AutoRecover feature is available in excel when excel shuts down abnormally or when it is not responding, it automatically recovers the last saved and open file for us and it provides us with two different options, the first being if we want to keep the changes which the files have or we can discard it if we have already saved the data, it is a very useful feature of excel to avoid losing important data, the files are saved at certain intervals which can be defined by the user.
I have encountered many scenarios in my career where I have lost all the worked data in excel because of many reasons. Reasons could well be due to computer crashes, computer shut down due to power loss, excel crashed due to a large amount of data. Whatever may be the reason I have suffered a lot by losing out on data after spending considerable time working on those important files, however, autorecover option in excel may just come to your rescue in such situations.
I have seen this error many times due to complex formulas and calculations. Microsoft Excel is not responding is the most frustrating window I have seen in my career because it has killed my productivity many times. I have felt out of the world due to the reason I have to do it all over again.
Nothing to worry excel has an option of Auto recovery of excel workbooks which are not saved and get our original workbooks back in place.
Not only we can recover unsaved or accidentally closed workbooks but we can retrieve an overwritten file a few minutes ago as well.
Built-in AutoRecover & AutoSave Options in Excel
In excel we have two important features one is Auto Save & another one is Auto Recovery. Don’t get confused with both I will tell you the differences.
- Auto Save in Excel: As the name itself suggests it save the file or workbook automatically. It saves for every certain minute according to the settings we make.
- Auto Recovery: This is slightly different than the previous one. Unlike the autosave I will not save anything rather retrieves the unsaved if it is closed due to a sudden computer crash, power loss, excel not responding, etc.
Condition for Auto Recovery in Excel
There is a condition to auto recovery in excel option. It only recovers saved files only. The workbook should have saved at least one time in the system or computer. If the file is saved and crashed when you open the new workbook or existing workbook it will show you Document Recovery pane on the left-hand side of the newly opened excel sheet. It will lists out all the crashed excel workbooks.
You can select which one to recover and which one to ignore by clicking on that workbook.
Enable Excel AutoRecover & AutoSave Options
In all the excel files these two options are enabled by default. If you want to check and clarify follow this below steps.
Step 1: Go to File.
Step 2: Go to Options.
Step 3: Under Option go to the Save.
Step 3: Under Save on the right-hand side you see you can Auto Recovery options.
- Save the file in this format: We need to choose the file format here. We have a wide variety of file saving options.
- Save Autorecover information every: Here we need to set the autorecover time interval in excel. By default, Excel will have 10 minutes I have set this to 1 minute. So every one-minute excel file will be auto saved.
- Keep the last AutoRecover: This is to create a backup file if the file is closed without saving it.
By default, these options are enabled based on the time duration length it will save the workbooks automatically.
Recover Unsaved Excel Files
If you have worked in a file for some time and forgot to save it in the first go but closed down the workbook by accident. Nothing to worry my friend we can recover unsaved workbooks in excel. Follow below steps to recover unsaved workbooks.
Step 1: Click on File
Step 2: Select the Open option and under this select Recent workbook.
Step 3: On the right-hand side you will see all the recently opened workbooks names. You will see about 25 to 30 recently opened workbooks in chronological order.
Step 4: Scroll down and select Recover Unsaved Workbooks.
Step 5: Now you will see the unsaved workbooks lists. Select the required workbook.
Step 6: As soon as you click on the file it will open up and show you the prompt as Recover unsaved file just above the formula bar. Click on Save As option save it.
Recover Older Versions of Excel
Assume you are working from 5.00 PM, at 5:50 PM you have realized you have made some mistakes in the report. You are not aware where was the actual mistake is. In these cases, if the excel autorecover is at every 1 minute this will helps you.
We can recover older versions of excel workbook.
Step 1: Open the workbook that you wish to recover then, go to file under this go to Info.
Step 2: Under Info, you will see Manage Versions. Here you will see all the recent auto-saved versions with time next to it.
Recover Unsaved Work of Excel
Assume you have worked for 2 minutes in the excel but forgot to save it and closed the workbook. You need not redo it again for 2 minutes you can recover that as well.
Step 1: Open the unsaved workbook then, go to file under this go to Info.
Step 2: Under Info, you will see Manage Versions, under this, you will see the last version with special remarks called (when I closed without saving).
Note: Assume your excel autorecover is 4 minutes. You started working from 4:00 PM and closed the workbook at 4:07 PM without saving it. By this time auto recovery would have happened one time at 4:04 PM, if you are closing the workbook at 4:07 PM means you will get the information or data only till 4:04 PM which is the latest auto recovery time. So you will not get the data which is happened after 4:04 PM until 4:07 PM.
Things to Remember About AutoRecover in Excel
- Give less time duration to get more version of back up.
- In the case of large data, it will take some time to recover information every 1 minute.
- Manage 5-minute time interval for auto recovery for large workbooks. For small workbooks maintain 1 minute.
This has been a guide to AutoRecover in Excel. Here we discuss the steps to enable the autorecover option and how to Recover Excel unsaved files, older versions of Excel with downloadable excel template. You may learn more about excel from the following articles –