overwriting, or software glitches. Regardless of the cause, the result is the same: vital data becomes inaccessible, leading to frustration and potentially significant setbacks.

Common Causes of Data Loss:

  1. Human Error: Accidentally deleting or overwriting files is a common human error that can lead to data loss.
  2. Software Malfunction: Technical glitches or software crashes can result in the loss of unsaved or previous versions of Excel files.
  3. Hardware Failure: Issues with storage devices, such as hard drive failures or corruption, can also lead to data loss.

Tips for Prevention of Excel File Loss

Backing up your files regularly is crucial to prevent loss. Here are some essential tips to keep your Excel files safe:

1. Enable Autosave Feature: Always enable the autosave feature in Excel to automatically save your work at regular intervals.

2. Use Cloud Storage: Store your Excel files in cloud storage services like Google Drive or Dropbox for added security and accessibility.

3. Set Up Version History: Utilize the version history feature in cloud storage platforms to track changes and revert to previous versions if needed.

4. Implement File Naming Conventions: Develop a consistent file naming convention to easily locate and identify Excel files, reducing the risk of accidental deletion or loss.

5. Regularly Update Software: Keep your Excel software and operating system up to date to ensure compatibility and security patches that can help prevent file loss due to technical issues.

6. Educate Team Members: Educate your team members on best practices for file management and prevention of accidental deletions or overwrites.

FAQ of Recovering Old Versions of Excel Files

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

A1: If you’ve accidentally overwritten or deleted an important Excel file, don’t panic. Here’s how you can recover the old version:

  1. Check Recycle Bin: Start by checking the Recycle Bin on your computer. If you’ve recently deleted the file, it might still be there. Simply locate the file, right-click on it, and select “Restore” to recover it to its original location.
  2. Utilize File History (Windows): If you’re using a Windows computer, you can use the File History feature to recover previous versions of files. Right-click on the folder where the Excel file was stored, select “Properties,” and then navigate to the “Previous Versions” tab. Here, you’ll find a list of all previous versions of the file that you can restore.
  3. Check Cloud Storage: If you’ve been using cloud storage services like OneDrive, Google Drive, or Dropbox to store your Excel files, check the version history feature. These platforms often keep a record of previous versions of files, allowing you to revert to an older version with ease. Simply locate the file in your cloud storage, access its version history, and restore the desired version.

Q2: Is it possible to recover an old version of an Excel file if I didn’t save it?

A2: Yes, it’s still possible to recover an old version of an Excel file even if you didn’t save it manually. Here’s what you can do:

  1. Check Temporary Files: Excel often creates temporary files as you work on a document. These files might contain older versions of your document. To access these temporary files, open Excel and go to the “File” menu. Select “Info” and then click on “Manage Workbook” or “Recover Unsaved Workbooks” depending on your version of Excel. Look for any files with a “.tmp” extension and open them to see if they contain the information you need.
  2. Search for AutoRecover Files: Excel also creates AutoRecover files periodically to save your work in case of a crash or unexpected closure. To locate these files, open Excel and go to the “File” menu. Select “Open” and then click on “Recover Unsaved Workbooks” at the bottom of the Recent Documents list. Look for any files with the extension “.xlsb” or “.xlsx” and open them to see if they contain the version of your file that you’re looking for.
  3. Use Data Recovery Software: If you’re unable to find the old version of your Excel file through the above methods, you can try using data recovery software. There are various third-party tools available that specialize in recovering lost or deleted files. Install one of these programs, scan your computer for deleted files, and see if it can recover the version of your Excel file that you’re seeking.

Q3: Can I recover an old version of an Excel file if I don’t have a backup?

A3: Yes, there are still options to recover an old version of an Excel file even if you don’t have a backup. Here’s what you can try:

  1. Check for Shadow Copies (Windows): Windows operating systems often create shadow copies of files, including Excel documents, as part of the System Restore feature. To check for shadow copies, right-click on the folder where the Excel file was stored and select “Properties.” Then, navigate to the “Previous Versions” tab, where you may find a list of shadow copies of your files. Select the appropriate version and click “Restore” to recover it.
  2. Look for Temporary Copies: Sometimes, Excel creates temporary copies of files while you’re working on them. These temporary copies might still contain the information you’re looking for. Search for “.tmp” files on your computer or in the temporary files folder of your operating system.
  3. Seek Professional Assistance: If you can’t recover the old Excel version with the above methods, consider professional data recovery assistance.These experts have specialized tools and techniques to recover lost or corrupted files, including Excel documents. Be sure to choose a reputable service provider with a track record of success in data recovery.

Q4: Is it possible to recover an old version of an Excel file if it was deleted a long time ago?

A4: Yes, it may still be possible to recover an old version of an Excel file even if it was deleted a long time ago. Here are some steps you can take:

  1. Check Backup Systems: If you have a backup system in place, such as regular backups to an external hard drive or a cloud storage service, check these backups for the older version of your Excel file. Older backups may contain the version you’re looking for, especially if they were created before the file was deleted.
  2. Use Data Recovery Software: Consider using data recovery software specifically designed to recover deleted files. These programs can scan your computer’s hard drive for traces of deleted files and attempt to recover them. While success isn’t guaranteed, it’s worth trying if you’re unable to locate the old version of your Excel file through other means.
  3. Consult with IT Professionals: If you’re unable to recover the old version of your Excel file on your own, consider consulting with IT professionals or data recovery specialists. They may have advanced tools and techniques that can help retrieve deleted files, even those that were deleted a long time ago.


Losing an old version of an Excel file can be a stressful experience, but with the right strategies and tools, it’s possible to recover your data and mitigate future risks. By understanding the common causes of data loss, implementing preventive measures like regular backups and AutoSave, and utilizing proven recovery methods, you can safeguard your valuable data and ensure peace of mind in your digital endeavors. Remember, preparation is key, and with these six proven ways at your disposal, you’ll be well-equipped to handle any data recovery challenge that comes your way.