Do you want to protect your workbooks from unexpected computer crashes or power failures? This article explains how to recover unsaved files and restore previous versions of your workbook in Excel 2016, 2013, and 2010. You’ll also learn different ways of file backup on your PC or in the cloud.

Just imagine that you have been working on a very important document in Excel for some hours, creating a very complicated graph, and then… oops! Excel crashed, the power went out or you accidentally closed a file without saving. That is frustrating, but don’t be so cut up about it – you can easily recover your unsaved document.

What is the worst that could be? While working on a workbook you found out that you made a mistake about an hour ago, you already made a lot of changes since that time and undo is not an option.


Excel periodically saves a copy of your Excel file. Learn how to recover a file that was never saved and how to recover a file that has been saved at least once.

If Excel crashes, it displays the Document Recovery Pane, the first time you open Excel again. This is a quick way to recover the last autosaved file.

File that was never saved

If you’ve never saved a file and you accidentally click Don’t Save below when you close Excel (or Excel crashes), execute the following steps to recover the last autosaved file.

Note: Excel tells you if a recent copy will be available.

1. On the File tab, click Info.

2. Click Manage Workbook, Recover Unsaved Workbooks.

3. Click the last autosaved file.

Saved at least once

If you’ve saved a file at least once and you accidentally click Don’t Save below when you close Excel (or Excel crashes), execute the following steps to recover the last autosaved file.

Note: Excel tells you if a recent copy will be available.

1. Open the Excel file!

2. On the File tab, click Info.

3. Under Manage Workbook, click the last autosaved file.

Versions

When you are working on an Excel file, Excel saves all previous autosaved files under Manage Workbook.

1. On the File tab, click Info.

2. At any time, you can go back to a previous version of your Excel file.

Note: Excel deletes all previous autosaved files when you close the Excel file.

Options

To change the AutoRecover options, execute the following steps.

1. On the File tab, click Options, Save.

Note: you can save AutoRecover information every x minutes, change the AutoRecover file location, etc.