How to Recover Unsaved/Lost Excel File 2016/2013/2010/2007

Tracy King updated on Jan 21, 2021 to File Recovery | How-to Articles

If you have not saved the Excel file in time when encountering a sudden Excel/system crash, careless operation, or a power failure, do not worry, you can recover unsaved Excel file from Excel Document Recovery, Temporary File, and AutoRecover. Meanwhile, you can use EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard to retrieve the deleted Excel file in three steps.

Applied to Excel 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010, 2007 or older edition

There are three ways in all to recover unsaved Excel files. The table below is an overview of the solution, read detailed content for full steps.

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
Fix 1. Recover via document recovery Open Excel application, find "Recovered" and click "Show Recovered Files". The "Document Recovery"...Full steps
Fix 2. Recover from temporary files Open Excel, and click "File" > "Info" > "Manage Workbook". Click "Recover Unsaved Workbooks"...Full steps
Fix 3. Recover from AutoRecover Go to your Excel app, click "File" > "Open" > "Recover Unsaved Workbooks". Find the unsaved Excel...Full steps

"After almost three days of staying up at night and while I was about to finish with my wage calculations in Excel this morning, out of nowhere, my computer shut down with my Excel file unsaved. I restarted my computer and reopened Excel but to find nothing left. The Excel file disappeared. Can anyone rescue me from this disaster? Do you know how to recover an unsaved Excel document in Windows 10? "

Due to a sudden power failure, Excel not responding problem, false closure of Excel without saving, or other unknown reasons, it's quite common for users to lose Excel document unsaved. When such a disaster occurs, your best shot is to use some effective methods to retrieve the unsaved Excel. On this page, you can learn to get back unsaved Excel file from Document Recovery, Temporary File, and AutoRecover. What’s more, we also recommend you try data recovery software - EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard to easily recover deleted or lost Excel file without effort.

How to Recover unsaved Excel Document in Windows 10 (3 Ways)

The steps to recover unsaved Word, Excel, or PPT document are similar in Windows 10. Three possible solutions are given below, follow the detailed guides to make unsaved Excel file recovery.

Note: The following operations are performed on Excel 2016 edition. The processes are similar for other Excel editions.

Method 1. Recover from Document Recovery in Excel

If you have saved the Excel file earlier, but the latest changes you did are not saved because Excel/system crashed or the power went off, you can recover the unsaved edition with the Document Recovery feature.

1. Open Excel application, find "Recovered" and click "Show Recovered Files".

how to recover unsaved Excel file

2. The "Document Recovery" pane will display the unsaved files. Open and save the one you need.

how to recover unsaved Excel file

Method 2. Recover from Temporary File

Temporary files work as backups. If you lost the unsaved Excel file, you can find the temporary file and recover it.

You can go to the following path to find the unsaved Excel file:


Or you can make it with the guides below.

1. Open Excel, and click "File" > "Info" > "Manage Workbook". Click "Recover Unsaved Workbooks" from the drop-down menu.

how to recover unsaved Excel file

2. Select the unsaved file and click the "Open" button. Then, on the pop-up window, choose "Save As" to recover it.

how to recover unsaved Excel file

Method 3. Recover from AutoRecover

1. Go to your Excel app, click "File" > "Open" > "Recover Unsaved Workbooks" at the bottom.

how to recover unsaved Excel file

2. Find the unsaved Excel file you lost, double-click on it to open it in Excel. Then, hit the "Save As" button to recover it.

how to recover unsaved Excel file

You can configure and change the AutoRecover Settings in the following way. 

Open Excel, and click "File" > "Options". In the left navigation pane, click "Save". Change the AutoRecover duration in "Save AutoRecover information every xx minutes" and click "OK".

how to recover unsaved Excel file

If you also need the guide on how to recover unsaved Excel file on Mac, here is the quick access.

How to Recover Deleted or Lost Excel File with EaseUS File Recovery Software

Except for unsaved Excel loss, the saved Excel document also get missing now and again because of mistaken deletion, virus attack, hard drive damage, or OS crash. At this time, you can use  EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard to help you to recover lost Excel/Word/PPT document, images, videos, audios or email, etc. files with just a few simple clicks. You can recover data from the emptied recycle bin, formatted internal/external hard drive, camcorder, Zip Drive, Micro card, and so on.

Now, download and install this Excel file recovery software and follow the guidelines below to recover lost Excel in the simplest way.

Step 1. Specify a location.

Run EaseUS Data Recovery Software. Choose the drive X: or a specific folder on Desktop or somewhere else where you lost the excel files, and then click "Scan".

select a location and click scan

Step 2. Scan for data.

During the scan, you'll see more and more data showing up very quickly in the "Deleted files" result. Wait for the scanning process finishes. To quickly find the Excel files from the scan results, click on the "Filter" on the top area and choose "Excel". Or, search .xls or .xlsx in the Search box. 

scan excel files

Step 3. Preview and recover.

You can double click on the Excel file to preview its integrity. Finally, select the desired Excel files and click "Recover".

preview and recover excel files

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why choose EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard?

"EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is the best we've seen. It's far from perfect, partly because today's advanced disk technology makes data-recovery more difficult than it was with the simpler technology of the past, but it's fast and efficient..."PCMag

"The first thing you'll notice about EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro is that its interface is very clear and uncluttered, with only a small collection of self-explanatory controls. You won't find lots of extra options hidden in a system of hidden menus, either; what you see really is what you get."techradar

"Recover lost files, even after deleting a partition or formatting your drive."Macworld

2. Why cannot I recover 2GB data for free?

It is recommended to check the version installed is Free or Trial because they are different versions.

Trial has data preview function but cannot save any files, while the Free version enables to recover 2 GB files. The default free space is 500 MB and you may share the product on social media to get another 1.5 GB.

3. Why cannot the recovered files be opened?

A file is saved as 2 parts on the storage device: directory info (which is comprised by file name, time stamp and size info, etc.) and data content.

If the files with original file names and folder structures cannot be opened, one possible reason is the corrupted directory info. There is still a chance to recover the data content with the RAW Recovery method in our software.

4. Why isn't it suggested to recover the files back to the original drive?

The storage structure of the lost files would be altered or damaged by any changes on the drive. If you save the recovered files back to the same drive, the original data structures and data content would be corrupted or overwritten, which causes permanent data loss. So you should prepare another disk to save the files.

5. How can I check whether my data is recoverable or not before purchase?

The Free version helps you save 2GB files, so verify the recovery quality of our product before purchase.

6. How long does it take to scan the drive?

It strongly depends on the capacity of your hard drive and the performance of your computer. As reference,most drive recoveries can be completed in around 10 to 12 hours for a 1-TB healthy hard drive in general conditions.

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