6 Effective Ways to Restore Excel File Not Saved

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Losing unsaved Excel files can be a nightmare, especially when you’ve put hours of work into them. In this guide, we’ll explore six effective methods to restore Excel files that were not saved, ensuring you never lose valuable data again.

6 Ways to Restore Excel File Not Saved

1. WinfrGUI: Efficient File Recovery Tool

Losing an unsaved Excel file can be a nightmare, but fret not! WinfrGUI comes to the rescue with its user-friendly interface and powerful file recovery capabilities.

Have you accidentally closed Excel without saving? Don’t panic. WinfrGUI is your go-to solution. Here’s how to use it effectively:

  • Download and Install WinfrGUI: Begin by downloading WinfrGUI from its official website and follow the installation instructions.
  • Launch the Application: Once installed, launch WinfrGUI on your system.
  • Select Drive: Choose the drive where your Excel file was located before it got unsaved.
  • Scan for Lost Files: Initiate the scanning process to search for lost Excel files.
  • Preview and Recover: After scanning, preview the found Excel files and select the one you need to restore.
  • Restore Excel File Not Saved: Click on the ‘Recover’ button to restore your unsaved Excel file promptly.

With WinfrGUI, restoring an Excel file not saved is no longer a daunting task. Don’t let data loss stress you out; trust WinfrGUI to recover your important files, like hard drive recovery seamlessly.

2. AutoRecover Feature in Excel

Excel comes equipped with a built-in feature called AutoRecover, which can be a lifesaver when dealing with unsaved files.

Here’s how to leverage the AutoRecover feature in Excel:

  • Access AutoRecover Settings: Open Excel and navigate to the ‘File’ tab. Click on ‘Options’ and then select ‘Save’ from the left-hand menu.
  • Adjust AutoRecover Settings: In the Save options, ensure that the ‘Save AutoRecover information every X minutes’ checkbox is checked and set a time interval that suits your workflow.
  • Enable AutoRecover: Make sure the ‘Keep the last autosaved version if I close without saving’ option is checked for added protection.
  • Retrieve Unsaved Work: In the event of Excel crashing or closing unexpectedly, reopen Excel, and you should see a prompt to recover your unsaved work. Click on it to restore your file.

By utilizing Excel’s AutoRecover feature, you can mitigate the risk of losing unsaved Excel files and work with peace of mind.

3. Excel Document Recovery

Excel itself provides a native recovery option that can help retrieve unsaved files in certain situations.

Follow these steps to recover your unsaved Excel file using Excel’s document recovery:

  • Open Excel: Launch Microsoft Excel on your computer.
  • Navigate to File Recovery: In the event of a crash or accidental closure, reopen Excel. You should see a prompt labeled ‘Document Recovery’ on the left side of the window.
  • Select Recover Unsaved Workbooks: Click on ‘Recover Unsaved Workbooks’ to access a list of recently unsaved files.
  • Locate and Open: Browse through the list to find your unsaved Excel file and select it to open.

Excel’s document recovery feature can be a handy tool for retrieving unsaved work in situations where files have been accidentally closed without saving.

4. Check Temporary Files

Often, Excel creates temporary files as you work on a document. These files can serve as a backup in case of unexpected closures.

Here’s how to check for and recover unsaved Excel files from temporary files:

  • Navigate to Temporary Files Folder: Open File Explorer and enter the following path in the address bar: %temp%
  • Search for Excel Temporary Files: Look for files beginning with ‘~$’ followed by the name of your Excel file. These are temporary files created by Excel.
  • Recover Temporary Files: Copy the temporary files to a safe location and change the file extension from .tmp to .xlsx.
  • Open Recovered File: Double-click on the recovered file to open it in Excel and check if it contains your unsaved work.

Checking temporary files can sometimes yield results in recovering unsaved Excel files, providing an additional layer of protection against data loss.

5. Use Previous Versions Feature (Windows)

Windows operating system offers a handy feature called ‘Previous Versions’ that allows you to access earlier versions of files, including unsaved Excel documents.

Here’s how to use the Previous Versions feature to recover unsaved Excel files:

  • Right-click on File: Navigate to the folder where your Excel file was located. Right-click on the folder and select ‘Restore previous versions’.
  • Select a Version: From the list of available versions, choose the one that corresponds to a time before you closed the file without saving.
  • Restore Previous Version: Click on ‘Restore’ to recover the selected version of the folder, including your unsaved Excel file.

By utilizing the Previous Versions feature in Windows, you can potentially retrieve unsaved Excel files and minimize the impact of accidental data loss.

6. Utilize Cloud Storage and Auto-Save Features

Harness the power of cloud storage platforms like OneDrive, Google Drive, or Dropbox, which offer built-in auto-save features to safeguard your work in real-time.

Here’s how to utilize cloud storage and auto-save features for Excel file protection:

  • Sync Excel with Cloud Storage: Save your Excel files directly to a synced folder within your preferred cloud storage platform.
  • Enable Auto-Save: Ensure that auto-save features are enabled within the cloud storage platform settings.
  • Real-Time Backup: As you work on your Excel file, changes are automatically saved to the cloud in real-time, minimizing the risk of data loss.
  • Access Anywhere, Anytime: Benefit from the accessibility of cloud storage, allowing you to access and recover your files from any device with an internet connection.

By integrating cloud storage and auto-save features into your workflow, you can proactively protect against the loss of unsaved Excel files and enjoy the convenience of seamless file synchronization.

FAQ of Restoring Excel Files Not Saved

Q1. What are the common reasons for losing an unsaved Excel file?

A1. Several factors can contribute to the loss of an unsaved Excel file. One common reason is accidental closure of the Excel application without saving the file. This can happen due to system crashes, power outages, or simply forgetting to save before closing. Another reason is software glitches or errors that may cause Excel to freeze or crash unexpectedly, resulting in the loss of unsaved work. Additionally, human error, such as mistakenly clicking on the “Don’t Save” option when prompted, can lead to the loss of important Excel files.

Q2. How can I recover an Excel file that was not saved?

A2. If you’ve accidentally closed Excel without saving your file, there are several steps you can take to attempt recovery. First, check the AutoRecover feature in Excel, which automatically saves your work at regular intervals. To do this, reopen Excel and look for a prompt to recover unsaved work. Additionally, you can explore third-party file recovery tools such as WinfrGUI, which are specifically designed to retrieve lost or unsaved files. Another option is to check for temporary files created by Excel, as these may contain a backup of your unsaved work. Finally, consider utilizing cloud storage platforms like OneDrive or Google Drive, which offer built-in auto-save features to protect against data loss.

Q3. Can I use Excel’s built-in features to recover unsaved files?

A3. Yes, Excel offers several built-in features that can help you recover unsaved files. One option is to check the Document Recovery pane, which appears when Excel is reopened after a crash or unexpected closure. Here, you may find a list of recently unsaved files that can be recovered with a simple click. Additionally, Excel’s AutoRecover feature automatically saves your work at specified intervals, reducing the risk of data loss in the event of a system failure or accidental closure. By enabling AutoRecover and adjusting the save interval settings, you can ensure that your work is continuously backed up and easily recoverable.

Q4. Are there any third-party tools available for recovering unsaved Excel files?

A4. Yes, there are several third-party tools specifically designed for recovering unsaved Excel files. One popular option is WinfrGUI, which offers a user-friendly interface and powerful file recovery capabilities. To use WinfrGUI, simply download and install the application, then select the drive where your Excel file was located before it became unsaved. The program will then scan for lost files and allow you to preview and recover the one you need. Other third-party options include data recovery software such as Recuva or EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard, which offer similar functionality for retrieving lost or unsaved files.

Q5. How can I prevent the loss of unsaved Excel files in the future?

A5. To minimize the risk of losing unsaved Excel files in the future, there are several preventative measures you can take. First, make it a habit to save your work regularly by pressing Ctrl+S or using the Save button in Excel. Additionally, consider enabling Excel’s AutoRecover feature and adjusting the save interval settings to ensure that your work is backed up at regular intervals. You could also utilize cloud storage platforms like OneDrive or Google Drive, to protect against data loss. By implementing these strategies and staying vigilant about saving your work, you can avoid the frustration of losing unsaved Excel files in the future.

Tips to Prevent Data Loss:

To prevent the loss of unsaved Excel files, consider implementing the following tips:

  • Enable auto-save in Excel: Ensure that your work is saved at regular intervals, minimizing the risk of data loss.
  • Save your Excel files frequently: Develop the habit of saving your work often, especially after making significant changes, to safeguard against unexpected disruptions.
  • Utilize recovery options in Excel: Familiarize yourself with Excel’s recovery options to retrieve unsaved changes in the event of a crash or shutdown, providing an additional layer of protection for your data.


Losing unsaved Excel files can be frustrating, but with the right strategies in place, you can minimize the risk of data loss and restore your work effectively when needed. By implementing preventive measures, and utilizing recovery options, you can ensure that your valuable data is always protected.