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How to Recover an Unsaved Excel File – Excelchat

If we accidentally closed excel without saving, there is an Excel AutoRecover option to recover unsaved files by default. Recovering unsaved excel files can be done in several ways. We can configure the Excel AutoRecover settings, save a backup of an excel file, and follow easy steps to recover overwritten excel files. This tutorial will guide all levels of Excel users on how to recover an unsaved Excel file.

Figure 1 – How to recover unsaved file

Configuring the AutoRecovery Settings


  • We will click on the File tab and select Options


Figure 2 – Excel 2013 recover unsaved file

  • We will click on Save. We will check the Save AutoRecover information every “n” minutes box. We will also check the Keep the last autosaved version if I close without saving box

Figure 3 – Document recovery


  • We will click on OK


We should keep the autorecover duration low. This will ensure that every file is saved. This procedure is applicable for files that saved at least once.

How to Recover Files Not Saved At Least Once

For Excel version 2013 or 2010, we can see how our workbook was before we saved it. This older version of the document will afford us the opportunity of correcting any mistake we previously made.

  • We will click on the File tab
  • We will select Info

Figure 4 – Select Info to recover unsaved file

  • We will click on Manage versions tab

Figure 5 – Find autosaved files

This will enable us recover unsaved excel documents. These autosaved versions will always display until we save the file. When we have saved the file, all autosaved versions will disappear. We can backup these autosaved files if we still need them.

How to Save a Backup of a file

To have a backup of our Excel files in Excel 2013 and 2010, we will do the following:


  • We will click on the File tab and click on Save as


Figure 6 – Recover file not saved 2013

  • We will click on Tools on the Browse tab

Figure 7 – Save as dialog box

  • We will click on General Options
  • We will check the Always create backup box

Figure 8 – General Options dialog box

We can add a password if we like. For every excel file we create, there will be a backup version. These backup files carry the xlk extension.

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