How to Retrieve Crashed MS Excel File for Free?

Since I started using MS Excel program, I’ve faced a lot of problems with MS Excel files. One of the most panicking situations is when the Excel file is crashed. In such a situation, it is difficult to know whether the data created and saved in the MS Excel sheet can be retrieved or not.

I believe you are also going through the same issue and hence landed on this page. Let me tell you, although it is an inevitable problem, I have managed to shortlist some methods that can help bring back the crashed MS Excel files. Keep reading the article to recover crashed MS Excel files by using free data recovery software.

Methods to Retrieve Crashed Excel Files

Here are some methods that can help you recover crashed MS Excel file for free:

Method 1: Recover Unsaved MS Excel Files

For this, follow the given steps:

  • Open a new MS Excel workbook and click on the ‘File’ tab at the top left corner of the document.
  • Find ‘Open’ in the options and select it, followed by clicking on the ‘Recent’ option at the top left corner.
  • In the window that opens, find ‘Recover Unsaved Workbooks’ at the bottom left corner.
  • In the dialog box that appears, scroll through the given list, find the one you wish to recover and open it.
  • Save the file at the desired location by using the ‘Save As’ option.

Method 2: Recover Updated MS Excel Files

To recover updated Excel files, follow these steps:

  • Open an already existing MS Excel workbook.
  • As soon as the sheet will open, you will find a list of recoverable documents under the head ‘Document Recovery.’
  • Click on the file which you want recover.
  • Now, save the file with a different name.

Method 3: Recover Overwritten MS Excel Files

Here are the steps to recover overwritten MS Excel file:

  • Open the MS Excel workbook.
  • Click on the ‘File’ tab at the top left corner of the sheet.
  • Select the ‘Info’ page and click on the ‘Manage Workbook.’
  • From the list of all previous versions of the file, select the one you wish to recover.
  • Save the file with a new name by using the ‘Save As’ option.

Method 4: Recover Overwritten MS Excel Files from OneDrive and Dropbox

In case you’re not able to recover files by using MS Excel options, you can recover the files from OneDrive and Dropbox. Here are the steps to recover crashed MS Excel file recovery for free:

For OneDrive

  • Right click on the current version of the MS Excel workbook in OneDrive.
  • Click on the ‘Version History’ from the appeared list.
  • A new window will open consisting all the previous versions of MS Excel files.
  • Find the version you wish to recover and select it to preview the data.
  • Once it is confirmed which workbook is required to be restored, click on the Restore or Download option.

For Dropbox

  • Open Dropbox web portal and navigate to the current version of MS Excel workbook you wish to recover.
  • Click on the three dots next to the name of the MS Excel workbook, followed by clicking on ‘Version History.’
  • From the list of previous versions, you can select the one you wish to restore and save it once you have reviewed the data.

Method 5: Recover MS Excel Files by using Free Data Recovery Software

If none of the above mentioned methods works, it is recommended to use a professional data recovery software such as Stellar Data Recovery. The software can help you recover the crashed or lost MS Excel workbook. Follow the given steps:

  • Download the free version of Stellar Data Recovery software from official website.
  • Install and run it on the computer system where the files were saved originally.
  • Select the type of file which you wish to recover from the appeared window.
  • Select the location where the files were originally located and start the scanning process by clicking on the Scan button.
  • Once the scanning process is complete, the software will display a list of all the recoverable MS Excel workbooks. You can preview them and select the ones you wish to recover.
  • Once selected, click on the Recover button and then finish the process by saving the files at a new location.


With the help of above methods, I hope that you will be able to recover the crashed MS Excel files. You can try recovering your files by using the methods in the given order. If nothing works, then use Stellar Data Recovery Software. It is a free software which can easily recover deleted files.