Using the program Microsoft Excel is an easy and convenient way to input and store data on spreadsheets. Unfortunately, sometimes Excel files get corrupted or lost. If you don’t retrieve these files quickly, it could cost you a lot in terms of time and even money.
Given that Excel spreadsheets are often the repository of a vast amount of important data that can be really hard to recreate, the thought of losing an Excel file sends a chill down people’s spine.
If you can no longer locate an Excel file that you were just working on an hour ago, don’t fret, it might not be lost permanently and if you act quickly, you might find it again.
1. Recover the Excel file with Excel
Microsoft realizes how vulnerable files are to corruption or getting lost so they often include in-built tools in their programs that can help locate and restore lost files.
Here is one such fix that they’ve included with Microsoft Excel. This is what happens if your computer shuts down before you saved a file properly or if the program unexpectedly crashed.
- Open Excel. In the program’s start menu, there will be an option that says “Recovered”.
- Look for “Show Recovered Files”, click it.
- A new blank spreadsheet will open.
- To the left of the spreadsheet, you will see a panel called “Document Recovery”.
- In “Document Recovery” you will see a list of files that were not saved properly before Excel shut down.
- These recovered files will have a date and time stamp. This indicated the time that the file was auto-saved by Excel.
- Click on the latest version of your file. Save it.
2. Check “Temporary Files”
Temporary files are occasional saved by Microsoft Office as backups. If your missing file is there, you can retrieve it.
- Open Excel, go to the “File” tab and open it.
- Click on the “Info” tab.
- You will see a list of options. Choose the option that says “Manage Workbook”
- A button will appear that says “Recover Unsaved Workbooks”, click it.
- A File Explorer will appear.
- If your lost file is there, try to open it.
- Save the file under another name and in your preferred location.
Protecting your Excel files by activating AutoRecover
Of course it’s better to take steps ahead of time to prevent data loss and Microsoft has thought of that too.
AutoRecover protects your Excel file by automatically saving them. The default time period is five minutes but you can change that.
- Open Excel and go to “Files”
- Go to “Options”, then choose “Save”
- You should see a window that says “Customize how workbooks are saved”
- Make sure that the box next to “Save AutoRecover information every _ minutes is ticked”
- Set the number of minutes you want the program to wait before it automatically saves.
Another way to protect your valuable data in case something goes wrong with Excel or your computer is to have data recovery software installed. If you use Excel a lot, you should consider installing DataNumen Excel Repair.