Excel Tutorial: How To Recover Excel Sheet Data


Accidentally losing Excel sheet data can be a frustrating and stressful experience, especially if the information is crucial for your work or personal records. In this Excel tutorial, we will cover the essential steps to recover Excel sheet data and get back on track with your work. Whether it's a mistakenly deleted file or a corrupt spreadsheet, this tutorial will provide you with the necessary guidance to retrieve your Excel data.

Key Takeaways

  • Accidental loss of Excel sheet data can be a stressful experience, but there are effective methods for recovery.
  • Understanding the common causes and types of data loss scenarios in Excel is crucial for proactive data management.
  • Utilizing built-in features like AutoRecover and file history can significantly aid in recovering lost Excel data.
  • Third-party data recovery software can offer additional options for retrieving Excel sheet data in challenging situations.
  • It's important to proactively safeguard Excel data and be familiar with recovery techniques to minimize the impact of data loss.

Understanding Excel sheet data loss

Data loss in Excel can be a frustrating experience, especially if the lost data is critical for your work or business. Understanding the common causes of data loss and the different scenarios in which it can occur can help you take preventive measures and learn how to recover lost data effectively.

A. Common causes of data loss in Excel
  • Accidental deletion:

    This is one of the most common causes of data loss in Excel. It can happen when you mistakenly delete a cell, row, or column, or even an entire worksheet.
  • File corruption:

    Excel files can get corrupted due to various reasons such as system crashes, power failures, or improper handling of the file.
  • Software or hardware issues:

    Issues with the Excel software or the hardware on which the file is stored can also lead to data loss.

B. Types of data loss scenarios
  • Accidental deletion:

    As mentioned earlier, accidental deletion of cells, rows, columns, or entire worksheets can result in data loss.
  • File corruption:

    When an Excel file becomes corrupted, it can make the data within it inaccessible or unreadable.
  • Formatting errors:

    Formatting errors or mismanagement of data can lead to loss of important information within the Excel sheet.
  • External factors:

    External factors such as viruses, malware, or system crashes can also cause data loss in Excel.

Methods for recovering Excel sheet data

Accidentally losing important data from an Excel sheet can be a nightmare for anyone. Fortunately, there are several methods you can use to recover your lost or corrupted Excel sheet data. In this tutorial, we will explore three primary methods for recovering Excel sheet data.

A. Utilizing the AutoRecover feature in Excel

The AutoRecover feature in Excel is a built-in tool that automatically saves your work at regular intervals. If Excel crashes or you accidentally close the program without saving, the AutoRecover feature can help you retrieve the unsaved data.

Steps to utilize the AutoRecover feature:

  • Open Excel and go to the "File" tab.
  • Click on "Open" and then select "Recent" from the options.
  • Scroll to the bottom and click on "Recover Unsaved Workbooks."
  • Locate the unsaved file and open it to recover your data.

B. Restoring from a previous version

If you have saved different versions of your Excel sheet, you can restore from a previous version to recover lost or corrupted data. Excel allows you to access and restore previous versions of a document using the "Version History" feature.

Steps to restore from a previous version:

  • Open Excel and go to the "File" tab.
  • Click on "Info" and then select "Version History" from the options.
  • Choose the version you want to restore and click "Restore" to recover your data.

C. Using third-party data recovery software

If the above methods do not work or if your Excel sheet is severely corrupted, you can consider using third-party data recovery software. There are several reliable software options available that specialize in recovering lost or corrupted Excel sheet data.

Steps to use third-party data recovery software:

  • Research and choose a reputable data recovery software.
  • Download and install the software on your computer.
  • Follow the software's instructions to scan for and recover your lost Excel sheet data.

Excel Tutorial: How to Recover Excel Sheet Data

Step-by-step guide for using the AutoRecover feature

Excel's AutoRecover feature can be a lifesaver when it comes to recovering valuable data from a corrupted or accidentally closed Excel file. Follow these steps to make the most of the AutoRecover feature:

A. Enabling AutoRecover in Excel settings
  • Open Excel and click on "File" in the top-left corner of the screen.
  • Click on "Options" from the drop-down menu to open the Excel Options dialog box.
  • In the Excel Options dialog box, click on "Save" in the left-hand menu.
  • Check the box next to "Save AutoRecover information every X minutes" and adjust the time interval as per your preference.
  • Click "OK" to save the changes and enable the AutoRecover feature.

B. Locating and opening the AutoRecover file
  • If Excel crashes or closes unexpectedly, reopen Excel to trigger the AutoRecover feature.
  • Upon reopening Excel, a prompt will appear indicating that there are AutoRecover files available. Click on "Show recovered files" to open the AutoRecover pane.
  • In the AutoRecover pane, you will see a list of available AutoRecover files. Select the desired file and click "Open" to recover the data.

C. Recovering the desired data from the AutoRecover file
  • Once the AutoRecover file is opened, review the recovered data to ensure that the desired information is present.
  • Save the recovered data by clicking on "File" and then selecting "Save As" to save the file with a new name and location.
  • After saving the recovered data, you can continue working on it as needed.

Instructions for restoring from a previous version

In case you accidentally delete or make unwanted changes to your Excel sheet, you can easily restore the data from a previous version. Here's how you can do it:

A. Accessing the file history in Excel
  • Step 1: Open the Excel file that you want to recover data from.
  • Step 2: Go to the "File" tab at the top-left corner of the Excel window.
  • Step 3: Click on "Info" and then select "Version History" from the dropdown menu.

B. Comparing and restoring previous versions of the Excel sheet
  • Step 1: In the "Version History" window, you will see a list of all the previous versions of the Excel sheet.
  • Step 2: Select the version you want to restore by clicking on it. Excel will open the selected version in a new window.
  • Step 3: You can now compare the selected version with the current version and choose to restore specific data or the entire sheet.

C. Saving the recovered data in the current version
  • Step 1: Once you have identified the data you want to recover, go to the current version of the Excel sheet.
  • Step 2: Copy the recovered data from the previous version and paste it into the current version.
  • Step 3: Save the changes to the current version to ensure that the recovered data is permanently restored.

Overview of third-party data recovery software options

When it comes to recovering Excel sheet data, third-party data recovery software can be a lifesaver. These tools are specifically designed to help users retrieve lost, damaged, or corrupted Excel files, and they offer a variety of benefits over traditional methods of data recovery.

A. Discussing the benefits of using third-party software

There are several advantages to using third-party data recovery software for Excel, including:

  • Efficiency: These tools are often faster and more effective than manual methods of data recovery.
  • Comprehensive recovery options: Third-party software can often recover a wider range of data types and file formats than built-in Excel recovery tools.
  • User-friendly interfaces: Many third-party tools are designed to be easy to use, even for users with limited technical expertise.

B. Highlighting popular data recovery tools for Excel

There are a number of third-party data recovery tools on the market that are specifically tailored for Excel file recovery. Some popular options include:

  • Stellar Data Recovery
  • Kernel for Excel
  • Recoverit
  • Disk Drill
  • EnCase Forensic

C. Steps to recover data using third-party software

While the specific steps for recovering Excel sheet data may vary depending on the software you choose, the general process typically involves the following steps:

  • Install the data recovery software on your computer
  • Launch the software and select the option to recover Excel files
  • Choose the location where the Excel file was stored before it was lost or damaged
  • Initiate the recovery process and wait for the software to scan for and recover the lost data
  • Once the recovery is complete, review the recovered files and save them to a new location


It is crucial to know how to recover Excel sheet data, as it can save you from potential data loss and minimize downtime. In this tutorial, we discussed various methods and tools such as AutoRecover, Document Recovery, and Data Recovery Software that can help you retrieve your data effectively. I encourage all readers to proactively safeguard their Excel data by implementing the techniques provided in this tutorial. By being prepared, you can minimize the impact of data loss and ensure the continuity of your work.

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