How to Recover Unsaved Excel Files {UPDATED 2024}

If you have lost your important Excel file, getting it back is easy only if you have backups. However, two things can happen if you forget to make a backup. 

One in which the file is there, but your most recent changes are not saved. You may access Excel, locate your file, and get it by heading to the document recovery pane. 

The other situation is when you fail to save the complete file. Go to the files tab and select Recover unsaved workbooks in this scenario. 

How to Recover Unsaved Excel Files

If this explanation was insufficient to assist you with recovering your Excel file, we have got you covered! 

In this article, we will provide a step-by-step to recover your unsaved Excel files with reliable and tested methods. 

With that, jump into the article and recover your unsaved file now!

3+ Methods To Recover Unsaved Excel Files

If you accidentally lost your unsaved Excel file, the methods below will help you recover it.

Note here that all the methods mentioned below are trusted and reliable, so you can count on us!

On that note, let’s get into the details below!

Method 1. Go To Unsaved Workbooks

Most of the time, your Excel work gets saved in your background, even if you don’t save it yourself. Hence, you can recover your unsaved Excel file by going to the unsaved workbooks.

Open Excel and follow these steps to recover your unsaved file.

Step1. Go to the left-hand side menu and click on “Open.”

Step2. Click on browse and go to workbooks.

Step3. Click on Recover unsaved workbooks at the bottom of the screen.

Step4. Select your desired file from the list.

You will see all the unsaved files from the list, and you can recover your file. However, there is no guarantee that you will find your unsaved file in the unsaved workbooks.

Method 2. Use Document Recovery Pane

If you were not able to save the new changes you did in your Excel file, then you don’t have to worry since your existing file will be saved in the workbook. 

Therefore, you can recover the unsaved draft by going to Excel and following the steps below.

Step1. Press “Open” on the left-hand side menu.

Step2. Select the file you couldn’t save.

Step3. The Document Recovery Pane will appear on the left side. Find your desired file there and save it.

In some cases, you might not find the document recovery pane available. Therefore trying the other methods is the only way to recover your unsaved file.

Method 3. Use AutoRecover 

If you lost your Excel file when your laptop crashed, then make sure you turn on AutoRecover to save your file automatically. 

Go to Excel and follow the below steps to understand this process briefly.

Step1. Click on “Files” and press “Options” on the left side of the menu.

Step2. The Excel option windows will appear. Click on “Save”.

Step3. Check the “Save auto recover information every” option and set the number of minutes according to your convenience.

Using AutoRecover will help you save your work in the background, so you don’t have to worry about losing your important files in any case.

Wrapping Up!

It is common to accidentally delete the files in your Excel before even getting a chance to save them. Whether it is a power cut or a glitch, it can make you panic when you accidentally delete the unsaved file. 

Fortunately, you can use the method we have mentioned above. 

To sum it up, you can recover your unsaved Excel file. However, it’s better to avoid this situation in the future by having a backup of your spreadsheet each time you save it with new changes. 

To do this, open Excel and open your desired file. Now click on the file and press “save as.” Click on browse to see the “save as” dialog box. Click on tools and press “ok” beside the always create a backup statement. Now you don’t have to worry about losing your unsaved file. 

With that, we hope you find this article helpful in recovering your unsaved Excel file. If you are stuck with any method, let us know in the comment section below!


1. How do I recover a file I replaced mistakenly?

To recover your replaced file, click on your file and select Restore previous versions. A list of previous versions of your files will appear on the screen where you recover them.

2. Does file history save everything?

No, Windows file cannot backup settings, history, and programs. However, it saves certain files like Videos, Music, Onedrive files, etc.

3. How to retrieve unsaved Excel files on Mac?

You can recover your unsaved Excel file on Mac by going to the unsaved documents folder, or you can go to the “Type” tab and follow these steps. 

  • Click on documents. 
  • Go to the XLS folder.
  • Search your file.
  • Launch Cinder data recovery.

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