How To Recover Unsaved Excel Files


Assume you had been working on an essential Excel workbook for hours and the system crashed. You have not saved this file before the system crashes and now all you can do is regret it. 

If it’s some data you can’t replicate, then you should know how to recover unsaved Excel files. I have to admit I’ve lost a lot of data over the years before I knew how to recover files. Once I learned how to recover excel unsaved files, I made sure I keep all my data safe.  

Therefore, I will be sharing how to recover unsaved Excel files in this blog. 

How To Configure The Auto Recovery Settings In The Excel?

  • Visit the “File” tab and then tap on “Options”.
  • Then tap on the “Save” option on the left in the Excel dialog box.
  • Thereafter search for the ‘Save AutoRecover information every’ checkbox option. It will present a value of “10 minutes”, but you can optimize it accordingly.
  • Now tap on the “ AutoSave OneDrive and SharePoint Online files by default in Excel”. This option will save your files every few seconds.
  • Then tap on the “OK” tab. 

After the above setting, your work will be saved after every 10 minutes and you will be able to access all the files after a crash. But you must save your file once as an Excel document.

In the next part of the blog, I will present all the details about how to recover unsaved excel files. This will definitely help you to recover your unsaved data in Excel. 

How To Recover Unsaved Excel files?

Here are some steps which can be helpful to you in recovering unsaved Excel files. These steps are given below:

  • Click on the file tab and then tap on “Open”.
  • After that click on the “Recent Workbook” option.
  • Now, click on the “Recover Unsaved Workbooks” button.
  • Then search for your lost file and select it.
  • This document will open in Excel and now click on the “Save As” button.

How To Recover The Overwritten Excel Files?

If you have been using Excel 2010 or 2013, then you can easily detect and recover an older version of the document. It is essential to match your document with the old version of the document for correcting your document.

 The process to recover the overwritten files is given below:

  • Tap on the file option and click on it.
  • Thereafter tap on the “Manage Version”. Here you will see all the versions that were auto-saved by your Excel.

You can see these autosaved versions of the file until you save the file. Once the current version of the file has been saved, all the prior autosaved versions will disappear. If you want to save them you must take the backup of the file.

How to Save A Backup of An Excel File?

If you make a backup of the excel file, you can use older versions to correct your mistakes. Therefore you must click on the save button from time to time. 

Here are some steps to take a backup in Excel 2010 and 2013. these steps are given below:

  • First, visit the “File” tab and then tap on the “Save As” button.
  • Then click on the “Browser tab”.
  • On the save as window click on the “Tools” option. Then select “General Options”.
  • After that, you must click on the “Always Create Backup” tab in the new window. 

After that every new Excel file that you will create, it will be automatically saved as a backup file. But this backup excel file has a different extension- .xlk.


There are many people who are facing difficulties to recover unsaved Excel files because of the lack of technicalities of Excel. Therefore after reading this guide they can easily detect their unsaved files. 

In this guide, I have presented all the steps regarding how to recover unused Excel files with an easy explanation.