Excel Tutorial: How To Recover Deleted Excel Files From Desktop


Accidentally deleting important Excel files can be a nightmare, especially if you have spent hours working on them. Luckily, there are ways to recover these deleted files from your desktop. In this tutorial, we will walk you through the steps to recover your deleted Excel files and ensure that you never lose valuable data again.

  • Explanation of the importance of recovering deleted Excel files
  • Brief overview of the steps to be covered in the tutorial

Key Takeaways

  • Accidentally deleting important Excel files can be a nightmare, but there are ways to recover them.
  • Understanding the Recycle Bin and File History features can help in recovering deleted files.
  • Data recovery software can be a valuable tool in recovering lost Excel files.
  • Implementing regular backups and utilizing cloud storage can prevent future data loss.
  • Seeking professional help may be necessary in some cases of data loss.

Understanding the Recycle Bin

When working on an Excel file, there is always a risk of accidentally deleting the file from the desktop. However, Windows provides a built-in feature called the Recycle Bin, which acts as a safety net for deleted files.

A. Explanation of how the Recycle Bin works in Windows
  • When a file is deleted from the desktop, it is not permanently removed from the system. Instead, it is moved to the Recycle Bin.
  • The Recycle Bin retains deleted files until it reaches its maximum storage capacity or until the user manually empties it.
  • Deleted files can be restored from the Recycle Bin with a simple click, making it a convenient tool for file recovery.

B. Instructions on how to locate and access the Recycle Bin on the desktop
  • To access the Recycle Bin, simply look for its icon on the desktop. It typically resembles a trash can.
  • Alternatively, you can also access the Recycle Bin by opening the File Explorer and navigating to the desktop folder.
  • Once the Recycle Bin is located, double-click on its icon to open it and view the deleted files stored within.

Using File History to recover previous versions

Accidentally deleting important Excel files can be a nightmare, but luckily Windows has a built-in feature called File History that can help recover those lost files.

A. Overview of how File History works as a backup feature

File History is a feature in Windows that regularly backs up files in the Documents, Music, Pictures, and Desktop folders. It creates a copy of the files and stores them on an external drive, allowing users to recover previous versions of their files if they are deleted or lost.

B. Step-by-step guide on how to use File History to recover deleted Excel files

If you've accidentally deleted an important Excel file from your desktop, here's how you can use File History to retrieve it:

  • Step 1: Connect the external drive where File History is set up.
  • Step 2: Open the folder where the deleted Excel file was located.
  • Step 3: Click on the "History" button at the top of the window to access File History.
  • Step 4: You will see a timeline on the left side of the window showing the different versions of the folder. Scroll through the timeline to find the version of the folder that contains the deleted Excel file.
  • Step 5: Once you've found the correct version, select the deleted Excel file and click on the "Restore" button to bring it back to the original location.

Utilizing data recovery software

Accidentally deleting an important Excel file from your desktop can be a nightmare, but with the right data recovery software, you have a good chance of recovering the lost file.

Explanation of when data recovery software is necessary

When you delete a file from your desktop, it is not completely removed from your computer. Instead, the space that the file occupies is marked as available for reuse, and the file is essentially invisible to the operating system. This means that until the space is overwritten with new data, the deleted file can usually be recovered.

However, it is important to note that if you continue to use your computer after realizing the file is deleted, the chances of recovery decreases, as the space may get overwritten with new data. Therefore, it is crucial to act quickly and use data recovery software as soon as possible.

Recommendations for reliable data recovery software to use

There are several reliable data recovery software options available in the market. Some of the most recommended ones include:

  • Recuva: This software is known for its user-friendly interface and high success rate in recovering deleted files. It can be used to recover a wide range of file types, including Excel files.
  • Stellar Data Recovery: Stellar offers a comprehensive suite of data recovery tools, including a dedicated software for recovering lost or deleted Excel files. It is known for its advanced scanning algorithms and ease of use.
  • Prosoft Data Rescue: This software is popular among professionals for its powerful file recovery capabilities. It can handle complex data loss scenarios and has a high success rate in recovering deleted files.

It is important to research and choose a data recovery software that best suits your specific needs and requirements. Additionally, it is recommended to regularly back up important files to prevent data loss in the first place.

Preventing future data loss

Data loss can be a frustrating and costly experience, especially when it comes to important Excel files. To prevent future data loss, it’s important to implement regular backups of your Excel files and utilize additional file backup options.

A. Tips for implementing regular backups of Excel files
  • Set up automatic backups: Utilize the autosave feature in Excel to automatically save your work at regular intervals. This can help prevent loss of data in the event of a computer crash or accidental deletion.
  • Backup to a separate location: Save copies of your Excel files to a separate location, such as an external hard drive or cloud storage. This provides an additional layer of protection in case your desktop files are lost or corrupted.
  • Create a backup schedule: Establish a regular schedule for backing up your Excel files, whether it’s daily, weekly, or monthly. Consistently backing up your files can help ensure that you always have access to the most recent versions.

B. Suggestions for utilizing cloud storage or external hard drives for additional file backup
  • Utilize cloud storage: Consider using popular cloud storage services like Google Drive, Dropbox, or Microsoft OneDrive to store copies of your Excel files. Cloud storage provides the added benefit of accessing your files from any device with an internet connection.
  • Invest in an external hard drive: Purchase an external hard drive to regularly backup your Excel files. This provides a physical, offline backup option that can be easily accessed in the event of data loss on your desktop.
  • Enable file versioning: Some cloud storage services offer file versioning, allowing you to revert to previous versions of your Excel files. This can be a useful feature in the event of accidental changes or deletions.

Seeking professional help

While attempting to recover deleted excel files from your desktop on your own is a feasible option, there are instances when seeking the help of a professional data recovery service becomes necessary.

A. When it's necessary to seek the help of a professional data recovery service

There are a few scenarios where attempting to recover deleted excel files on your own may not yield results, and seeking professional help becomes a viable option. These scenarios include:

  • Complex Data Loss: If the excel files were deleted due to a complex data loss scenario such as a system crash or hardware failure, it may be beyond your expertise to recover them without professional help.
  • Time Sensitivity: In cases where the deleted excel files are time-sensitive and crucial for your work or business, seeking professional help can expedite the recovery process.
  • Limited Technical Knowledge: If you lack the technical expertise or resources to perform advanced data recovery techniques, professional help can ensure a higher chance of successful recovery.

B. Tips for choosing a reputable data recovery service

When seeking the assistance of a professional data recovery service, it's essential to choose a reputable and reliable provider. Here are some tips for selecting the right data recovery service:

  • Reputation: Research the reputation of the data recovery service provider by reading reviews, seeking recommendations, and checking their track record of successful recoveries.
  • Expertise: Ensure that the data recovery service has expertise in recovering excel files and dealing with the specific data loss scenario you are facing.
  • Security Measures: Inquire about the security measures taken by the data recovery service to protect your sensitive data during the recovery process.
  • Pricing and Transparency: Request a clear breakdown of the pricing, potential additional costs, and the likelihood of successful recovery before engaging the service.
  • Customer Support: Assess the quality of customer support and communication offered by the data recovery service to ensure a smooth and transparent recovery process.


It's essential to recover deleted Excel files as they may contain crucial data and information. By utilizing the methods provided in this tutorial, you can retrieve and restore your files to ensure business continuity and prevent data loss. Don't hesitate to take action and make use of the tools and techniques discussed here to recover your important Excel files from your desktop.

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