How To Recover Any Unsaved Or Overwritten Microsoft Excel Files

Has your system ever crashed or have you ever closed an unsaved file while working on an important sheet or preparing reports? Did you have to start all over again? It is very frustrating if you have to start over. Don’t worry! We have a solution.

There are ways to recover unsaved or overwritten excel files, you might not get the file the way it was the last you saw it, but it is way better than starting from the scratch, isn’t it?

1. Recovering Unsaved Excel Workbooks

  • You need to check, what recent files are available, for that, Open an excel sheet, go to File > Open and select Recen
  • At the bottom of the screen, locate the Recover Unsaved Workbooks button:Unsaved workbook
  • Click the button and you’ll get a list of unsaved files.Unsaved files

If you are lucky enough, you will get the most recent version of your file. Don’t forget to save it before working on it.

2. Restore Previous Versions From File History

If you were not able to recover your files by the first method, there can be another way to recover your overwritten Excel documents. If you’ve enabled File History in Windows, you can use that to find old versions. Follow these steps –

Note: If you’ve enabled File History, follow these steps –

  • Locate your file in Windows Explorer.
  • Right-click the file and select Restore previous versionsRestore files
  • A window will appear, and you’ll see any previous versions that you can restore.

3. Recovering Excel Files When Using macOS

When you forget to save an excel file on Mac and suddenly it crashes, what to do? Follow these steps to recover the file:

Got to Finder-> Users > > Library > Application Support > Microsoft > Office > Office 2011 AutoRecovery

Note: If you are unable to find  Library folder in the user folder, you’ll need to show hidden files.

  • First, enter the following command into the terminal:

defaults write AppleShowAllFiles YES

  • Go to Finder and click Option + Right-click the Finder icon and select Relaunch.

Note: There is another way to locate the Auto Recovery folder, open Terminal and type this:

open /Users//Library/Application\ Support/Microsoft/Office/Office\ 2011\ AutoRecovery

Check your Office version, before performing the steps, as you may need to go to a different folder. Excel 2016, for example, saves files in ~/Library/Containers/

Once you get your files, save them before start working on them.

These are a few ways to recover any unsaved or overwritten Microsoft Excel files. These methods are only available for limited amount of time, as Excel doesn’t keep these files for long.

So it is better to create a backup of files so that you don’t lose your precious data and keep saving the work as for whether it’s Windows or Mac, it can crash.

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