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3 Methods to Recover Unsaved or Lost Excel File on Mac

Updated on Jan 17, 2019 by Tracy King to Mac File Recovery


Program crash or sudden Mac shutting down can cause the unsaved or saved Excel files loss. When the accident happens, do not worry. You can recover the unsaved Excel files on Mac from Temporary or AotuoRecover folder. If you need to recover the permanently deleted or lost Excel files, you can use EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac to do it effectively.

Recover unsaved Excel file on Mac
Recover from Temporary Folder
Restore from AutoSave
Recover (permanently) deleted/lost Excel file on Mac

On the whole, Excel files may get lost due to the program crash, Mac shutting down unexpected, accidental deletion, hard drive formatting, or virus attack. If the Excel files already gone are unsaved, you can use the two solutions in Part 1 to recover them in large part. While if you have mistakenly permanently deleted the Excel files or the saved documents are disappeared caused by other reasons, there is no way but use professional and free data recovery software - EaseUS Data Recovery for Mac recommended in Part 2 to get them back. Read on and see the details.

Part 1. How to Recover Unsaved Excel File on Mac

How many of you have ever met this problem that the Excel is suddenly stuck and fails to respond to Mac? Then you have to follow the instruction to close the program and lose the unsaved file you have been working on for a few hours unsurprisingly. And the unexpected Mac shutting down can also bring the same result. Whatever led the accident, you have a chance to recover Excel file not saved on Mac. 

Method 1. Restore Unsaved Excel File from the Temporary Folder

Follow steps provided below to restore unsaved Excel file on Mac from Temporary/Temp folder.

1. Go to "Applications" > "Utilities" > "Terminal".

recover unsaved Excel file on Mac - 1

2. Type open $TMPDIR and press "Return" to open the Temporary files folder. Select the folder named "TemporaryItems".

3. Find the unsaved Excel file under "TemporaryItems" and restore. 

recover unsaved Excel file on Mac - 1

Method 2. Recover Lost or Unsaved Excel File from AutoSave on Mac

Excel provides you with useful features as AutoSave and AutoRecover to protect file after an accident, like Excel/Mac crash or closure.

  • AutoSave: It automatically saves a new Excel document that has been created but not saved yet.
  • AutoRecover: It can help users retrieve unsaved Excel files on Mac.

If the two are enabled, you can probably make unsaved file recovery on Mac in Excel 2016 - 2010. Because the AutoRecovery file has been hidden, you need to make it visible to recover unsaved Excel file.

1. Go to "Applications" >" Utilities" > "Terminal".

recover unsaved Excel file on Mac - 1

2. Type defaults write com.apple.Finder AppleShowAllFiles true into Terminal and hit "Return" to make all the items visible.

3. Click "Finder" > press "Return" on your Mac.

4.  Type /Users/username/Library/Containers/com.microsoft.Excel/Data/Library/Preferences/AutoRecovery and click "Go" to open Excel's AutoRecovery folder.

recover unsaved Excel file on Mac - 3

5. Find the unsaved spreadsheet files. Then recover it to another safe location on Mac. 

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Part 2. How to Restore Deleted/Lost Excel File on Mac in 3 Steps 

You may get the unsaved Excel file back with the above two approaches. But you can't use them to recover lost Excel file from due to accidental deletion, hard drive formatting, system crash, or storage device corruption. Then, what to do at this kind of circumstances? Don't worry. Here comes EaseUS Mac File Recovery Freeware. As a leading data recovery tool, it allows you to do Office document recovery, email recovery, photos recovery, as well as other data recovery.

Now, install it and follow the following tips to restore deleted or lost Excel file on Mac in 3 simple steps. 

Step 1. Select the location where your important Excel files were lost and click Scan button.

select the location where excel files lost and click scan

Step 2. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard for Mac will start immediately a quick scan as well as a deep scan on your selected disk volume. Meanwhile, the scanning results will be presented in the left pane.

scan the selected drive to find lost excel files

Step 3. By Path and Type, you can quickly filter the Excel files you've lost earlier. Select the target files and click Recover Now button to get them back at once.

click recover now to recover lost excel files on your Mac

After this, you'll get the lost Excel file back and continue your job with the file again. You can also apply this Mac data recovery software to restore deleted photos, music, videos or other data on Mac for free.