[5 Fixes] Excel File Has Been Moved Renamed Or Deleted Error

Receiving the following error message: “sorry we couldn’t find your file was it moved renamed or deleted” each time you are trying to open your Excel file?

Well after the occurrence of this Excel file has been moved renamed or deleted error you won’t be unable to open your Excel file.

To fix sorry we couldn’t find your file is it possible it was moved, renamed, or deleted error and to regain access to your Excel file. Just try out the fixes mentioned in this blog post.

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What Causes Sorry We Couldn’t Find Your Excel File Error?

Following are the reasons behind Excel file has been moved renamed or deleted error.

  • The Excel filename is more than 250 character length.
  • Your OneDrive is permanently or often syncing.
  • Problem is with the Excel Spreadsheet having macros, linked cells, and buttons or it is linked to a specific worksheets.
  • This error mainly occurs in Excel when you are trying to download a CSV file. May be the reason is that; in Excel you have enabled the option of automatically open the downloaded CSVs file.

How To Fix Sorry We Couldn’t Find Your File Was It Moved Renamed Or Deleted Error?

Sorry We Couldn't Find Your File Was It Moved Renamed Or Deleted Error

1# Disable The Automatic Opening Of Excel File

Shut down the Excel application and after that disable the automatic opening of Excel file in your web browser.

After disabling the Excel file from being opened automatically, now you can download your file. After that rename the long Excel file name and then try to open it one more time.

To catch more detail on How to prevent files from opening automatically in Excel.

2# Fix Problem Having Linked cells, Buttons, Macros 

Problem is with the Excel workbook having linked cells, buttons, macros or it is linked to specific Excel worksheets.

When you are working in your Excel spreadsheet using the cloud, and then following features seem unavailable. These are the limitation from the Microsoft Office.

  • Linked cells between the Excel spreadsheets.
  • Certain features, such as macros and buttons.
  • Making links to specific worksheets in Excel spreadsheet.

If you don’t need any link exchange between Excel spreadsheet then deleting the linked values will fix the error.

If only the link is needed but its reference value doesn’t needs to get updated automatically then you can make changes in the start-up setting of your workbook. Doing this will ignore the link.

  • In your Excel workbook select the link and now from the Excel ribbon tap on the Data.
  • Hit the Edit Links> Startup Prompt button.


  • Select the “Don’t display the alert and don’t update automatic links”.
  • Press the OK button to save all the done changes.

edit-links-startup-prompt 1

  • When the next time you will open your workbook you are asked to open the link.


If you need to update the link automatically then do this manually from the Edit links option. Apart from that keep your linked workbook open in the Co-edit mode for updating the values.

3# Delete The .lnk Folder via Registry Editor

To fix Excel sorry we couldn’t find your file. was it moved renamed or deleted error you need to delete the .ink folder related with the programs through the registry editor.

After the deletion, operating system will recreate it.

Note: wrong tampering of the file from windows registry leads to corruption of the operating system. This also results in system failure.

So, perform these steps at your own risk.

  • Hit the Windows + R button from your keyboard and this will open the run dialog box. In which you have to type the regedit text and then press the OK button.

Adjust Registry

  • Now visit the following location: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\\Software\\Microsoft\\Windows\\CurrentVersion\\Explorer\\FileExts\\.lnk 
  • Search for the subfolder having the name UserChoice.

Delete The .lnk Folder

  • After that delete the subfolder and then reboot your system.

4# Your OneDrive Is Often Or Permanently Syncing

Sorry we couldn’t find your Excel file error is also rendered when your OneDrive is either permanently or often syncing.

Mostly this situation arises when anyone tries to open Excel documents via OneDrive and you are syncing multiple numbers of Excel files.

Or the Excel file you are selecting for syncing is very large in size.


Following are the fixes that you can apply to immediately fix the above problem:

  • From the Windows taskbar notification area press the blue or white color OneDrive cloud icon.


  • You need to make a tap over Show hidden icons arrow present next to notification area this will show you the OneDrive icon.

OneDrive Is Often Or Permanently Syncing 1

  • Hit the Help & Settings>Settings.

OneDrive Is Often Or Permanently Syncing 2

  • From the settings of Microsoft OneDrive, choose the Office.

OneDrive Is Often Or Permanently Syncing 3

Note: If you are unable to see the Office tab, and using MS Office with school or work account, then your IT administrator has these privilege to control these settings.

  • Unselect the “Use Office applications to sync Office files that I open” option.
  • Tap to the OK button to save all the change done in the setting.

5# Scan For System Errors With System File Checker

System File Checker (SFC) is the best inbuilt tool to fix any type of Windows system related problems. In order to use it, just follow the below given steps:

  • Go to system start button and in the search box type cmd or Command Prompt.

  • Make a right click over the command prompt icon and then choose the option Run it as administrator.

run cmd

  • In the opened cmd window type the following text: sfc /scannow and press the Enter button.

Use System File Checker

  • Wait until the whole process gets over. Also follow the upcoming on-screen instructions.

How Do You Find An Excel File That Was Moved Or Deleted?

Method 1# Recovery From Recycle Bin

Chances are also that your Excel file is deleted from the original folder. In such case windows shift your Excel file into the recycle bin. Well in such case data recovery is become so easy. For the recovery of deleted excel sheets, here are the steps that you need to follow:

  • Double tap the Recycle Bin icon to open it.
  • Here you have to search for the file/data you are looking for.
  • Make a right-click on the file and then hit the Restore option to retrieve Excel files back.

recover deleted excel sheet from recycle bin

  • Your Excel files will go directly into the folder where it is previously present.

[NOTE]: After completing this step you can easily access your Excel data. But be careful because this solution is not applicable in case of permanent file deletion.

So if you have permanently deleted the data from recycle bin then try our next solution to recover permanently deleted Excel files.

Method 2# Use The Restore Function 

Using the windows backup restore function you can easily recover permanently deleted Excel files. It is the default option present in your system.

  • Go to folder location in which your Excel file is present.
  • Make a right-click on the folder and choose the Restore Previous Versions option.

Restoring Excel Files From Previous Version

After this you will see that multiple versions are saved by the Windows.

  • Choose your file’s latest version.
  • At the end choose the restore It will recover deleted Excel file.

Recover Lost Excel File With Restore Previous Version Option 1

Another method involves is using the System Restore function. Following steps you need to perform:

  • Hit on the Control Panel.
  • Tap to the “System and Security” option. If you are unable to find this tab then look for the search tab.

restore from control panel---1

  • on the left hand side there is list of options present, from which you have to tap the “System Protection” option.

restore from control panel---2

  • This will open a Pop-Up window of system properties. In this window switch to the System Protection tab and hit the System Restore button.

restore from control panel---3

  • Hit the ‘Next’ option and then select the restore point from where you want to bring back your file.

restore from control panel---4

[NOTE]: Make sure that you won’t choose any older restore point. As doing this will make changes in the system files.

Method 3# Best Software To Recover Deleted/Lost/Corrupted Excel File

If you guys looking for some effortless and guaranteed solution of extracting data from Excel file then you must try the Excel File Recovery Tool.

As, this is the easiest way to repair corrupted, inaccessible, and damaged Excel files. Excel File Recovery Tool is a professional recommended tool to repair corrupt Excel file xls/xlsx, as it is capable to solve and fix multiple Excel workbook errors and issues.

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It also restores entire data including the charts, worksheet properties cell comments, and other data. It is too easy to use and support all Excel versions.

Wrap Up:

So, this is all about how you can fix can’t open this item it might have been moved renamed or deleted error.

It is estimated that after following the aforementioned solutions you are able to fix Excel file has been moved renamed or deleted issue.

To get more detail on several other Excel errors visit our Fix Excel Error section.

Margret Arthur is an entrepreneur & content marketing expert. She writes tech blogs and expertise on MS Office, Excel, and other tech subjects. Her distinctive art of presenting tech information in easy to understand language is very impressive. When not writing, she loves unplanned travels.