How to Recover Unsaved Excel Files

Microsoft Excel, a spreadsheet software that is part of the Microsoft Office suite, has become one of our office’s most important resources. Calculations, graphs, and statistical analysis are all popular Excel applications.

recover unsaved excel file

The irritating thing is that by using Excel, there can be some mistakes. The most common mistake is for users to close and delete an Excel file without saving it.

Furthermore, an unanticipated occurrence, such as a system crash, a power outage, or a Microsoft Office internal malfunction, shuts down Excel so quickly that you don’t have time to save your Excel data.

You can restore an Excel file at any time if you have backed it up in a different location. However, it’s possible that you didn’t make a backup in advance. And if this is the case, don’t give up; you can still recover unsaved Excel files.

Microsoft Excel has two useful features for recovering unsaved Excel files: AutoSave and AutoRecover, both of which are switched on by design.

Every 10 minutes, AutoSave creates a copy of the updated Excel file, while AutoRecover allows you to revert to the last saved version using the Document Recovery pane the next time you open Excel.

You may also use the data recovery tool – Recoverit Pro to recover unsaved excel files for free.

In this guide, you’ll learn how to recover unsaved excel files.

How to Recover Unsaved Excel Files

1. Configure AutoRecover Feature

To start, go to File > Options > Save and check the boxes for both Save AutoRecover details every 10 minutes and Keep the last autosaved version if you close without saving.

Then, to find unsaved Excel files, follow the steps below.

Step 1: Open Excel once more. The heading Recovered will appear. Then select Display Recovered Files from the drop-down menu.

Step 2: A new spreadsheet with a Document Recovery panel will open in Excel. Select the file that hasn’t been saved from the list and then restore it.

2. Recover Unsaved Excel Files from Temporary Files

Microsoft Office stores temporary files as backups on occasion. These files may also be used to restore unsaved excel files.

Here’s how you can:

Step 1: First, head over to the File tab and click on Open. Then choose Recent Workbooks from the drop-down menu.

Step 2: Go to the bottom of the page and press Recover Unsaved Workbooks. The Document Recovery panel will appear, with many unsaved files; double-click the appropriate files to open them.

Step 3: Save the file to the desired location by clicking Save As.

You can also go to File > info > Manage Workbooks > Recovery unsaved Workbooks, open the missing files, and save them to a secure location instead of using temporary files. If you’ve saved several files, you’ll notice that under Manage Workbooks, you’ll see several auto-saved copies with dates. Compare the changes by clicking on one of them.

When you save a file in Microsoft Excel, you can choose to have it automatically backup. To make one, go to File > Save as > Browse > Tools > General Options, check Always build back up, and OK, then save your files where you want them. It will be saved with the .xlk file extension by default.

3. Recover Unsaved Excel Files via Recoverit Pro

If none of the above approaches work, you can try Recoverit Pro. This is a professional data recovery tool for Windows 10/8/7/Vista/XP that allows you to restore Excel files from all data loss scenarios. It has a user-friendly interface that makes it simple to use. How it can be used has been mentioned below.

Step 1: Download and install Recoverit Pro. Select Deleted Files Recovery from the drop-down menu.

Step 2: Click Start after selecting the position where your Excel files were saved for scanning.

Step 3: The fast scan results will be shown easily. If you can’t find your unsaved Excel files, run a deep search with All-Around Recovery.

Step 4: After running a deep scan, locate and pick the Excel file you want to recover, then press Recover.

It takes a long time to recover unsaved Excel files, and there is no guarantee. At the same time, Microsoft Excel’s auto-backup feature only allows you to back up a single file. As a result, you can use a free but professional backup program to perform routine file backups.

There are many third-party software available on the market that help you to recover lost files quickly and it also helps you to recover files, such as Word documents, Excel files, music files, pictures, audios, and so on.

It also acts with a variety of backup storage options, including external/internal hard discs, cloud drives, NAS computers, and the network, among others. This third-party software has full backup, incremental backup, and single differential backup are all supported backup forms which help you to recover all types of files.

AOMEI Backupper Standard is one of the standard third software available which helps you to recover all types of files which are accidentally or lost due to some other reasons.


It’s important to back up excel files in advance, and this isn’t limited to this. Any files that are valuable to you, such as images, music files, videos, and so on, should be backed up. Overall, recovering Excel files, even though you forget to save them, is a breeze. All you have to do now is relax and follow the steps mentioned above for you.

Also Read:

Posted by
Dharmesh Donda

iStaunch is written by Dharmesh Donda, an avid Internet geek, IT professional since 2012. Have been in IT industry for more than a decade, and currently doing management and consulting work have taken a plunge into entrepreneurship.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.