Recovering Unsaved Excel Workbooks

You’ve likely experienced that flash of panic that occurs when suddenly the Excel spreadsheet you’ve been laboring over unexpectedly vanishes off of your screen. I’ve certainly gotten lost in my work innumerable times over the years and forgotten to save periodically. This often sets the stage for any of a number of bad things to happen: your computer crashes; the power goes out; you close the wrong workbook without saving—the list goes on and on. Fortunately in Excel 2010 and later you have pretty good odds of being able to recover your work.

Microsoft Excel has long had a Document Recovery feature that in many cases will present a list of workbooks that were open at the time that Excel crashes unexpectedly. Ostensibly Excel creates a back-up copy of your document every 10 minutes, and it’s these back-up files that are presented to you after a crash. However, if you close the Document Recovery window without making a selection, those back-up files are lost forever. Fortunately in Excel 2010 and later you have a couple of additional recovery options.

Learn more about Excel documentation management.

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on LinkedIn