Recover Document in Excel

Article byJeevan A Y
Edited byAshish Kumar Srivastav
Reviewed byDheeraj Vaidya, CFA, FRM

Recovering Excel Documents

Sometimes Excel documents crash all of a sudden while working on them is the common complaint we get from excel users. But there is no need to panic because we have amazing Excel workbook recovery techniques such as “Recover Unsaved Workbooks” and “Autosave” options.

All the experts today have gone through this once upon a time. However, that is where we need to be aware of some of the amazing Excel workbook recovery techniques to recover documents in Excel. In this article, we will take you through the steps involved in recovering documents in Excel.

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How to use the Auto Recover Option?

Commonly, we create new workbooks in the middle of some work we are doing. In such cases, we create a new workbook and start working with it without saving it first. When all the work is closed, we need to save and close it. But, most people forget to save it, so they lose the work they have done with that new workbook.

However, we can still recover those unsaved workbooks if we have enabled the “AutoSave in excelAutoSave In ExcelAutosave in excel is a function/facility to save the changes or progress of work automatically. This helps us reduce the impact of risk of data loss in any crash situation in the system. We can manually set the time to save the progress automatically.read more” and “Auto Recovery” options in Excel; even though this feature is enabled by default, not many users are aware of it, so they go to work all over again.

Step 1: Go to the FILE tab in the ribbon.

Recover Documents step 1

Step 2: Under the FILE tab, chooses “OPTIONS.”

Recover Documents step 2

Step 3: This will open up the “Excel Options” choose the “Save” tab.

Recover Documents step 3

Step 4: In this tab, we can do all the things related to the “Save” option of the workbook.

The first section in this tab is the “Save Workbook.”

Recover Documents step 4

In this section, we have several other options as well.

Recover Documents step 5

The first thing in this section is “Save files in this format,” that is, when we save the file, what should be the file format, so we can choose the file format that is needed.

Next is “Save AutoRecover information every — minutes,” which is for how many minutes we need to auto recover the work we have done with the workbook. So, we have chosen every 1 minute. By default, it will be 10 minutes.

Recover Documents step 6

A small checkbox below that indicates, “Keep the last AutoRecovered version if I close without closing,” so this will autosave the workbook even if you have not saved it before closing.

Now, please open a new blank workbook and work for some time, e.g., for 2 to 3 minutes. Of course, depending on the time you set on Auto Recovery. Since we have set it for 1 minute, we can work for 1 or 2 minutes.

As you keep working on the workbook, we can observe every 1 minute. It shows “Saving AutoRecover Info,” as shown in the below image.

Recover Documents step 14

We have done some work with the Excel workbook, which is not saved.

Recover Documents step 7

Now, we will close it without saving it.

Recover Documents step 8

We have closed the workbook “Book1” without saving it. We have done some work, but there is no copy of this workbook now; we need to recover it.

How to Recover Document in Excel?

First, open one new blank Excel workbook to recover the unsaved workbook.

  1. Then, click on the “File” tab.


    Recover Documents step 1

  2. In this, click on the “Info” tab.


    Recover Documents step 9

  3. Click “Manage Workbook” and choose the “Recover Unsaved Workbooks” option.

    Under this, we can see “Manage Workbook” click on the dropdown list and choose “Recover Unsaved Workbooks.”

    Recover Documents step 10

  4. Choose the workbook you wish to Recover

    It will take you to the auto recover folder path, where it has saved a copy of all the unsaved workbooks.

    Recover Documents step 11
    In this section, we can see all the unsaved workbooks. First, choose the workbook you wish to recover.

  5. Click on the “Open” option to open the unsaved workbook.

    When we click “Open,” we can see the workbook below.

    Recover Documents step 12

  6. We can see the work we had done before the last recovery happened. Click on the “Save As” option in Excel at the top to save the workbook this time.


    Recover Documents step 13

Like this, we can recover the workbook we did not save previously.

Things to Remember

  • Auto Recovery depends on the time we set to recover.
  • If the recovery time is longer, we may not get the recent work recovery.

This article is a guide on how to Recover Document in Excel. Here, we discuss how to enable the AutoSave option and recover documents in Excel, which we did not save previously. You may learn more about Excel from the following articles:-