Excel Tutorial: How To Recover Deleted Excel Files Mac


If you have ever accidentally deleted an important Excel file on your Mac, you know firsthand the frustration and panic that comes with it. Recovering deleted Excel files on a Mac is not only possible, but it can also save you a lot of time and stress. In this tutorial, we will walk through the steps and methods for recovering deleted Excel files on a Mac, so you can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that your valuable data can be restored.

Key Takeaways

  • Accidentally deleting Excel files on a Mac can be frustrating and stressful, but they can be recovered.
  • Understanding how file deletion works on Mac and the differences between moving files to trash and permanently deleting them is important for recovery.
  • Mac's built-in file recovery options, such as the Trash folder and Time Machine, can be helpful for recovering deleted Excel files.
  • Third-party data recovery software for Mac can offer additional options for recovering Excel files, but it's important to choose reputable software.
  • Preventing future file loss through regular backups, using cloud storage or external drives, and practicing good file organization is key to protecting valuable data.

Understanding file deletion on Mac

When it comes to file deletion on Mac operating systems, it's essential to understand how the process works and the implications of different deletion methods.

A. Explain how file deletion works on Mac operating systems

When a file is deleted on a Mac, it is typically moved to the Trash, which serves as a temporary storage location for deleted files. This allows users to easily recover files if they are deleted accidentally.

B. Discuss the differences between moving files to trash and permanently deleting them

While moving files to the Trash allows for easy recovery, permanently deleting files bypasses the Trash and removes the files from the system entirely. This means that once a file is permanently deleted, it becomes much more challenging to recover.

C. Highlight the challenges of recovering permanently deleted files

Recovering permanently deleted files on a Mac can be a complex and time-consuming process. The Mac operating system does not offer a built-in feature for easily recovering permanently deleted files, requiring users to rely on third-party data recovery software.

Utilizing Mac's built-in file recovery options

Mac users have access to a number of built-in file recovery options that can help them retrieve accidentally deleted Excel files. Here's how you can make use of these features:

  • Describe how to navigate to the Trash folder to search for deleted Excel files
  • When you delete a file on your Mac, it is typically moved to the Trash folder. To locate deleted Excel files, you can simply open the Trash folder by clicking on its icon in the dock.

  • Explain how to use the "Put Back" feature to restore files from the Trash
  • Once you have located the deleted Excel file in the Trash, you can right-click on it and select the "Put Back" option. This will move the file back to its original location on your Mac, effectively restoring it.

  • Discuss the limitations of Mac's built-in recovery options for Excel files
  • While Mac's built-in file recovery options can be helpful in many cases, they do have some limitations. For instance, if you have emptied the Trash or if the file has been permanently deleted from your Mac, these options may not be effective in recovering the Excel file.

Using Time Machine for Excel File Recovery

Accidentally deleting an important Excel file on your Mac can be a frustrating experience. However, with the help of Time Machine, a built-in backup feature on Mac, you can easily recover deleted Excel files. Here's a guide on how to use Time Machine for Excel file recovery.

A. Explain how to access Time Machine and navigate to the desired date for file recovery
  • Step 1: Connect your Time Machine backup drive to your Mac.
  • Step 2: Click on the Apple menu and select "System Preferences."
  • Step 3: Click on "Time Machine."
  • Step 4: Use the timeline on the right side to navigate to the date when the Excel file was last available.

B. Discuss the process of restoring deleted Excel files from a Time Machine backup
  • Step 1: Open the folder where the Excel file was located before it was deleted.
  • Step 2: Click on the Time Machine icon in the menu bar and select "Enter Time Machine."
  • Step 3: Browse through the timeline to find the deleted Excel file.
  • Step 4: Select the file and click "Restore" to retrieve it to the original location.

C. Highlight the benefits and drawbacks of using Time Machine for file recovery
  • Benefits: Time Machine provides an easy and efficient way to recover deleted Excel files without the need for third-party software. It allows you to restore files to their original location with just a few clicks.
  • Drawbacks: Time Machine backups can consume a significant amount of storage space on your backup drive. Additionally, if you haven't set up Time Machine before, you may not have a backup available for file recovery.

Third-party software for Excel file recovery

Accidentally deleting an important Excel file on your Mac can be a stressful experience, but thankfully, there are third-party data recovery software options available to help you retrieve your lost data. In this section, we will introduce and recommend popular third-party data recovery software for Mac, discuss their features and capabilities, and provide step-by-step instructions for using them to recover Excel files.

Introduce and recommend popular third-party data recovery software for Mac

When it comes to recovering deleted Excel files on a Mac, there are several reputable third-party software options that are widely used and trusted by users. Some of the most popular choices include:

  • Disk Drill: Disk Drill is a powerful data recovery software that offers a user-friendly interface and a range of advanced features for Mac users.
  • Stellar Data Recovery: Stellar Data Recovery is known for its high success rate in recovering lost or deleted files, including Excel spreadsheets, from Mac storage devices.
  • Wondershare Recoverit: Wondershare Recoverit is a versatile data recovery tool that supports the recovery of various file types, including Excel files, from Mac computers and external storage devices.

Discuss the features and capabilities of the recommended software options

Each of the recommended third-party data recovery software options offers unique features and capabilities that make them suitable for recovering deleted Excel files on a Mac. These features may include:

  • Deep scan: All three software options offer a deep scan feature, which allows for thorough scanning of the storage device to locate and recover deleted Excel files.
  • Preview functionality: Disk Drill, Stellar Data Recovery, and Wondershare Recoverit all provide the ability to preview recoverable files before proceeding with the recovery process.
  • File format support: These software options support a wide range of file formats, including Excel spreadsheets, ensuring comprehensive data recovery capabilities.
  • User-friendly interface: The software interfaces are designed to be intuitive and user-friendly, making the recovery process accessible even for those with limited technical expertise.

Provide step-by-step instructions for using third-party software to recover Excel files

Using third-party data recovery software to retrieve deleted Excel files on a Mac typically involves the following steps:

  1. Download and install the software: Begin by downloading and installing the chosen data recovery software on your Mac.
  2. Select the storage device: Launch the software and choose the storage device from which the Excel file was deleted.
  3. Initiate a scan: Use the deep scan feature to initiate a thorough scan of the storage device, allowing the software to locate the deleted Excel file.
  4. Preview and recover: Once the scan is complete, preview the recoverable Excel file and select it for recovery to a safe location on your Mac.

Tips for Preventing Future File Loss

While it's important to know how to recover deleted Excel files on Mac, it's equally crucial to take steps to prevent such losses from happening in the future. Here are some tips to help you protect your important Excel files:

  • Create regular backups of Excel files on Mac

    One of the best ways to protect your Excel files is to regularly back them up. This can be done by using Mac's built-in Time Machine feature, or by manually copying your files to an external hard drive or cloud storage service.

  • Use cloud storage or external drives for additional data protection

    In addition to regular backups, consider utilizing cloud storage services like Google Drive, Dropbox, or iCloud to store copies of your Excel files. This provides an extra layer of protection in case of hardware failures or accidental deletions.

  • Discuss the importance of file organization and avoiding accidental deletions

    Proper file organization can help prevent accidental deletions or overwrites. Consider creating a folder system for your Excel files and regularly review and clean up unnecessary files to minimize the risk of accidental data loss.


Recap the importance of recovering deleted Excel files on Mac: It is crucial to retrieve accidentally deleted Excel files to avoid data loss and maintain productivity.

Summarize the methods and steps covered in the tutorial: We discussed using the Trash, Time Machine, and data recovery software to recover deleted Excel files on Mac.

Encourage readers to take proactive measures to prevent future data loss: Regularly backup files, utilize the AutoRecover feature in Excel, and consider using third-party data recovery tools for added protection.

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