How to recover files in Excel

Recovering files in Excel will allow you to guarantee that important documents are not lost due to errors, system failures or unexpected closures that prevent them from being saved correctly.

There are several simple methods to carry out this recovery, as in other Microsoft programs, such as Exchange. In this article, we explain step by step methods to recover Excel files.

Effective methods to recover files in Excel

It is best to save your work in these word processors each time you make changes. But if you have a problem and you didn’t have time to save, you can resort to these tricks.

Use the “Recover unsaved workbooks” tool from Excel

In Excel there is a function called “Recover unsaved workbooks.” This is a simple way to recover documents that you have not saved and want to recover.

To use this feature, follow these simple steps:

-Open any file in Excel, whether it contains content or is blank.

-Go to the toolbar and look for the “File” tab, which is located at the top left of the screen.

photo of an excel file

-Select the section called “Information”.

-Then, search and select the “Manage book” option.

photo of the manage book option

-Click on the “Recover unsaved books” box.

photo of how to recover unsaved books

-The tool will automatically show you the calculation files that were not saved in Windows Explorer, and will allow you to choose the one you want to recover.

Find temporary Microsoft Office files

Another method to recover unsaved Excel files is to use temporary files. Keep in mind that when you install Office software on your computer, the program automatically saves a temporary copy of the file while you are working on it.

If your computer shuts down for some reason and you reopen Excel, an “Automatic Recovery” window sometimes appears showing the most recent temporary Microsoft Office file, where you can recover your sheet.

However, if this option does not appear, which may occur, follow this procedure:

-Open Windows Explorer and navigate to the following address depending on your operating system:

– Windows 11/10: C:\Users\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Office\UnsavedFiles

– Windows 8/7/Vista: C:\Users\UserName\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Office\UnsavedFiles

– Windows XP: C:\Documents and Settings\UserName\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Office\UnsavedFiles

photo of how to search for temporary excel files

-Be sure to replace “UserName” with your computer’s username.

photo of the temporary office folder

-Press “Enter” to search. And that’s it, you will find the temporary Excel files that you can recover. From that location, you can open the document, copy and paste content wherever you need it, as well as share it with other users or work groups.

Enable automatic saving in Excel

Excel also includes a feature to automatically set up backup copies of your files. Not everyone uses it, but it is useful for the file to periodically save itself. To do so, follow these simple steps:

-Open your file in Excel.

-Go to the toolbar and select the “File” option.

-Then, find and click “More” or “Options”, which may vary depending on the version of Excel or operating system you have. This will take you to another window.

photo to search for auto-save in excel

-In this window, select the “Save” tab.

-Look for the option that says “Save AutoRecover information every.” You will see a field with a time in minutes. Choose a short interval so that changes are saved more frequently and minimize the risk of loss in case of failures.

photo of the excel autosave configuration process

-Once configured, click “OK”. With this, you will have established this additional layer of security for your Excel files.

This is a configuration that will allow you to have automatic backup copies of your Excel files, which is crucial to protect your work against possible crashes or unexpected program closures.

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