5 Ways to Recover Old Version of Excel File

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recover old version of excel file

Excel sheets play an important role in all sizes of business, making it important to know how to recover old version of excel file. In this comprehensive guide, we will deal with the common technical difficulties that users face and provide solutions for finding previous versions of Excel files, both saved and not saved. By the end of this article, you will get the knowledge and tools necessary to overcome this problem.

Part 1: Is It Possible to Recover Old Version of Excel File?

In fact, you can recover previous Excel files easily, but under certain conditions. One popular way is using Microsoft Office’s ‘prior version’ function, which uses file history properties. To recover older Excel files, this feature must be activated. 

Part 2: Recover Old Version of Excel File without Saving

Solution 1: Use AutoRecover to retrieve older Excel files

When faced with an unsaved Excel file, you can rely on the AutoRecover feature to restore the previous version. By following these simple steps you can enable Autorecover and make sure your documents are saved and restored automatically:

  • Open the document and go to File > Options
  • In the Save tab, find the Minutes field and set the desired frequency for AutoRecover recording.
  • Click OK to save changes.

Solution 2: Recovering Excel files from files.TMP

.TMP files are used as temporary storage and can prove useful in recovering previous versions of Excel files. Depending on your operating system, follow these paths to access temporary file folders:

  • For Windows 10: C:\Users\UserName\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Office\UnsavedFiles\
  • For Windows 7: C: \Users\Username\AppData\Roaming\Micrsoft\Excel(Word)\

Solution 3: Use Version History to Recover Old Version of Excel File

In addition to the above solution, Excel provides the ‘Workbook’ feature which allows you to restore previous versions. Follow these steps.

  • Open Excel and go to File > Information
  • In the Data tab, click ‘Manage Workbook’ and select ‘Recover Unsaved Workbooks’ from the option.
  • Select the desired file from the next window and open it. Then you can save the Excel file that hasn’t been saved on your computer.

Part 3: Recover Old Version of Excel File after Saving

Solution 1: Use previous generation tools under Properties

To restore previously saved Excel files. Simply access the file properties. Using the previous version tool, which depends on the file history, you can easily restore your Excel files:

  • Right-click on the Excel file and select Properties.
  • In the ‘Properties’ tab, go to the ‘Previous Version’ section and select the desired version to restore your file. Click ‘Restore’ to proceed.

Solution 2: Use workbook management features

Another powerful way to recover previous versions of Excel files in Windows 10 is through the Workbook feature:

  • Open the most recent file, go to File > Info, and select Manage Workbook.
  • Find the desired version of the file in the Manage Workbook window and click Restore.

Bonus Tip: Recover Old Version of Excel File Using Data Recovery Tool

Excel files can be accidentally erased. Windows File Recovery, developed by Microsoft Corporation, can fix this issue. WinfrGUI is an easy-to-use interface that makes the recovery process easier and provides a problem-free experience.

By following these steps, you can easily recover old version of excel file:

  • Start WinfrGUI and select the drive or location where the Excel file is lost or deleted.
  • Start a scan process within WinfrGUI to find recoverable Excel files.
  • Check the files first to confirm their completeness and select the desired files for recovery.
  • Click on the ‘Recover’ button to restore deleted Excel files smoothly.

Part 4: Frequently Asked Questions

How can I restore an Excel file to an earlier version without losing any data?

To restore an Excel file to an earlier version without losing data. Go to the “Files” tab, click on “Information”, then select “Manage workbooks” and “Recover unsaved workbooks”. Select the desired version from the list and open it for recovery.

If I don’t see the previous version I was looking for in the Excel list “Recover Unsaved Workbooks”.

If the desired version is not found in the list, you can try checking your computer’s backup files using third-party recovery software or contact your IT team for help.

How can I protect my Excel file from deleting errors or rewrite in the future?

To safeguard your Excel files, please consider enabling the options “AutoRecover” and “Autosave”. Regularly create backups and use version controls or collaboration tools such as OneDrive or SharePoint.

Is there any limitation on recovering previous version Excel files?

Depending on factors such as your Excel version, the system resources and the complexity of the file may have limitations. However, most users can recover previous Excel files without any major problems.


The procedures in this article will rescue ancient excel files. If data is accidentally deleted or lost, WinfrGUI can recover it. With these methods, you can confidently handle Excel file difficulties.