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How to Recover Unsaved and Lost Excel Files on Mac?

How can I recover unsaved excel files on Mac? Yesterday I added new data to an existing excel document and shut my computer off by accident before saving the file. Is there a way to recover excel file on Mac? Your help is much appreciated.– George

Imagine you had been working on an important excel file for hours and the system crashed or the computer shut off due to low power. Then you just lost hours of work because you forgot to hit the save button to save the excel file.  But don’t worry, there are two ways to recover unsaved or lost excel file on Mac with AutoRecover or a powerful third-party Mac data recovery software. Please read on to find the solutions.

How to Recover Unsaved Excel Files on Mac 

What is AutoRecover?

AutoRecover, a feature that is available in some Office applications, attempts to recover files automatically in the event of data loss. By default, Microsoft Office provides AutoRecover option which can recover unsaved Powerpoint, Word, Excel files! If the “Save AutoRecover info every“box is checked, it is possible to recover the unsaved excel files.

To change how frequently your Excel files are automatically saved:

  1. Click Preferences on the Excel menu.
  2. Under Sharing and Privacy, click Save button.
  3. Select the AutoSave or AutoRecover info every check box, and then enter how frequently you want Excel to save workbooks.

Where are autorecover files saved on Mac?

The next time that you open Excel, files in the AutoRecovery folder are listed in the Open Recent list. And many users wonder where are autorecover files saved on Mac, here is the path: Finder > /Users/ username/Library/Application Support/Microsoft/Office/Office X AutoRecovery (X stands for Office version). In the Finder, find automatically saved files in Finder > /Users/ username/Library/Application Support/Microsoft/Office/Office X AutoRecovery (X stands for Office version). Then you can copy the excel file to other locations for backup.


1. If you close a excel file or quit Excel normally and choose Don't Save option, the file is deleted from the AutoRecover folder. So this way doesn’t apply to recover excel files which are unsaved intentionally.

2. If the excel file was never saved, there will be nothing to fall back on, because AutoRecover is only triggered for documents already stored on disk.

How to Recover Deleted and Lost Excel Files on Mac

If you delete an important excel file accidently or have an saved Excel file lost due to unknown reasons, the above way can’t help you recover them. This is where Cisdem Data Recovery comes in. Cisdem Data Recovery for Mac is one of the best Mac data recovery software and it is sure to recover a deleted, or lost excel file on Mac. And it also can recover photos, emails, videos, audios, archives, and other documents from internal/external hard drive, flash drive, mp3 player, digital camera, memory stick, memory card, iPod, etc.

Cisdem Data Recovery can be a lifesaver for many of us. Losing important files can be a big problem for us. Fortunately, this software solves this issue. Overall, this is a good data recovery software for Mac. Keep this software handy, you never know when you will need this.- WebAdvice

You can try this data recovery software below. It is a professional Mac data recovery software which is powerful enough to retrieve deleted or lost excel files easily.

Download the free trial of Cisdem Data Recovery for Mac now!

Steps to recover deleted or lost Excel files on Mac

  1. Download and install Cisdem Data Recovery on Mac, then launch it. And choose one of the scan modes to continue.
  2. Then this excel file recovery will list all hard drives and external devices (if you want to recover excel file from external devices, you have to connect the device to your Mac), then choose the drive where the deleted or lost excel files have been stored. 

    If you only want to recover excel files, you can select "Document" and click the gear like icon to use the file filters feature to find your excel files in a short time.

  3. Click “Scan” to scan your deleted or lost excel files. This excel recovery tool can make sure all the lost excel files will be found and retrieved. The scanning process will take you some time.
  4. After this excel recovery tool find all deleted or lost excel files, then it will list them on the left column. You can click each excel file to preview, then select all excel files you want to recover and click “Recover” button to get all lost excel files back.

Overall, it’s very easy to recover excel files even when you deleted them by mistake or lost them. All you have to do is to follow the steps we mentioned above. And there are some tips for you to avoid losing data from documents including excel files.

  • Enable “Save AutoRecover info every“option, just as I introduced before. This helps you recover word, excel files automatically in the event of data loss.
  • Do not use AutoRecover as a substitute for regularly saving your files by clicking Save button.
  • The best way to preserve your work is to save your files frequently.
  • Protect your computer from virus attack, because virus can make your excel, word files corrupted.
  • Always create a backup copy of your document files or upload your documents to cloud.

2017-03-14 06:37:21 / Posted byRosa Reyes to Recover Follow @ Rosa

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2 Responses

  • Valeria

    Thank you!

    5 months ago REPLY
  • Stella

    AutoRecover is a super useful feature to recover unsave excel, word or other documents, I like it.

    9 months ago REPLY

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