Recover an Excel File

If a workbook you were working on was closed without being saved, either by a program crashing or just by accident, you may be able to recover it. Excel periodically saves a copy of your Excel file. By default, this setting is every 10 minutes, but you can easily change this setting.

Recover a Workbook

If Excel crashes, it will display the Document Recovery Pane the first time you open Excel again

  1. Restart Microsoft Excel.
    Recover a Workbook

    If an unsaved workbook can be recovered, the Recovered header will appear on the left.

  2. Click Recover unsaved workbooks.
    Recover a Workbook

    The Recovery pane appears, listing all recovered workbooks that were found.

  3. Select the workbook from the Document Recovery pane.

    The last AutoSaved version of that workbook opens.

  4. Click Close.
    Recover a Workbook

AutoRecovery Settings

If the workbook that you were hoping to recover doesn’t appear, it’s probably because the AutoRecovery settings didn’t catch it. We can change those settings so that it’s a bit more diligent about auto-saving your workbooks.

  1. Click the File tab.
    AutoRecovery Settings
  2. Click Options.
    AutoRecovery Settings
  3. Click Save.

    The AutoRecovery settings are here. Make sure that the proper checkboxes are checked.

  4. Make sure the Save AutoRecover information every checkbox is checked and adjust the time interval.

    You can’t specify the interval if the checkbox is not selected.

  5. Click OK.
    AutoRecovery Settings

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