Retrieve previous version (backup file) of Excel file?

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I made some incorrect changes and clicked ‘Save’ in MS Excel. ‘Undo’ failed.

Excel does not have an option to create backup files, like MS Word does.

The AutoRecover option saves files in C:UsersJan DoggenAppDataRoamingMicrosoftExcel and I found an Excel11.xlb file in that folder, but it turns out that is only a settings file.

I know of two options that I have:

  • Use recovery tools (ASAP) to scan erased file space for an Excel file with the same name, and hope these retrieve something useful – not likely I think, because a few incorrect bytes in an Excel make it unreadable.

  • Go back to an older version I have in a backup. Luckily I do.

Are there maybe more options that I overlook?

I scanned my C: partition for file names that could indicate previous versions, but I found none.


The Undo feature still works after saving as long as you did not close the workbook. You could also turn on Track Changes before hand and you would have a history of that.