How to Recover Overwritten Files on Windows and Mac

Are overwritten files irreversible? Actually, it depends! This post explains several possible ways to rescue your files from being permanently deleted. Both Windows users and Mac users can find solutions in this post. And there is a reliable file recovery tool introduced on Windows can help you retrieve lost or deleted files from different circumstances. It also sparkles for the following features.
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🤍 Rapid scan speed and high recovery rate.

Last updated on Dec 07, 2022 by Eleanor Written by Eleanor
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How to Recover Overwritten Files on Windows and Mac

How to Recover Overwritten Files on Windows and Mac

“Help! I have replaced an Excel sheet with a newly-created one with the same name by accident. I asked my friends, and they said it is impossible to restore overwritten files. But I don’t want to give up the work I’ve done. The original excel file is in urgent need. Do you know any tips for recovering overwritten files? Thanks in advance.”

It happens to many of us. When we were in haste to save some documents, we confirmed the file replacement progress before our brains could stop us from pressing the Enter key. And when we reopen the file later, frustration washes over us—the original data in this file has gone!

If you are in this problem—speed through the options and overwrite an important file, take it easy! We are here to help. This guide will explain how to recover overwritten files on Windows and Mac. Plus, we will explain how to prevent accidental file loss in the future.


How a File Becomes Overwritten

When you delete a file, the file data will not disappear from your drive immediately. Instead, only the information that your operating system can locate and access the file is removed. The physical location used to store the deleted data will be marked as rewritable.

Your deleted data will remain until new data is stored in that same physical location. Those data can be retrieved with data recovery tools like WorkinTool Data Recovery. However, if an existing file is replaced or new data is written in the same physical location as the deleted file, the original file becomes overwritten. And the recovery process becomes very tricky. The possibility of recovery shrinks significantly.


Can Overwritten Files be Recovered?

Is it possible to recover overwritten files? It depends. If you accidentally overwrote a file or a folder on Windows 8, 10, or 11, you can restore it from its previous versions using File History. Mac users can try the Time Machine tool. The premise is you have enabled them in advance on your device.

Otherwise, you can only resort to backup drives (if available) for overwritten file recovery or scan for possibly-existing files using data recovery software like WorkinTool Data Recovery.


How to Recover Overwritten Files on Windows

💡Option 1. Retrieve Overwritten Files by File History

If you have the File History feature activated, you can recover an overwritten file that is lingering on your PC in Windows 11/10/8. Follow the steps to retrieve the file.

recover overwritten files with file history

Step 1. Locate the folder that has stored the overwritten file.

Step 2. Right-click the folder and select Properties > go to the Previous Versions tab.

Step 3. Select an older version you need, and click Restore to recover a saved-over file.

💡Option 2. Recover Lost Files with WorkinTool Data Recovery

How to recover overwritten files with no previous versions in File History? If you fail to use the above solution or have yet to enable the File History tool, you can resort to WorkinTool Data Recovery software for help. It is capable of restoring lost, deleted, and formatted files when you don’t have a backup. In addition, this tool can undo deletion from hard disks, emptied Recycle Bin, external hard drives, memory cards, digital cameras, etc. It is hard to say whether this software can successfully restore the overwritten data. But it is worth a try.

sublogo of data recoveryWorkinTool Data Recovery Software

Best Lost File Recovery on Windows / Alternative Overwritten File Recovery Solution

  • Straightforward and intuitive interface.
  • Easy operation without expertise.
  • High recovery success rate.
  • Up to 500MB of free file recovery capacity.
  • Compatible with Windows 11/10/8/7.
  • Recover lost files in bulk with one click.

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workintool data recovery main page

📝How to Recover Overwritten Files without Previous Versions via WorkinTool

Step 1. Download and Launch WorkinTool Data Recovery software. And navigate to Deletion Recovery, select your drive, and press Scan Now to perform a quick scan. (If no desired files, go back to the home page and choose Deep Recovery to perform a deep scan.)

workintool deletion recovery

Step 2. On the result page, go to Deleted Files in the left navigation pane, and use the filter option on the upper right to look for your files by type, size, and date.

filter lost files

Step 3. After finding the files you wish to retrieve, click the checkbox, press Recover, and select a new path to save them.

recover overwritten files with workintool


How to Recover Replaced Files on Mac

Providing you have activated the Time Machine feature, recovering overwritten files on Mac can be simpler than on Windows. See the following steps to learn how to recover a file that is saved over on Mac.

recover overwritten files with time machine

Step 1. Open Time Machine on your computer.

Step 2. Go to the folder that contained the deleted file.

Step 3. Select a previous version from the Time Machine vault and click Restore.

FAQs about Overwritten File Recovery

🤔How to Prevent Files being Accidentally Overwritten?

  • Make sure every file using the same extension has a unique name.
  • You can always save a copy after making changes to an existing file. And do not directly hit Save.
  • If you’ve accidentally lost or deleted a file from a drive, stop using the drive until you’ve performed a recovery.
  • Keep a regular backup of important files and folders in case of future loss.

🤨How to Recover Overwritten Files with no Previous Versions?

  • You can check if your backup drive or the software you use contains the original files.
  • If not, resort to data recovery software like WorkinTool Data Recovery. The possibility of overwritten file recovery depends. But it is lossless to have a try.

😮How to Recover a File Replaced by Another File with the Same Name?

  • You can check if the file maker, like Word, Excel, or PPT, has a history backup feature. Some software supports enables users to restore saved-over files with their cloud backup.
  • You can also restore the replaced file to its previous versions using the File History tool on Windows or the Time Machine feature on Mac if they are enabled.
  • The recovery becomes tricky if you have not turned them on in advance. But you can try third-party file recovery software services like WorkinTool Data Recovery to undo the overwritten files.
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