Working with excel spreadsheets is a core skill. Putting numbers into Excel and analyzing them is at the heart of many business processes. If you’re working with Excel on a regular basis, it’s only a matter of time before you experience the need for recovering an Excel file.
This is because all computers are vulnerable to crashing or closing software applications unexpectedly. It’s not so much a matter of why but more a case of when. When this happens, if you’re not equipped to recover your file, then it will be very stressful and seem like you’ve wasted a lot of time.
So what is the answer? In this article, we’re going to talk you through several options for recovering an excel file. Reading this article is going to put your mind at ease and add an essential Excel skill to your knowledge base.
Do Not Panic
The first important point to convey is the above. If you panic and click various options that come up on your screen without first calming down and reading them, you may lose your file permanently.
It is helpful to know that many software programs, especially Microsoft applications are already designed with recovery options. This is because power failure, overheating and numerous other events can cause a sudden software shutdown. The important thing is to stay calm.
Start With Trash
One of the first places you can check is the trash can icon on your desktop. If you click on this icon it will open a file browser that shows all the files you’ve recently deleted. You should be able to locate your excel file and choose the restore option.
This should work in the majority of cases but it does depend on the circumstances leading up to the file loss. If you have several versions of the same file, it can get quite confusing about which version you want to recover.
Use Auto Recover
This is where the inbuilt auto recover option can be a lifesaver. Microsoft Excel can be set up at the beginning in the initial setting options to regularly create a backup copy of your file. Then, when disaster strikes, the program will recover your file for you and give you the choice of using it again or deleting it.
Don’t assume this function is already set up on your device. You will need to check your Excel settings, or you can do a dummy run and see what the system does to restore your dummy file.
Cloud-based recovery is a favorite for many people. The reason is that you can kill several birds with one stone. You are mitigating any risk of losing your computer along with any damage to your hard drive by keeping an external copy of your file.
At the same time, you will have a copy of your file available as a backup whenever needed. Uploading to the cloud can be easy and quick. If desired you can back up to several different cloud drives for extra peace of mind.
Specific Recovery Tools
There is no such thing as deleted. Forensic computer science is proof of that. The basic concept is that even if your file is deleted it may be possible to recover it.
There are third-party applications that can deeply investigate your hard drive and recover certain files. Some of these tools are free and others come with a premium. Either way, before you go opt for this you would be wise to think carefully about your computer security and any confidential information stored on your computer.
Recover Previous Versions
Not all circumstances require you to restore a lost or deleted file. It could be that you want to recover a specific version of a file. In which case how do you do that?
Cloud-based storage tools like OneDrive will store multiple versions of your document and you should be able to roll back to whichever version you want. You can also use the manage versions function available in Excel itself. You can find this option by going to the File tab, info, and versions.
Form Preventative Habits
Excel is just one software application where you run the risk of losing your file and having to restore or recover the file. As such, it is good practice to get into the habit of always saving your file as you’re working on it. Don’t rely on autosave but instead always be mindful of the need to save your work.
This kind of mindset will help you when you’re using Excel but it will also save you a lot of heartaches using other applications in the future. If you’re using a Mac, you’ll find good advice at https://setapp.com/.
Master Recovering an Excel File
In this article, you’ve read about recovering an Excel file and what you need to know. Thankfully, there are many tools and ways to be able to restore your file. Being familiar with these methods is going to prepare you for the inevitable occasion when you lose your file.
There is no need to panic, just take your time working through these solutions and you should be able to get your file back. Many of the principles discussed here about Excel also apply to other software applications.
Check out other great tech-based articles on our site, full of tips and tricks to help you get the most from your technology.