Excel Tutorial: How To Recover Deleted Excel Sheet


Have you ever accidentally deleted an important Excel sheet and panicked at the thought of losing all your data? In this tutorial, we will discuss the steps to recover a deleted Excel sheet and explore common scenarios in which sheets get accidentally deleted.

Common Scenarios of Accidentally Deleting Excel Sheets

  • Unintentional deletion while rearranging or organizing sheets
  • Accidental deletion while trying to select or modify data
  • Deleting the wrong file in a cluttered folder

Key Takeaways

  • Accidentally deleting an important Excel sheet can happen in various common scenarios like rearranging sheets or selecting data.
  • Excel has a Recycle Bin function that can help in recovering deleted sheets.
  • The 'Undo' function in Excel can also be used to recover accidentally deleted sheets.
  • Regularly backing up Excel sheets is crucial in preventing data loss and recovering deleted sheets.
  • If necessary, seeking professional IT support or data recovery services may be beneficial in recovering deleted Excel sheets.

Understanding the Excel Recycle Bin

When working with Excel, it's common to accidentally delete important data or entire sheets. Fortunately, Excel has a built-in feature called the Recycle Bin, which acts as a safety net for these situations.

A. Explain the function of the Excel Recycle Bin

The Excel Recycle Bin serves as a temporary storage for deleted items within the workbook. When you delete a sheet or range of cells, they are not immediately removed from the workbook. Instead, they are moved to the Recycle Bin, where they can be recovered if needed.

B. Discuss how to access the Recycle Bin in Excel

Accessing the Recycle Bin in Excel is a straightforward process. To open the Recycle Bin, go to the "File" tab in the ribbon, then select "Info" from the menu on the left. Under the "Info" section, you will find the "Manage Workbook" option, which includes access to the Recycle Bin.

  • Step 1: Click on the "Manage Workbook" option.
  • Step 2: Select "Recycle Bin" from the dropdown menu.
  • Step 3: The Recycle Bin will open, displaying any deleted sheets or items within the workbook.

Using the 'Undo' Function in Excel

When working in Excel, it’s not uncommon to accidentally delete a sheet that contains important data or formatting. Fortunately, Excel has a built-in feature called the 'Undo' function that allows you to easily recover a deleted sheet.

Explain how the 'Undo' function can be used to recover a deleted Excel sheet

The 'Undo' function in Excel allows you to reverse the most recent action or actions that you have taken. This means that if you accidentally delete a sheet, you can use the 'Undo' function to restore it back to its original state.

Provide step-by-step instructions on using the 'Undo' function

  • Step 1: Open the Excel spreadsheet from which the sheet was deleted.
  • Step 2: Look for the 'Undo' button in the top-left corner of the Excel window, or use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Z to activate the 'Undo' function.
  • Step 3: Click on the 'Undo' button or press Ctrl + Z repeatedly until the deleted sheet reappears.
  • Step 4: If the deleted sheet does not reappear after using the 'Undo' function, try using Ctrl + Z multiple times, as the 'Undo' function can reverse multiple actions.
  • Step 5: Once the deleted sheet has been recovered, make sure to save your Excel file to ensure that the changes are preserved.

Utilizing the File Recovery Feature in Excel

Microsoft Excel comes with a built-in File Recovery feature that allows users to retrieve accidentally deleted Excel sheets. This feature can be a lifesaver for those who have mistakenly deleted important data and need to recover it quickly and efficiently.

Discuss the File Recovery feature in Excel

The File Recovery feature in Excel is designed to help users recover unsaved or deleted workbooks. It automatically saves versions of the workbook while you're working on it, so you can easily access previous versions in case of accidental deletion or loss of data.

Explain the process of using the File Recovery feature to retrieve a deleted Excel sheet

To retrieve a deleted Excel sheet using the File Recovery feature, follow these steps:

  • 1. Open Excel: Launch Microsoft Excel on your computer and navigate to the "File" tab in the top-left corner of the window.
  • 2. Click on "Open": In the File menu, select "Open" to access the Open dialog box.
  • 3. Select "Recent": In the Open dialog box, click on "Recent" to view a list of recent workbooks that you have worked on.
  • 4. Look for the recovered file: At the bottom of the list, you will see a section titled "Recover Unsaved Workbooks." Click on this section to view any unsaved or deleted workbooks that Excel has recovered.
  • 5. Choose the file to recover: Select the deleted Excel sheet that you want to recover from the list of recovered workbooks, and click on it to open it in Excel.
  • 6. Save the recovered file: Once the deleted Excel sheet is open, save it to your desired location to ensure that you don't lose it again.

Restoring from Backup

Accidents happen, and sometimes an important Excel sheet may get accidentally deleted. However, if you have been diligent in creating regular backups of your Excel sheets, recovering a deleted sheet can be a relatively painless process.

A. Explain the importance of creating regular backups of Excel sheets

Regularly creating backups of your Excel sheets is crucial in ensuring that you have a safety net in case of accidental deletions, file corruption, or other unforeseen circumstances. Backing up your files can save you a lot of time and frustration in the event of data loss, and it is a best practice for any professional who works with Excel.

B. Provide guidance on how to restore a deleted Excel sheet from a backup file

1. Locate the backup file

First, you will need to locate the backup file that contains the version of the Excel sheet you want to recover. This file will typically have a different name or be stored in a different location than the original file.

2. Open the backup file

Once you have located the backup file, open it in Excel to access the version of the sheet that you want to recover. You may need to make a copy of the backup file before proceeding to avoid overwriting the existing backup.

3. Copy the deleted sheet

Once you have the backup file open, navigate to the sheet that was deleted and copy the entire sheet. You can do this by right-clicking on the sheet tab and selecting "Move or Copy" from the menu.

4. Paste the sheet into the original file

Next, open the original Excel file from which the sheet was deleted. Once the file is open, right-click on any sheet tab and select "Paste" to insert the copied sheet from the backup file into the original file.

5. Save the changes

After pasting the deleted sheet into the original file, be sure to save the changes to ensure that the recovered sheet is now part of the file.

Seeking Help from IT Support or Data Recovery Services

While there are various methods to recover a deleted Excel sheet on your own, there are instances when seeking professional help becomes necessary. Below are the scenarios when it may be necessary to seek professional help in recovering a deleted Excel sheet:

Discuss when it may be necessary to seek professional help in recovering a deleted Excel sheet

  • Complex Deletion: If the Excel sheet was deleted under complex circumstances such as accidental formatting, corruption, or a system crash, it may be difficult for an average user to recover the sheet without professional assistance.
  • Lack of Backup: If the deleted Excel sheet was not backed up, or the backup itself got corrupted or deleted, professional help may be necessary to retrieve the data.
  • Urgent Business Need: In cases where the deleted Excel sheet contains critical business data, and its recovery is time-sensitive, seeking professional help can expedite the process and ensure a higher chance of successful recovery.

Provide tips on finding reputable IT support or data recovery services

When looking for reputable IT support or data recovery services to assist in recovering a deleted Excel sheet, consider the following tips:

  • Check Reviews and Testimonials: Look for reviews and testimonials from previous clients to gauge the quality of service provided by the IT support or data recovery company.
  • Ask for Referrals: Seek recommendations from colleagues, friends, or business associates who have had similar experiences and successfully recovered deleted data with the help of professional services.
  • Verify Expertise and Experience: Ensure that the IT support or data recovery company has a track record of successfully recovering deleted Excel sheets and possesses the necessary expertise and experience in handling data recovery.
  • Compare Pricing and Services: Obtain quotes from multiple IT support or data recovery services to compare pricing and the range of services offered, ensuring that you get the best value for your investment.


In conclusion, there are several methods for recovering a deleted Excel sheet, including checking the Recycle Bin, using the Previous Versions feature, and utilizing data recovery software. However, it is crucial to regularly back up Excel sheets to prevent data loss in the first place. I encourage all readers to take immediate action if they have accidentally deleted an important Excel sheet, as time is of the essence in recovering lost data.

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