6 Effective Ways to Fix Accidentally Closed Excel Without Saving Issue

Avatar for Alison
By  
accidentally closed excel without saving

Accidentally closing Excel without saving your work can be a frustrating experience, especially when you’ve put in considerable time and effort into your spreadsheet. Whether it’s due to a sudden power outage, system crash, or simply hitting the wrong key combination, losing unsaved changes in Excel can lead to data loss and wasted productivity. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore six effective ways to fix the accidentally closed Excel without saving issue, helping you recover your precious data and prevent future mishaps.

6 Methods to Fix Accidentally Closed Excel Without Saving Issue

1. WinfrGUI: Recovering Unsaved Excel Files

Accidentally closing Excel without saving can be a dreadful experience, but fret not, as WinfrGUI comes to the rescue. This tool specializes in recovering unsaved files efficiently. Here’s how you can use it:

  • Download and install WinfrGUI from the official website.
  • Launch the program and select the drive where your Excel file was located.
  • Click on “Scan” to initiate the scanning process.
  • Once the scan is complete, navigate to the location where your Excel file was saved.
  • Select the file and click on “Recover” to retrieve your unsaved Excel document.

Except for Retrieving Excel File, it also helps to recover an unsaved word document.

2. AutoSave Feature in Excel

Excel offers a built-in AutoSave feature that can help prevent data loss in case of accidental closures. Follow these steps to enable AutoSave:

  • Open Excel and click on “File” in the top left corner.
  • Select “Options” from the menu.
  • In the Excel Options dialog box, click on “Save” in the left sidebar.
  • Check the box next to “AutoSave OneDrive and SharePoint Online files by default on Excel” to enable AutoSave.
  • Choose the frequency at which you want Excel to autosave your documents.
  • Click “OK” to save your changes.

3. Recovering from Temporary Files

When Excel crashes or is closed without saving, it often creates temporary files that can be recovered. Here’s how to retrieve your unsaved Excel document from temporary files:

  • Open File Explorer and navigate to the following location: C:\Users\\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Office\UnsavedFiles.
  • Look for files with the .xlsx extension, which correspond to your unsaved Excel documents.
  • Copy the temporary file to a safe location.
  • Change the file extension from .xlsx to .xls or .xlsx, depending on the Excel version you’re using.
  • Open the file in Excel to recover your unsaved work.

4. Excel Document Recovery

Excel itself provides a built-in feature for recovering unsaved documents. Follow these steps to utilize this feature:

  • Open Excel and click on “File” in the top left corner.
  • Select “Info” from the menu.
  • Click on “Manage Workbook” and then choose “Recover Unsaved Workbooks.”
  • In the Open dialog box, locate and select your unsaved Excel file.
  • Click “Open” to recover the document.

5. Third-Party Data Recovery Software

In addition to built-in features, third-party data recovery software can also be a lifesaver when it comes to recovering accidentally closed Excel files without saving. Follow these general steps when using such software:

  • Download and install a reputable data recovery tool such as Recuva, EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard, or Stellar Data Recovery.
  • Launch the software and select the drive where your Excel file was located.
  • Initiate a deep scan to search for deleted or unsaved files.
  • Once the scan is complete, preview the recovered files and select your Excel document for recovery.
  • Follow the prompts to save the file to a secure location.

6. Utilizing AutoRecover Feature

Excel includes an AutoRecover feature that automatically saves your work at regular intervals, providing a safety net in case of unexpected closures. Here’s how to make the most of this feature:

  • Open Excel and click on “File” in the top left corner.
  • Select “Options” from the menu.
  • In the Excel Options dialog box, click on “Save” in the left sidebar.
  • Check the box next to “Save AutoRecover information every X minutes” and set the desired time interval.
  • Click “OK” to apply the changes.

By implementing these methods, you can effectively tackle the issue of accidentally closing Excel without saving and minimize the risk of data loss. Remember to regularly save your work and utilize the available recovery options to safeguard your important documents.

Understanding the Issue: Accidentally Closed Excel Without Saving

Accidentally closing Excel without saving can be a frustrating experience, often leading to the loss of valuable work. Understanding why this happens can help prevent such mishaps in the future. Below, we explore three common causes of accidentally closing Excel without saving.

1. Lack of Autosave Feature Activation

One of the primary reasons for losing unsaved Excel data is the absence of the autosave feature. Without this feature enabled, Excel does not automatically save your work at regular intervals. Therefore, if you accidentally close the program without manually saving your file, all unsaved changes will be lost. To activate the autosave feature in Excel:

  • Navigate to the “File” tab in Excel.
  • Select “Options” from the menu.
  • In the Excel Options dialog box, choose “Save” from the left-hand menu.
  • Check the box next to “Save AutoRecover information every X minutes” and set your preferred time interval.
  • Click “OK” to apply the changes.

By activating the autosave feature, Excel will automatically save your work at the specified intervals, minimizing the risk of data loss due to accidental closure.

2. Unintentional Keystrokes or Mouse Clicks

Another common cause of accidentally closing Excel without saving is unintentional keystrokes or mouse clicks. This can happen when working on multiple tasks simultaneously or when navigating between different windows. Accidentally pressing the “Close” button or using keyboard shortcuts to close Excel without saving can lead to data loss. To prevent this:

  • Be mindful of your keystrokes and mouse clicks while working in Excel.
  • Avoid using keyboard shortcuts for closing applications unless necessary.
  • Consider using the “Minimize” or “Maximize” buttons instead of the “Close” button to reduce the risk of accidental closure.

By exercising caution and being aware of your actions, you can minimize the chances of inadvertently closing Excel without saving your work.

3. Technical Issues or System Crashes

Technical issues or system crashes can also result in the accidental closure of Excel without saving. Power outages, software glitches, or hardware failures can abruptly terminate the Excel program, causing all unsaved changes to be lost. To mitigate the impact of technical issues:

  • Save your Excel work frequently, especially when working on critical tasks.
  • Enable the autosave feature and set it to save your work at regular intervals.
  • Consider using external backup solutions or cloud storage to safeguard your Excel files against unexpected system failures.

By proactively addressing technical vulnerabilities and implementing preventive measures, you can minimize the risk of losing valuable Excel data due to system-related issues.

In summary, accidentally closing Excel without saving can occur due to various reasons, including the lack of autosave feature activation, unintentional keystrokes or mouse clicks, and technical issues or system crashes. By understanding these causes and implementing preventive measures, you can protect your Excel files from unexpected data loss incidents.

FAQ of Accidentally Closed Excel Without Saving

Q1. What should I do if I accidentally closed Excel without saving my work?

If you’ve inadvertently closed Excel without saving your work, don’t panic. First, check if Excel has an auto-recovery feature enabled. Launch Excel again and look for any prompt or option to recover unsaved files. If you find such an option, follow the prompts to recover your unsaved work.

If the auto-recovery feature doesn’t help, try searching for temporary files on your computer. In many cases, Excel creates temporary files as you work, which may contain some or all of your unsaved data. Search your system for files with the “.tmp” extension or search specifically in the temporary folders where Excel typically saves such files. Once found, open these files in Excel to recover your unsaved work.

Q2. Is there a way to prevent accidental closure of Excel without saving in the future?

Yes, several measures can help prevent accidentally closing Excel without saving your work. Firstly, enable Excel’s AutoSave feature, which periodically saves your work as you go along. You can find this option in the Excel settings or preferences menu. Additionally, get into the habit of manually saving your work frequently by using the Ctrl + S (Cmd + S on Mac) shortcut.

Consider enabling Excel’s prompt to save changes before closing feature. This prompts you to save your work if you attempt to close Excel with unsaved changes. Lastly, consider using cloud storage solutions like OneDrive or Google Drive, which often have built-in version control and automatic saving features, reducing the risk of data loss due to accidental closures.

Q3. Can I recover unsaved Excel files on a Mac?

Yes, you can recover unsaved Excel files on a Mac using similar methods as on a Windows PC. First, check if Excel’s auto-recovery feature is enabled and follow the prompts to recover unsaved files upon relaunching Excel. If this doesn’t work, search for temporary files on your Mac using Finder. Look for files with the “.tmp” extension or search in the temporary folders where Excel typically saves such files.

Alternatively, you can check the “Autorecovery” folder within the “Microsoft User Data” folder in your Documents directory. This folder may contain temporary copies of your unsaved Excel files. If you find the file you need, open it in Excel to recover your unsaved work.

Q4. I accidentally closed Excel without saving, and the auto-recovery feature didn’t work. What else can I try?

If the auto-recovery feature didn’t work, there are still a few options to try. Firstly, check if Excel created a temporary file during your session. Search your system for files with the “.tmp” extension or look in the temporary folders where Excel typically saves such files.

If that doesn’t yield results, consider checking your recycle bin or trash. Sometimes, Excel temporarily saves files there before they’re permanently deleted. If you find your file, restore it to its original location and open it in Excel to recover your work.

Q5. Can I retrieve unsaved Excel files if I closed the program without saving and my computer shut down unexpectedly?

In case of an unexpected shutdown, there’s still a chance to retrieve your unsaved Excel files. When you reopen Excel, it might prompt you to recover unsaved files due to the unexpected shutdown. Follow the prompts to recover your unsaved work.

If this doesn’t happen, you can still try searching for temporary files on your computer. Look for files with the “.tmp” extension or search in the temporary folders where Excel typically saves such files. Additionally, check your recycle bin or trash for any temporary files Excel might have placed there before the shutdown. If you find your file, open it in Excel to recover your work.

Conclusion

Accidentally closing Excel without saving can be a frustrating experience, but with the right strategies and tools, you can effectively recover your lost data and prevent future mishaps. By utilizing features like AutoRecover, AutoSave, and regular backups, you can safeguard your important Excel files and minimize the risk of data loss. Remember to act swiftly and methodically when faced with the accidentally closed Excel without saving issue to maximize your chances of successful data recovery.