8 Ways to Recover Unsaved, Deleted or Disappeared Numbers Spreadsheet on Mac

Connie Wisley
September 05, 2023 Preview 22.9K Preview 1
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I have accidentally deleted a Numbers spreadsheet. Is there any way to recover it? --- ilpchow from Apple Discussion

Now, more and more people use iWork suite to deal with files, due to its simplicity and beauty. And we may run into similar situations mentioned above: accidentally deleted a Numbers document, Numbers spreadsheet got disappeared, or left a Numbers file unsaved…

Here we list 8 ways to recover the unsaved, deleted or disappeared Numbers document, which can be used for Numbers file recovery on a Mac, iPad or iPhone.


Where are Numbers Files Stored on Mac?

Quite a few people are googling where Numbers documents are saved on Mac. Now we’ll clarify it for your reference.

As a matter of fact, Numbers files can be stored anywhere on your Mac. The common storage location must be in the Documents folder. You’re allowed to easily access the folder from the left menu bar in Mac Finder. The spreadsheets in Numbers can also be put on Mac desktop.

Alternatively, if iCloud has been set up on your Mac, Numbers files will be stored to iCloud platform. To change the storage location of a Numbers document, you can move the file from iCloud to your Mac or from Mac to iCloud.


Best Way to Recover Unsaved or Deleted Numbers Document on Mac

Turning to an expert is always the most efficient way to get your deleted or unsaved Numbers files back. 

Cisdem Data Recovery for Mac is a dedicated program to recover all kinds of files (iWork Pages, Numbers, Keynote) from all major Mac-supported storage devices, such as USB drive, HDD, SSD, digital camera, SD card, CF card, MP4 player and more. This highly rated and dependable tool provides professional recovery solutions for data loss under different situations: deletion, format, system crash, virus attack, power off, system update or downgrade, human error, etc.

Why Cisdem Data Recovery for Mac?

  • Support 200+ file recovery: video, audio, image, document, archive, email, etc.
  • Find and retrieve unsaved documents
  • Repair damaged videos, photos and even documents
  • Both quick scan and deep scan to find most files
  • Preview files before recovery process
  • Recover files to local drive or Cloud for saving space on Mac

Steps to Recover Unsaved or Deleted Numbers Spreadsheet on Mac

  1. Download and install Cisdem Data Recovery on your Mac, then launch it.
    Free Download macOS 10.11 or later
  2. Select the location.
    Go to Hardware Disk, choose the location where you deleted or lost the Numbers file on your Mac.cisdem data recovery 01
  3. Scan deleted or unsaved Numbers file on Mac.
    Click “Search for lost files” to start finding them out.
    To recover unsaved Numbers document, go to Type > Unsaved Documents, find the unsaved Numbers spreadsheet files. If you cannot find the unsaved Numbers file here, go to Type > Document > Numbers.
    To recover deleted Numbers document on Mac, go to Type > Document > Numbers to find your files, or use the filter to search specific Numbers files quickly.cisdem data recovery 02
  4. Preview and recover Numbers spreadsheet on Mac.
    Once the scanning finishes, double click on the Numbers file to preview, then click “Recover” button to get the deleted or unsaved Numbers file back.cisdem data recovery 03


2 Free Ways to Recover Unsaved Numbers Document on Mac

Sometime, when we were editing a Numbers file on Mac, the program may be crashed for no reason or Numbers file was closed and left unsaved on Mac due to sudden power-off. In this case, we will use 2 ways to recover an unsaved Numbers spreadsheet on Mac.

Method 1: Recover Unsaved Numbers Spreadsheet from Mac AutoSave

As you may have heard, macOS comes with a powerful feature called AutoSave, helping users to auto save the documents under editing. This feature works particularly perfect on saving Apple-proprietary documents, such as Preview files, iWork files, etc., which includes Numbers spreadsheet.

By default, this AutoSave feature is ON, you can go to System Preferences > General, check if the box before “Ask to keep changes when closing documents” is ticked or unticked. If ticked, the AutoSave feature is ON.check autosave feature

Steps to recover unsaved Numbers documents with AutoSave:

  1. Head to [your root hard drive] > Users > [your home folder] > Library > Containers > com.apple.iWork.Numbers.
  2. Right-click on the file > choose Show Package Contents.
  3. Go to Data > Library > Autosave Information and check if your unsaved Numbers file is present here.recover numbers file with autosave


​Method 2: Recover Unsaved Numbers Spreadsheet from Temporary Folder

If you still cannot find the unsaved Numbers file back, you will need to check if the file is saved in Temporary Folder.

  1. Go to Finder > Applications > Utilities.
  2. Run Terminal on your Mac.
  3. Input “open $TMPDIR” in Terminal, then press “Enter”. 

recover from temp folder

  1. Find the Numbers document you leave unsaved on Mac, then open and save the file.


3 Free Ways to Recover Deleted Numbers Spreadsheet on Mac, iPad or iPhone

There are additional 3 ways to recover a deleted Numbers file on Mac, iPad or iPhone respectively.

Method 1. Recover Deleted Numbers File on Mac from Trash Bin

It is recommended to recover a permanently deleted Numbers file on Mac with professional data recovery software, but if your files are not permanently removed from your Mac or iPad/iPhone, you can find them back in Trash bin.

As we all know, when we delete a file on Mac, the file is just moved to the Trash bin, it is still there on our Mac.

  1. Go to Trash bin. 
  2. Click on the following toolbar to find your Numbers file by name, kind, date or others. mac trash find01
  3. Right click on the file, choose “Put Back” to recover deleted Numbers file from your Mac Trash bin. mac trash find02


Method 2. Recover Deleted Numbers File on iPad/iPhone from Recently Deleted

On iPad or iPhone, there is no Trash bin available for us to store the removed files, but the application - Numbers for iPad/iPhone itself provides the space to store deleted files for some time.

  1. Open Numbers file on your iOS device.
  2. Tap “Document” and find the “Location list” in the left column.
  3. Tap “Recently Deleted”.
  4. Tap “Select” to choose the deleted Numbers file you want to recover, then tap “Recover” to restore the deleted Numbers Spreadsheet on iPad/iPhone. ipad trash


Method 3. Recover Deleted Numbers File on Mac/iPad/iPhone from iCloud 

iCloud is a great program to store all kinds of files, allowing users to access to and manage files across different Apple devices. Also, you can recover deleted Numbers file from iCloud both on Mac and iPad/iPhone.

  1. Log into your iCloud account or go to iCloud website on Mac.
  2. Click on the red-circled icon > select Data Recovery.recover numbers file from icloud 01
  3. Go to Restore Files section. Then all the deleted files will be showed, select the deleted Numbers file you want to recover. Click “Restore” to recover the deleted Numbers spreadsheet on Mac, iPad or iPhone.recover numbers file from icloud 02

Numbers Spreadsheet Disappeared? Here's What to do

Another situation is that you believe your Numbers spreadsheet has been neither deleted nor unsaved, but you just can’t find them on your Mac. How we get the missing Numbers files? What should we do to fix this? Let’s start to find the answer.

The reasons why a Numbers Spreadsheet Disappeared

  • The Numbers file has been moved to other folders.
  • Virus/malware attack leads to the Numbers document hidden somewhere.
  • Faulty hardware causes disappeared Numbers file.
  • Human errors place the Numbers spreadsheet improperly.
  • ...


How to find a Numbers Spreadsheet Disappeared

Solution 1. Find a recently opened Numbers file

  1. Open Numbers app > choose File and then Open Recent from the top of your Mac screen.open from recent
  2. Numbers will show the last ten documents you opened. Find and choose the spreadsheet you’re looking for.


Solution 2. Search for the Number file with Spotlight

  1. Select the Spotlight icon at the top-right corner of your Mac desktop.
  2. Enter one or more words from the title or content of your disappeared Numbers spreadsheet.find numbers file with spotlight
  3. From the search results, find the Numbers file disappeared, double-click to open it.



In a nutshell, even though we accidentally delete or lost a Numbers file, there are professional and free data recovery tools to get them back, even it is possible to restore an unsaved Numbers document. But as always, the best way is finding an expert, such as Cisdem Data Recovery.

Connie Wisley
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Connie has been writing for Mac productivity and utility apps since 2009. Each review and solution is based on her practical tests, she is aways energetic and trustworthy in this field.

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  • Echo

    I lost one important Numbers spreadsheet from my iPhone. FoneLab recommended here helps me out. Many thanks!

    0 months ago Reply

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