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How to Recover Deleted Excel Files Not Found in the Recycle Bin

How to Recover Deleted Excel Files Not Found in the Recycle Bin
Written by Jeff Peterson

Excel remains a crucial tool for data analysis and is used by both individuals and businesses. Taking good care of your Excel files is therefore equally important just like you do with other forms of files. 

You might however have lost some of your Excel files before looking for a guide to recover them. Do not break a sweat as you are just about to uncover efficient methods for recovering deleted excel files. This guide will be your companion, a companion you can trust!

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Why My Deleted Excel Files Not in Recycle Bin

Generally, all deleted files should appear in the recycle bin for some days before they will disappear from it. This is because Windows sends all the files you delete to the recycle bin, by default, including Excel files. 

However, if you cannot locate the Excel files you recently deleted, even in the recycle bin, then there are likely other reasons. Below are some reasons that could contribute to the ordeal. 

  • The Excel files were deleted using Shift delete. As a result, the files were permanently deleted from the drive. 
  • The recycle bin has been emptied. Emptying the recycle bin will wipe all the deleted files from it including your Excel Data. 
  • The recycle bin is about being full. As a result, there is no more space to store additional deleted files.
  • You have changed recycle bin settings to remove files completely when deleting. You will need to check the setting that says “Don’t move files to the Recycle Bin. Remove files immediately when deleted” is activated. 

You should however be in a position to recover Excel files not in the recycle bin without paying for a professional service. Follow this guide on recovering deleted files from a C drive to make sure you do not miss a thing. Besides, you will be able to learn more tips on excel file management that will save you from future embarrassments. 


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How to Recover Deleted Excel Files Not Found in the Recycle Bin

It’s fortunate that you can still recover deleted files including Excel files not found in the recycle bin. In this section, we explore some of the most commonly used and highly successful methods. 

Method 1: Use File History

The Windows system comes with a backup tool known as File History. It is built to support recovery of systems and data in case of unforeseen losses. The tool stores copies of the files on the C:drive and makes them available for recovery regardless of what happens to your data.

Step 1: Access File History by opening the Control Panel then System and Security.

Step 2: Restore personal files.

Step 3: Find and select the Excel files you are looking for then tap “Recover.”

Method 2: Fix with Recent Files

Generally, Microsoft Office saves your files as backups as you continue working on them. If by chance you fail to save some of the files due to power failure or other reason, you will be able to recover them with the Excel “Recover Unsaved Workbooks.” 

Just open Microsoft Excel, navigate to the left panel and tap “Open” you should be able to see the Excel files you recently worked on in the is list. You can then tap on them to continue working or save them to a different location. Remember, this method will only work if you try it after a few minutes or hours after losing your files. This is because it is a temporary storage and can be easily replaced by new files. 

Another tool you can use to save temporary files is the AutoRecover. The tool also helps you recover Excel documents by copying the file location to This PC. 

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Method 3: Fix with Excel Backup Function

Excel backup is another built in tool that Microsoft Excel users can rely on when restoring lost Excel files. When you save an Excel file, this function saves a copy of it with the XKL extension in the same folder as the original. Unlike automatic saving, the backup function can only be activated for one file at a time. Follow the steps below to activate the function.

Step 1: Tap the “File” tab then “Save As.”

Step 2: Navigate to “Browse,” then “Tools,” and finally “General Options.”

Step 3: Tick the “Always create backup.”

Step 4: Tap “Ok” to confirm.

However, note that the feature is only available for the specific files with it. This should however not get you worried as you can still try the next method to recover deleted Excel files not found in the recycle bin.

Method 4: Recover Excel Files with Data Recovery Software

If all the methods fail, you always have that last one that saves your day. As much as we recommend using recovery software, it is always better to check your backup systems first. Which is where the methods described earlier come in. 

With this method, we recommend using Disk Drill by CleverFiles. It is a versatile tool with more robust features that will leave no file unrecovered, even if your Excel files were emptied from the recycle bin. 

Some of the features that make Disk Drill a first choice when it comes to data recovery software include:

  • Quick scan support 
  • Deep scan support 
  • Preview for scan results 
  • Free version recovers up to 500 MB
  • Supports all storage devices
  • Supports all file types 

Follow the steps below to restore your Excel files.

Step 1: Download and install the software 

Step 2: Scan the drive for lost Excel files

Step 3: Preview the files found by the scan

Step 4: Restore the files 

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Final Thoughts

If you read this guide to the last word, you should be able to comfortably recover Excel files with any of the methods described. Once restored, ensure your files are backed up and that you handle the files with care to avoid further losses. 

About the author

Jeff Peterson

Jeff is a tech geek whose hobby is to learn about the latest developments in the tech world. When he is not writing at you may find him coding or playing his favorite video games