Recover Unsaved Excel Sheet In MS Excel 2010

by Rohit Khurana on May 5, 2010


Its a terrible waste of time and effort if you mistakenly close an excel sheet without saving which you have been working on for sometime. This may happen by mistake while closing some other sheet or by an abrupt restart of computer because of some reason or some other software which may cause computer to shutdown or restart for whatsoever reasons.


To save your effort and to save you from mess, there is a wonderful feature in MS Excel 2010 which will automatically keep saving your Excel sheet at certain interval of time and will maintain revisions of the same. In this post I will guide you through the settings and use of this feature which may save you big-time in critical situations.

To ensure that Auto Save option is turned on in your MS Excel 2010, just click on the File > Options:

MS Excel Options

On the Excel Options Window, Click the Save tab at the left hand pane. In the “Save Workbooks” option, ensure that the option “Save AutoRecover information” is enabled. Default time for saving is 10 minutes, you can increase or decrease it as per your needs. Lets assume that you keep it 10 minutes as default value. Now it will keep saving your excel sheet every 10 minutes until you manually save and close the sheet.



When this option is enabled and you have been working on an Excel Sheet for 10 minutes or more and you close it by mistake, you can recover up to last 5 AutoSave revisions of the same.

MS Excel Autosave Manage Revision Options

To recover an AutoSave version of an excel sheet, click File > Info and check out the Version and Manage Version option.

Some important points related to MS Excel AutoSave Feature are:

  • Access up to the last five AutoSave versions of your previously saved active workbook. If you save and close your workbook, all AutoSave versions will automatically be deleted. If you close a previously saved workbook without saving, your last AutoSave version is kept until your next editing session.
  • Recover workbooks that were never previously saved. Unsaved workbooks are saved for four days before they are automatically deleted.

You can also recover the unsaved workbooks by opening File > Recent and selecting “Recover Unsaved Workbooks


Hope you find this tutorial useful For more such useful tutorials, check out –

Microsoft Office 2010 Tutorials And Tips By Troublefixers

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

Jorge October 2, 2010 at 2:06 am

Thanks, this metod works like a charm with Excel 2010.

Mike March 25, 2011 at 12:20 am

Thank you so much – finally something that works

Andy July 14, 2011 at 9:13 am

Unbelievable, I followed the instructions and it worked! I think you could do well writing manuals or books!

Shruthi July 17, 2011 at 10:40 pm

Thanks a million!! U r a life saver! :)

Mariam September 20, 2011 at 6:49 pm

Hi there, thanks for posting this guide. Would you happent o know if there is a similar feature in Excel 2003?

Ahmad September 22, 2011 at 6:39 am

My excel doesnt have the same menu – ‘file-recent’– so what do i do?

Victoria September 27, 2011 at 5:09 pm

Wonderful….saved me hours!

Bella October 13, 2011 at 7:00 pm

Thank you so so much…… *phew*

Rose November 14, 2011 at 8:21 pm

Saved my life and sanity!!!

Alan November 24, 2011 at 5:19 am

FAIL. Autosave is set, plus I manually saved several times, anytime I left my desk. Excel locked up. Possibly connected to crash of Windows Internet Explorer moments earlier. Anyway, when re-loading Excel, there are NO unsaved copies, no auto-recover options. The ENTIRE days efforts were gone. WTF

chasity December 14, 2011 at 4:29 am

thanks, I was able to assist my boss recover files she thought she lost. She was impressed! Thanks for the assistance. :)

Jan January 19, 2012 at 2:50 am

you have saved my day

David February 10, 2012 at 3:47 am

Thank you, you just saved me :)

Vijay February 25, 2012 at 9:43 pm

Thanks a lot

ivan April 7, 2012 at 7:04 pm

THANK you , UR a life SAVER

Bill N. April 17, 2012 at 4:55 am

Many many thanks. Your site deserved to float to the top of the search feature in Excel Help when one types “recover” in the search box. Well done. You saved my onions.

Bill N. in VT

Jason July 5, 2012 at 7:14 pm

I cant believe it! I clicked “dont save” by accident on a never before saved file and it still saved it for me and was fully recovered!!! YES YES YES… tons of hours saved!

david August 11, 2012 at 3:41 am

Oh, thank you, thank you, thank you…

Jordan December 25, 2012 at 10:40 am

I thought I lost an entire day’s work when I accidentally clicked don’t save. Then I found this. THANK YOU!

Karen January 2, 2013 at 2:40 pm

Thanks so much for all this useful info & help. You’ve just saved me hours of retyping!!

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