Free Data Recovery Software

How to Recover Unsaved Excel File on Windows?

Table of Content

    Summary: Recovering your unsaved Excel file on Windows 10 with some of our tested methods can truly save you a lot of time, money, and effort. Here’s how to do it!

    Microsoft provides a wide range of applications to its users that cater to different purposes. Out of all the MS Office applications, Excel is considered the most used native application by several companies and individuals to store and process crucial data. Excel can also be called a go-to data analysis tool that offers great reliability, ease of use, and multiple features. But unfortunately, it’s not immune to human errors and system errors.

    What if you accidentally close the Excel file without saving your work or Excel crashes suddenly? Or worse! Your system crashes without any warning and when you reboot your system, you can’t find the unsaved Excel file.

    There could be different situations where you may lose access to your unsaved Excel workbook. There is no need to be anxious, though! We’ve covered some easy-to-follow DIY methods in this post to help you recover unsaved Excel files quickly.

    4 Ways to Recover Unsaved Excel File

    Irrespective of the circumstances, you can recover unsaved Excel files on Windows 10 using the following methods.

    Method 1: Use the Search Option

    If you remember the name of the Excel file, try to find it using the Search option. Following these steps:

    • Go to Windows Search Box and type the name of the file.
    • If you find the file there, click Open or Open file location.
    • If you click Open file location, it will take you to the exact location of the file, and you’ll be able to regain access to lost/unsaved Excel file easily.

    Method 2: Use AutoRecover Feature

    Microsoft Excel comes with a built-in AutoRecover feature that saves copies of all open Excel files at a user-definable fixed interval. You can recover the file if you forget to save it and accidentally close it or it closes automatically due to an unexpected system breakdown or power failure. You can follow the given steps to recover unsaved Excel files with the AutoRecover feature:

    • Open a new Excel file and go to File > Options.
    • Then go to Save > Save workbooks.
    • Next, ensure that the ‘Save AutoRecover information every’ and ‘Keep the last autosaved version if I close without saving’ option is already selected.
    • Now, copy the file path given against the AutoRecover file location.
    • Open the File Explorer, paste the Menu Bar file path there, and hit Enter.
    • The unsaved file will appear with the .xlb extension.
    • Double-click the file and choose Excel from apps to open the .xlb file.
    • Finally, save the file to the desired location.

    Method 3: Use the ‘Recover Unsaved Workbooks’ Option

    Another way that you can choose is the ‘Recover Unsaved Workbooks’ option. To regain access to your Excel file, follow the given steps:

    • Open an Excel sheet and then go to File > Open.
    • Now, scroll down and click Recover Unsaved Workbooks.
    • The list of unsaved files will show in the Document Recovery pane.
    • Locate the file you lost and double-click on it to open.
    • Finally, right-click on the version of the file you want to restore and click Save As

    And, save the file to the desired location

    Method 4: Restore File with Previous Versions Utility

    This feature will help you recover unsaved Excel files when you’ve saved the workbook earlier, but you end up losing access to the file due to an Excel or system crash. It’d help you save the previously saved version of your Excel file. To do so, follow the given steps:

    • Open an Excel file and navigate to File > Info > Manage Versions.
    • It will show the previously saved versions. You can choose the one you want to restore and click Save/Save As to store the file with a different name.

    Hopefully, this blog has helped you learn how to recover unsaved Excel files. You can try any of the above methods.


    1. Can I recover the file that I deleted mistakenly with the Shift + Del key?

    Shift-deleted files don’t reach Recycle Bin. As a result, they become permanently inaccessible to you. Hence, to recover shift-deleted files from Windows 11, you’d either need a backup or a third-party file recovery software.

    2. How do I recover a lost Excel file?

    If you’ve lost your Excel file due to accidental deletion, drive formatting, drive corruption or malware attack, you can easily restore lost or deleted files using some DIY methods, including:

    • Recover Data from Recycle Bin
    • Use Windows Backup Utilities
    • Run ATTRIB Command using Command Prompt
    • Run Microsoft’s File Recovery Software
    • Use Stellar Data Recovery Free Edition

    3. How can I repair a corrupted workbook?

    Whenever Excel detects a corrupted workbook while opening, it automatically starts running the File Recovery mode and repairing the file. If the File Recovery mode doesn’t start automatically, you can manually repair the corrupted workbook.

    Was this article helpful?

    No NO

    About The Author

    Mansi Verma linkdin

    Mansi Verma is a Senior Technology Writer at Stellar®. She is a Tech enthusiast, holding over 8 years of experience in Data Recovery, IoT, Artificial Intelligence, and the Robotics technology domain. She loves researching and providing DIY solutions to solve Windows technical issues. In her spare time, she likes reading novels, and poetry. She also enjoys Travelling, Rafting, Trekking, etc.


    1. Yes auto recover features help to recover the file if one forget to save it and accidentally close it or it closes automatically due to an unexpected system breakdown or power failure

    Leave a comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Image Captcha
    Refresh Image Captcha

    Enter Captcha Here :

    Related Posts


    Why Choose Stellar?

    • 0M+


    • 0+

      Years of Excellence

    • 0+

      R&D Engineers

    • 0+


    • 0+


    • 0+

      Awards Received