[Solved] How to See Recent Excel Files in Windows?

Do you know how to see Recent Excel files? Are Excel Recent files not showing in Taskbar? Check out this article, the 2 methods for quickly getting the list of last or current opened Excel files for you.


By Lori / Updated on April 2, 2024

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How to see Recent Excel files?

"Hey everyone! Quick one - I’m using Excel 2019 on my Windows 10 laptop. Usually, I can see Recent files under 'File,' but it's not showing up now. Did I mess up some settings or is there a shortcut I'm missing? How can I activate that back, please?

- Question from Microsoft Community

Typically, after users create, edit, and modify files using Microsoft Excel and click Save, they can easily access them at the same path/location at any time. However, there are many users who encounter similar problems as above.

Excel File

For example, a group of users don't know the Excel Recent file’s location, and some don't know how to see Recent Excel files in Taskbar.

If you also have this issue of Excel Recent files not showing in Windows 11/10 and want to find them. This article can offer you 2 ways and some useful information about unsaved, overwritten, or damaged Excel files.

Why Can’t I See Recent Excel Files?

Microsoft Office programs display several of the files you recently opened in so that you can use those links to quickly access the files. This feature is turned on by default, and you can easily see Recent Excel files. But if you can’t see Recent Excel files, it may be due to the following reasons:

Reason 1. Turn the feature off. You will not be able to quickly find the Excel Recent files location.

Reason 2. Clear, reduce, or adjust the number of files displayed.

Reason 3. Sometimes, you may remove certain Excel files in your recently used list or delete them from Windows.

  • You may go to File > Open > Recent. And right-click the Recent Excel files listed there.

Recent Excel Files

  • Select Remove from List.

How to See Recent Excel Files? (2 Simple Ways)

For the above reasons, there are two methods below to help you solve it.

Fix 1. Customize the List of Recently Used Files

Usually, the Microsoft Recent feature is enabled Excel by default. However, some users disable it or reduce the number of files that it displays to enhance the program's performance.

If you’re Recent Excel files not showing up in the Taskbar due to these settings, you can easily increase or show the number of Recent Workbooks by following these steps.

Step 1. Press Win + E to quickly access the Excel. Then, go to File > Options > Advanced > Display and choose Show this number of Recent Workbooks.

Set Number

Step 2. Set the number of files that you want to display. After that, you can press Ctrl + O to enter the interface of Recent Workbooks directly to check whether your needed Excel file appears or not.

Bonus Tip: Recover Unsaved Excel Files in Windows 10/11

If your recent file is unsaved, you can recover unsaved Excel files with Microsoft’s built-in features. By default, Excel will automatically save your work every 10 minutes.

Step 1: Open a new Excel file. Click the File tab and select Open > Recent.

Step 2: Scroll down to the bottom and click the Recover Unsaved Workbooks option. It will help to recover Recent Excel file not saved.


Fix 2. Retrieve Recent Excel Files via MyRecover

Most users probably click Delete file and think that this just deletes Excel from the recently used list. Didn't know that this operation would cause data loss.

So, if you accidentally deleted your recently used Excel files permanently and can't find them in the recently opened files list. In this case, the best solution is to use professional data recovery software like MyRecover. It's efficient and saves a lot of effort in retrieving your lost files.

With its high success rate, you are able to find all the deleted or missing Excel files before data erasure. Key features of MyRecover:

Professional Excel Files Recovery Software
  • Recover 200+ formats: It is able to recover deleted Microsoft Word, Excel, PPT, PDF, PPTX, JPG, PNG, MP4, MOV, MP3, CDA, 7Z, ZIP, MSG, EML, and more.
  • Advanced scanning method: It runs Quick Scan & Deep Scan automatically to search all the recoverable files. You can pause, filter, and preview during the scanning process.
  • Support NTFS, exFAT, FAT32, and ReFS file systems and Windows 7, 8, 10, 11, etc.

So how to recover recently deleted Excel files without backups? Just free download MyRecover on your Windows and follow the steps below.

Step 1. Run MyRecover on your PC. Hover the mouse over the drive saved recent Excel files before, and click Scan.


Step 2. During the scanning, you could use the Search Box or the Filter feature to quickly locate the Excel files you want.


Step 3. Select the Excel files you want to recover and click Recover x files.


Step 4. Choose a new location for the recovered data and click Select Folder to confirm. The Recent Excel file recovery process will take a few minutes or longer, depending on the amount of data you're recovering.

Select New Location

  • You can recover up to 500MB of Excel files for free. If you need more, consider upgrading to advanced editions for unlimited data recovery.

Important: 3 Useful Data Loss Prevention Tips

No recovery is guaranteed every time you lose data. For added security, you could do:

  • Enable AutoSave and AutoRecover in your Microsoft Office.
  • Make good use of Windows features like Previous Versions for files/ folders backup.
  • Use this free backup software for WindowsAOMEI Backupper to back up Excel files, folders, partitions, disks, or the system daily, weekly, or monthly.


How to find Recent Excel files in Windows 10?
Open File Explorer (Win + E) and click on Quick access, expand the Recent section to see Excel files. If you face the File Explorer Quick access missing problem. You could fix it first.
How to recover overwritten Excel files in Windows 11?
You can recover overwritten Excel files easily. If you’ve enabled Previous Versions or the AutoSave feature. These features will save a copy of your Excel files automatically.
How to repair corrupted Excel files in Windows?
To repair corrupted Excel files, you may use the Microsoft built-in feature manually.

Step 1. Open Excel and go to Open Other Workbooks > Computer/This PC > Browse.

Step 2. Locate the folder saved corrupted excel files, and select it to repair.

Step 3. Click the icon▼next to the Open button, then select the "Open and Repair" option.

Step 4. Click the "Repair" button and then "Close" the window.
How to recover an Excel file after crash?
If you are not in the habit of backing up your files, then you can try some professional file recovery software like MyRecover and Windows File Recovery provided by Microsoft.
Why won't my computer open Excel files?
This issue may be caused by mismatched file extensions, problematic add-ins, broken file associations, and so on.

In the End

That’s all for how to see recent Excel files. With 2 simple and practical ways, you can easily find the Excel Recent files location. Also, if you open a Recent Excel file not saved and the file is permanently lost. You could use powerful data recovery software such as MyRecover can get Excel files back.

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Lori · Editor
Lori receives professional technical training since joining AOMEI, and aims at helping users troubleshoot problems on data recovery and protection. She focuses on simple, efficient and practical methods, and provides professional advice. Being able to help readers and users is her ultimate goal.