[2024]How to Recover Unsaved Excel Files on Windows 10/11

Last Updated Date: Jan 9, 2024

A Microsoft user, RichardEk, has asked the question “Can I find/restore an Excel file that was NOT saved?” on the Community of Microsoft. Office users may have experienced the situation of losing unsaved Excel files due to the crash of Excel. You must wonder how to recover unsaved Excel files. Or how to restore the previous version of Excel files? This article has you covered.

user asking question on microsoft community

Situations for Excel File not Saved

📍Situations🔑Step-by-step Troubleshooting
The Excel file you have never saved before Excel crashed.Make use of the built-in Autosave function in Microsoft 365/2021/2019/2016/2013/2010… Full Guide
You have saved the Excel files earlier when Excel was unresponsive.Open the document recovery pane… Full Guide

How to Recover the Unsaved Excel File on Windows

Restore unsaved Excel files by using the AutoRecover feature

The Windows Autorecover feature might be your best bet for retrieving an unsaved Excel file if you have never clicked the save button while editing it. The Autorecover, which is a built-in function of Microsoft, will store the files in a temporary folder on your Windows PC at regular intervals (you can customize the interval time). Below is the step-by-step guidance. 

❗❗Note: The Autosave function is available on Microsoft 365/2021/2019/2016/2013/2010.

Step 1: Click and open the Excel file, then you can see the “Open” button at the left side toolbar, click it.

Step 2: In the panel on the right, click the “Recent” button and scroll down until you see the “Recent Workbooks” button, click it. And click the “Restore Unsaved Workbooks” button. (As indicated by the arrows in the picture below)

the screenshot of opening recent workbook
the screenshot of recover unsaved workbooks button

Step 3: You’ll see a list of all unsaved workbooks and select the Excel file according to your needs.

locate the document

Step 4: Click Open to open the Excel file and you will see the “Save As” button, click it and save the file to your desired location.

use the save as option

By default, the Excel files will be stored at:

C:\Users\ [YourSystemName] \AppData\Local\Microsoft\Office\UnsavedFiles.

And you need to replace [YourSystemName] with the name of your system.

👉Tips: Tutorial on installing the AutoRecover settings in Excel

Before using this function, you need to make sure you have installed the AutoRecover settings in Excel.  In fact, this feature has been enabled in Excel by default, you can use below steps to check them.

For Windows Users:

Step 1: Tap on the “File” button on the toolbar of your Excel file.

Step 2: Go to Options->Save button

the screenshot of save button

Step 3: You will see the Autorecover information. (As shown in the picture below) Tick the blank in front of the word”Save Autorecover information every 10 minutes”. You can also change the 10 minutes to any time you like.

save files every 10 minutes

Step 4: Also remember to tick the blank of “Keep the last autosave version if I close without saving “. This can help you find your Excel version if you accidentally close your file or the computer crashes.

Opening the document recovery pane to recover unsaved Excel file

This is how you can recover an unsaved Excel file in the event that Excel crashes while you are editing it, and you have saved the file before. Here are the steps:

  • Find the Excel software on your desktop and open it, then you will see the “Show Recovered Files” button. 
the screenshot of show recovered files option
  • Click the “Show Recovered Files” button, a document recovery pane will show up.
  • You can see all of the unsaved Excel files listed on the document recovery pane. 
the screenshot of recover unsaved files in excel document recovery
  • Find your unsaved Excel file and wait for the loading. 

Use data recovery software to recover unsaved or deleted Excel files

There’s also an easy and safe solution to recover unsaved Excel files or recover deleted Excel files due to accidental deletion, computer crashes, or malware attacks. ONERECOVERY, a professional and versatile file recovery software, guarantees as high as 95% Excel file recovery success rate. It can bring deleted or unsaved Excel files in easy 3 steps, and the whole process will not be longer than 5 minutes. Here’re the steps to recover the Excel file using ONERECOVERY

Step 1: Launch the software and follow the instructions to select the disk that contains your unsaved Excel file.

Step 2: ONERECOVERY will take the Fast Scan and Deep Scan spontaneously to search for your file. 

Step 3: Preview the scanned file to find the one that you lost, and click on the “Recover” button to get the lost or unsaved Excel file back. 

Bonus tip: How to recover previous version of Excel file

Sometimes, you may find yourself wanting to go back to the previous version of your Excel file, to find some deleted info. Here, we provide a solution to help you achieve that if you have saved your Excel files and want to recover them to the previous version.

Use the Previous Version feature to restore the Excel file to the previous version

This is a simple way to restore Excel file to the previous version if you have saved the file. 

Step 1: Turn to your Excel file and right-click on it, then find the “Properties” button.

the screenshot of properties

Step 2: In ‘Properties’, click on the ‘Previous Versions’ button and select the version you want to restore to. And click it. Then your Excel file will back to the earlier version.


In case of unsaved or deleted Excel Files, you don’t need to worry anymore. In this article, we provide 3 solutions to recover unsaved Excel files. We hope these methods can assist you in recovering your valuable Excel files and avoid losing important documents.