i also saved it

is there any way to recover it?

  • 6
    Restore your critical document from the backups that you do regularly to protect your critical data.
    – MDMarra
    May 27, 2010 at 22:10

7 Answers 7


When you save the file and close the workbook, Excel actaully deletes the temp file it created during your edit. So you might have a better chance by running any of the undelete tools. Search for the files with ~ or # in their names.


If the file was saved on a Windows Vista, 7 or server 2003, 2008 system you may well have shadow copy service running and keeping previous versions for you. You can't restore individual files, so you need to:

  1. make a copy of the folder the file is in
  2. right click the folder and choose "previous versions". Look for a version with an appropriate timestamp (ie before the deletion, but as recent as possible). Restore the whole folder. Put back any newer files from the copy you just made.
  • 1
    You can restore single files from the 'previous versions' tab by simply double-clicking on the appropriate folder and copying your file from there.
    – pelms
    May 27, 2010 at 22:14
  • 1
    Previous versions is worth the price of Vista/7 alone I reckon. May 28, 2010 at 0:40

You can try something like Recuva. It is extremely important that you stop modifying files on your computer and run this ASAP, as it will reduce the chance that the unlinked file will be deleted from your HDD.

  • He says he deleted a "worksheet" inside an Excel file, not the file itself. So, Recuva won't work here. May 28, 2010 at 11:00
  • @Mehper - So he did. I misread is as Workbook, my mistake.
    – MDMarra
    May 28, 2010 at 15:36

If you have deleted and saved it, I fear you will not be able to get this back. Even with memory dumpers, etc.

Cry a little, then move on and learn the lesson. :)

This does point out a usability issue however...

Most programs have an 'Undo' function. Unfortunately, a lot of programs are also limited in what you can undo.

For the example you gave, you can delete cells, rows, and columns then undo it like it never happened. Delete a worksheet however and no dice!

Personally, from a user standpoint, there is no logic reason this should be the case.

Just something to mull over for those writing software with undo functions. If a use can do an action, they are as sure as <<insert something that is a certainty here>> going to want to be able to undo it at some point.


Did you save it to a network drive? Some network drives have nightly backups or even hourly backups. You could recover from one of those backups if available.


You might try DiskInternal's software - Excel Recovery. I've had particular luck using their tools to recover accidentally deleted files and whole partitions in the past. You'll have to pony up some cash to get it to actually save the recovered files, but it'll show you exactly what it was able to find in a preview before making you pay, that way you know if it was able to recover the data.

At this point it boils down to is it worth the cost. Either way, if you plan on potentially using the software, stop using your system immediately - any time a file is saved, there's a chance it'll overwrite the data needed to recover the file.


Since this is an old thread, I would like to add that there's a new feature since I believe Office 2007 - Autosave function. In Office 2010 it is enabled by default and you can find your autosaved docs in user application data (e.g. in Excel you can look see the path in "File - Options - Save") or just look up more info on this link:


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