How to Restore Excel File not Saved

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restore excel file not saved

It can be frustrating to try to get back an Excel file that wasn’t saved on a Windows PC. But there are easy steps you can take to get back tasks you didn’t save.

  • Click “Open” on the “File” tab to get started.
  • Locate the most recent Excel sheets and select them.
  • Select “Recover Unsaved Workbooks” from the list’s very end.
  • Select the Excel file you wish to open from the list and click “Open” to bring up the open dialogue box.  

How to Restore Excel File not Saved on Windows

We all encounter situations where we lose unsaved changes to important Excel files due to an abrupt program shutdown or our computer fails. It may feel like all our hard work is gone. Luckily there is a way you can try to recover lost Excel files.

Try exploring these Excel recovery methods in more detail:

Method 1: Try Using a Third-party Tool to Restore Excel File not Saved

Third-party data repair software can recover unsaved Excel files if integrated recovery features fail. Software like WinfrGUI is simple. This programme scans your hard disc for unsaved Excel files and recovers them. It supports CSV, Word, picture, and video files. WinfrGUI has procedures to recover unsaved files:

  • Start WinfrGUI on your computer and select the disk where the unsaved file is missing.
  • Click “Find Lost Information” and navigate to the Route & Type tab.
  • Select “Type” and “Unsaved Files”. This software will help you to recover Word, Excel, PPT and other unsaved files easily.
  • Select the target files and click “Preview” to view them. Restore unsaved files by clicking “Recover”.

Please avoid rewriting files in their original locations. You may also store rescued data to OneDrive or Google Drive.

WinfrGUI recovers inadvertently deleted or damaged Excel files. Make sure you read the online instructions for more information on how to get back deleted Excel files. Don’t forget to give this software to other people who want to get back lost files. 

Method 2: Restore Excel File not Saved from TEMP Folders

The temporary file serves as a backup, so if your unsaved Excel file is not in recovery, you may still be able to recover from the TEMP folder by following the steps below:

Go to path: C:\User[User Name]\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Office\UnsavedFiles

Another way you can use the following method:

  • Open Excel and click the File tab, then select “Information”.
  • Select “Manage workbooks” and click “Recover unsaved worksheets” from the dropdown menu.
  • Select the unsaved file, then click “Open” in the pop-up window. Select “Save as” to recover the file.

Method 3: Restore Excel File not Saved from AutoRecover

If your unsaved Excel file is not found in the recovery folder, Microsoft Office AutoSave may be able to help you find it. Follow the steps below:

  • Launch Excel and select File.
  • Select “Recover Unsaved Workbooks” in the open dialogue.
  • Double-click the missing Excel file to open it in Excel.
  • Click “Save as” to recover unsaved Excel files.

AutoRecover settings can be configured in Excel by clicking “Files”, “Options”, and “Save”. Adjust the automatic recovery length and reopen the saved Excel file to examine. 

Method 4: Restore Excel File not Saved from Document Recovery

If you saved prior Excel files but lost current modifications due to failure or power loss, the document recovery capability can find unsaved files.

  • Open Excel and find “Recovered”. Select “Show recovered files”.
  • The “Document Recovery” section shows unsaved files. Open and save the desired file.

Method 5: Recover previous versions of unsaved Excel files

If you mistakenly deleted or modified an Excel file and want to return to a previous version, you can use the file history property.

  • Navigate to your files in Windows Explorer
  • Right-click on the file and select “Previous Version” to access the previously saved version.

Please note that this option only works if you enable the file history and create a recovery point.

Understand the common reason for unsaved Excel files

Losing important Excel data can have a huge impact on your business. The data is critical for knowing decisions and losing it because deleting errors, unintentional formatting, corruption or rewrite can be dangerous. However, there are ways to recover unsaved Excel files.

  • Accidental deletion: A common reason for data loss is the accidental removal of an Excel file. If you follow the steps, you can recover the lost Excel sheet.
  • Files may be inaccessible due to accidental formatting. However, quick recovery can typically recover formatted files.
  • Excel Damage: The collapse of Excel files can occur during storage or transfer, causing them to be corrupted and unreadable. While slightly or moderately corrupted files can be repaired, severely damaged files may require backup recovery.
  • Excel Overwriting: Overwrite occurs when a file is replaced by a new one, resulting in the loss of the original data. Recovering overwritten Excel files can be a challenge, especially without a professional data recovery service.


Final note: Excel can organise and analyse data, but data loss can occur. If you close a workbook without saving it or if your machine fails, Excel’s auto recovery feature may help. Enabling automatic saving, storing your workbook regularly, creating backups and storing files in multiple formats is a necessary precaution to avoid unsaved Excel file problems. Remember to enable auto-saving and familiarize yourself with the recovery file location for best data protection.