Three Easy Ways to Recover Unsaved Excel Files

April 25, 2019

This page contains three ways to recover unsaved Excel files. To avoid repeating the same unfortunate incident you can do regular backups with AOMEI Backupper Standard.

The need of recovering unsaved Excel files

Microsoft Excel, a spreadsheet program included in the Microsoft Office suite, has become one of the essential tools in our office. General uses of Excel include calculations, graphs and statistical analysis. However, the annoying thing is that there may be some accidents when using Excel.

Most commonly, users may accidentally close and delete an Excel file without saving. Besides, an unexpected event, like system crashes, power failure or Microsoft Office internal error shuts down Excel so quickly that you have no time to save your Excel files.

If you have backed up Excel file in different location, you can restore the file in time. But in truth you might not have made a backup in advance. Even if so, don't get discouraged, you still can recover unsaved Excel files.

How to recover unsaved Excel files?

When Excel files are lost, you’d better stop using Excel and Office related tools right away, as this may greatly reduce your chances to recover lost files. Then you can try following methods one by one until you get files back.

Solution 1. Retrieve unsaved Excel files with AutoRecover

Excel users are given two practical features to recover unsaved Excel files - AutoSave and AutoRecover. AutoSave makes an auto save for the modified Excel file every 10 minutes. AutoRecover allows you to return to the last saved version, which displays in the Document Recovery pane when you open Excel next time.

In general, Excel automatically turns on AutoSave and AutoRecover. To retrieve unsaved Excel files, you can follow these steps.

Step 1. Start Excel again. The Recovered heading will appear. Then choose Show Recovered Files.

Show Recovered Files

Step 2. Excel will open a new spreadsheet with a Document Recovery panel. Choose the unsaved file from the list and then recover it.

Document Recovery

Solution 2. Restore unsaved Excel files from temporary files

Microsoft Office occasionally saves temporary files as backups. Sometimes you can use these files to recover unsaved Excel files.

Step 1.Click File and Open subsequently. Then choose Recent Workbooks.

Recent Workbooks

Step 2. Scroll down to click Recover Unsaved Workbooks.

Recover Unsaved Workbooks

Step 3. Excel will open a window that may contain some unsaved files. Select the necessary file from the list and then double click the file to open it.

Step 4. Click Save As to save the file to the desired location.


Solution 3. Recover unsaved Excel files via Recoverit Pro

If the previous methods don’t work, then you can try Recoverit Pro. This is a professional data recovery tool that enables you to recover Excel files from all data loss scenarios in Windows 10/8/7/Vista/XP. This program has an intuitive interface, which makes it very easy to operate. Now, let’s see how it works.

Step 1. Install and open Recoverit Pro. Choose Deleted Files Recovery from the list.

Deleted Files Recovery

Step 2. Select the location where your Excel files were stored for scanning and then click Start.

Select Location

Step 3. The results from quick scan will be shown quickly. If you can't find your unsaved Excel files, please use All-Around Recovery to get a deep scan.


Step 4. After the deep scan, you can select the Excel file you want to restore and then click Recover.



  • You can filter files by using File modified date.

  • This method works well when you need to recover unsaved Excel file 2007.

Regular backups keep you away from data loss

Although you can recover unsaved Excel files without backups, the process is time-consuming. Taking a backup of Excel files makes it quite easy to revisit older versions. Therefore, it is necessary to do file backups regularly.

AOMEI Backupper Standard has been committed to helping people backup vital files such as Word documents, Excel files and so on. By using it, you are allowed to backup Excel files to external/internal hard drives, cloud drives, NAS devices, and network, etc. With the Schedule feature, you can set up an auto backup to run daily, weekly or monthly.

To save disk space, you can use its incremental and differential backup to copy changes only. System backup, disk backup and partition backup are also supported. The user-friendly interface and simple operation steps are also praised by many users. Above all, it’s free! Download this freeware (supports Windows 10/8.1/8/7/Vista/XP) if you like it.



An unexpected Excel shutdown can occur at any time. If you didn’t backup Excel files in advance, try to recover unsaved Excel files using the methods mentioned in article. After recovery, remember to perform a backup with AOMEI Backupper Standard just in case. Also, you can do an edition upgrade to enjoy more advanced features, for instance, encrypting backups to prevent unauthorized access.