[2021] Step-by-Step Guide to Recover Overwritten Excel File

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It is not rare to face these kinds of situations: We overwrote an Excel spreadsheet that could not be replicated and saved over it accidently - although originally we planned to save it elsewhere; or we unintentionally deleted some part of the file, and then save the file as we are used to.

These mistakes can cause real headaches when we are at work, or doing some urgent projects. Mending the case will cost us plenty of time, and sometimes we even have to manually rewrite these Excel spreadsheets.

But is there really no way can we restore previous version of the Excel file? Of course there is some kind of way out. Here we'll provide 4 solutions to recover overwritten Excel file.

Solution 1: Recover Overwritten Excel File in Excel

In some instances, it is possible to get the Excel file back within the Excel software itself. If you have previously turned on the AutoRecover option in between the Settings area of your Excel, the file will be saved automatically every few minutes. This acts as a backup you can restore from when accidents happen.

Follow the steps below to recover the previous version of the Excel file:

Step 1: Open the file you want to restore to the previous version in Excel.

Step 2: Select File > Info > Manage Workbook > Recover Unsaved Workbooks.

recover overwritten excel file

Step 3: Select the file you'd like to restore and then hit the Open button.

Step 4: In the bar that appears at the top of the page, select Save As to save the Excel file.

This method also works if your Excel file is unsaved due to power failure or system shut down.

Solution 2: Recover Replaced Excel File From Windows Backup

If the overwritten Excel spreadsheet were also edited on your computer, there are chances you can find the previous versions of the file from the Windows backup.

To recover the replaced Excel file:

Step 1: Create a new Excel file with the same name as the overwritten file. Alternatively, you can find the current saved-over Excel file.

Step 2: Right-click on the Excel file and then choose Properties.

Step 3: Go to Previous Versions. Select the version you would like to get back and then hit Restore.

recover overwritten excel file

Solution 3: Restore Overwritten Excel File From File Explorer

When you are working on a file, Microsoft Excel creates temporary files automatically. These temporary files are usually stored in a specific folder on your computer. You can access the files and recover overwritten Excel file if necessary:

Step 1: Open the File Explorer on your computer.

Step 2: Navigate to the location where the temporary files are stored:

On Windows 7: Go to C:\Users\UserName\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Excel (Word)\

On Windows 8/10/11: Go to C:\Users\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Office\UnsavedFiles\

Step 3: You can find the temporary files of your Excel document now. Open the file directly or copy and paste to your preferred location.

recover overwritten excel file

Solution 4: [Ultimate] Recover Previous Version of Excel File With AnyRecover

While the above solutions do work, there is no guarantee that they will offer you the desired results. To make sure that you get back the Excel spreadsheet intact, the last option for you would be a file recovery tool.

Data loss always happens without precaution. Since it is inevitable and we can suffer a lot, keeping a data recovery tool at hand is highly suggested. Only in this way can we get back the lost data ASAP. The tool I would recommend here is AnyRecover.

This powerful program enables every user to restore files in all data loss situations on Mac or Windows 11/10/8/7/XP. And in this situation, AnyRecover can recover the previous version of Excel file directly, in an easy but effective way. Unlike the 3 solutions above, it will help you recover Excel files even if the files were damaged already.


Key features of AnyRecover

  • Handle all data loss issues: emptied trash, accidentally deletion, partition error, system crash, formatted device, etc.
  • Support over 1000 types of file: photos, videos, audios, documents, emails, other media and non-media files.
  • Absolute security is guaranteed; no overwritting or damage to the original data.
  • Fast scanning and recovering speed; simple operating steps.
  • Fully compatible with all versions of Windows (including the latest Windows 11) and Mac systems.
  • Frial trial available: recover 8 files for free without size limitation.

How to recover previous version of Excel file using AnyRecover:

Step 1: Launch AnyRecover and select the location where you had stored the Excel file. Click the "Start" button to begin the process.

select location

Step 2: AnyRecover will begin scanning the selected location. You can clearly see the progress on the interface.

scan selected drive

Step 3: After the scan, the lost files will be displayed. Preview the files and find the Excel file you would like to get back. Finally hit the "Recover" button.

scanned files preview

Extra Tips: How to Avoid Losing Excel File Again

To avoid losing your documents, you can follow the tips below:

1. Enable the AutoRecover function in Excel. Open an Excel file, go to File > Options > Save > turn on the "Save AutoRecover information every x minutes" box and set up the frequency (for me I set it to every minute) > Make sure the "Keep the last AutoRecovered version if I close without saving" box is also checked.

2. Turn on real-time AutoSave. This function saves the changes made to the file every few seconds as you work so you don't have to save it manually. Launch Excel and tap on the "File" Menu. Then turn on AutoSave at the top-left corner.

3. Do not save a new Excel file with an old name. Before saving a document, double-check to ensure that its name does not match another document in the same location. If the names match, you will easily overwrite the old document.

4. Be careful of virus attack. To make sure that viruses or malware do not corrupt your files, install an antivirus on your computer.

5. Keep regular backup. You can store your important files on cloud services such as Google Drive.

6. Always follow the right procedure. Close the Excel software after using it in a proper way. This will reduce the chances of the Excel files becoming corrupted.


If your Excel file got overwritten accidentally, the solutions outlined in this article should help you get the file back. If solutions 1, 2 and 3 fail to work for you, don't hesitate to try AnyRecover. This tool should help you recover the overwritten Excel file irrespective of how you lost it. It is 100% safe and free to try.

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By James Crawford , to Document Recovery

Updated: Jul 23, 2021

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