Retrieving an earlier version of Excel workbook

Is there a way to retrieve an Excel worksheet prior to accidentally saying yes to changes on Windows 10?
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Scott CSenior EngineerCommented:
Only if you have an earlier backup.  Once you say "yes" that's it.

And by backup, I mean an actual copy of it in another location.

If you have the 'previous versions' functionality turned on in Windows (nothing specific to Excel), then maybe, but only if the snapshot captured your workbook in it's previous state.

Andrew LeniartEE Senior Editor & Independent IT ConsultantCommented:
Hi camtz,

Is there a way to retrieve an Excel worksheet prior to accidentally saying yes to changes on Windows 10?

Yes there is, but it needs to be configured before a previous version is needed.

Probably a little late for this time if you don't already have these things configured, but I would encourage you to set them up now.

Method 1 - File History Settings in Windows 10

  • Press your Windows key and type "Restore your files with File History" and click the result
  • If not already set up, you will get a windows that says "No file history was found" and "File History is currently turned off"
  • Click the "Configure File History Settings" link and follow the prompts. You will need to specify an external drive or network location. Then just set to your desired settings.

Method 2 - Use System Restore to save previous versions of files

  • Press your Windows key and type "System Restore"
  • Click the "Create a restore point" result
  • Click the "Configure" button
  • Select the "Turn on system protection" radio button
  • Adjust the desired "Disk Usage" slider to the desired amount of space you want system restore to use on your drive.
  • Click OK and then click the "Create" button to set a restore point.

Now anything in your Documents folder will have a file history each time a new System Restore point is set, whether that be a manual one like we just did above, or an Automatic system restore point that Windows 10 will periodically set.

Once System Restore is enabled, when you right click an Excel or Word file and select Properties, you will have Previous Versions of files you've worked on since the last restore point was set, such as the following example.

Previous Versions example
Hope that's helpful for the future.

Regards, Andrew

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Derek SouterITO Svc Delivery Cons IIICommented:
if the file is stored on a server, and the admins enabled previous version, then you may be able to right-click on the file and restore a previous version of the file

if it is stored locally, and you enabled previous versions yourself (as per Andrew Leniart's suggestion above), then you could do the same.

otherwise, you would need a backup of the file

the only other way would be if you hadn't closed the file, you can just undo the last few actions (CTRL-Z)
camtzAuthor Commented:
Thank you.  I will definitely do this for the future.
Andrew LeniartEE Senior Editor & Independent IT ConsultantCommented:
You're very welcome camtz and thank you for returning to finalise your question.
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