Auto Recover In Excel

What Is Auto Recover In Excel?

Auto Recover in Excel is a feature that helps us recover any files that are closed accidentally without saving when the system shuts down or when the software stops responding.

With Excel Auto Recover, we can also specify the saving time of the file at certain intervals. Excel automatically recovers the last saved and open file with different options. The first option is if we want to keep the changed files, and the second is if the file can be discarded if the data is already saved.

For example, the image below shows the name and addresses of the people, and we will use the CHAR function in Excel to calculate the output.

In the table, the data is,

  • Column A: Contains First Name
  • Column B: Contains Last Name
  • Column C: Contains Street
  • Column D: Contains City
  • Column E: Contains State
  • Column F: Contains Postal Code
  • Column G: Contains Full Address
Auto Recover in Excel - Basic Example

Let us assume a scenario. After entering all details, I forgot to save it, and suddenly, the system turned off. After reopening the system and opening the Excel file, I saw that nothing was saved, as shown in the below image.

The Document Recovery section is formed, showing that the file was opened before the system shut down. The “Auto Recover in Excel.xslx” version shows the saved time before I entered any data, and the time set for saving is 5 minutes. So, it was not 5 minutes when I entered the values in the document, and then the system could not save the data file, and the message shows, “This is the original document”.

Auto Recover in Excel - Basic Example - 1

The steps to evaluate the result using the CHAR Excel function and thereafter use auto recover in excel are as follows:

  1. Select cell G2, and enter the formula =A2&“ ”&B2 CHAR(10)&“ ”&C2& CHAR(10)&“ ”&D2&“ ”&E2&“ ”&F2.

    Basic Example - Step 1

  2. Press the “Enter” key. The result in cell G2 is

    “Ron Weasly
    34, Davidson Ave.
    Chicago IL 60007” in the image below.

    Basic Example - Step 2

  3. Drag the formula from cell G2 to G5 using the fill handle.

    Basic Example - Step 3

    Note: After completing my data, I saved the file, and accidentally the system turned off again. After reopening the system and opening the Excel file, I saw that Excel had the saved file, as shown in the image below.

    The Document Recovery section was formed, showing the file that opened before shutting down the system. The Auto Recover in Excel.xslx version showed two files, one with earlier saved time and the other with the current saved time. So, the document was saved, we did not lose any data, and the system message showed, “This is the original document”.

Key Takeaways
  • Auto Recover In Excel is a useful feature that can help retrieve a previously saved version of the document if the files get closed accidentally.
  • Saving a backup copy can protect from losing important data, and the original file is secured. As a result, the current saved information will get saved in the original workbook, and the information that was saved previously will be found in the backup copy.
  • Excel provides us with useful features like Auto Save and Auto Recover that restore and recover unsaved files of previous versions.

Built-In Auto Recover & Auto Save Options In Excel

Built-In Auto Recover & Auto Save Options In Excel

Auto Save and Auto Recover are built-in features in Excel that are enabled to save the file, recover unsaved files, and restore previously saved versions.

Auto Save in Excel is a tool that automatically saves the document, even when we manually do not save it using the save options such as “FileàSave” or “Ctrl+S”. It helps us not to lose important data in case of a computer crash or power failure.

Auto Recover in Excel helps us retrieve unsaved files after an accidental closure/crash. It restores the last saved version, which displays in the Document Recovery pane when we start Excel next time.

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Condition For Auto Recovery In Excel

The Condition for Auto Recovery in Excel is that it can only recover the files that are saved at least once in the workbook of the computer. Therefore, it can only happen when the file is saved and crashes when we open the new or existing workbook. Then, Excel will show the Document Recovery Pane on the left-hand side of the newly opened sheet, and list out all the crashed Excel workbook files.

How To Enable Auto Recover And Auto Save Options In Excel?

We can Enable Auto Recover and Auto Save Options in Excel as follows:

  • Step 1: Open an Excel workbook, select the “File” tab → click the “More…” option → click the “Options” option from the drop-right list
How to Enable Auto Recover in Excel - Step 1
  • Step 2: The “Excel Options” window opens.
  • On the left side, select the “Save” option.
  • On the right, in the “Save workbooks” section,
    • In the “Save the file in this format:” drop-down, choose “Excel Workbook”.
    • Check the “Save every AutoRecover information:” checkbox, and set the time to 5 minutes. So, every five minutes, the Excel file will be auto-saved.
    • Check the “Keep the last AutoRecover version if I close without saving” checkbox. It creates a backup file, if it is closed without saving, in the given location.
    • Click “OK” to save the settings.
How to Enable Auto Recover in Excel - Step 2

How To Recover Unsaved Excel Files?

We can Recover the Unsaved Excel files as follows:

  • Step 1: In an Excel workbook, select the “File” tab → click the “Open” option → select the “Recent” option on the right → the “Workbooks” section shows the “Auto Recover in Excel” files of Today, Yesterday, This Week, Last Week, and so on…. nearly about 25 to 30 recently opened workbooks in order, as shown below.
How to Recover Unsaved Files in Excel - Step 1
  • Step 2: After scrolling down, the “Recover Unsaved Workbooks” button appears. Click the button to view the unsaved workbook list.
How to Recover Unsaved Files in Excel - Step 2
  • Step 3: On selecting the file from the prompt window as “Recovered Unsaved File”, we click the “Save As” option to save the required unsaved file in the required location.

How To Recover Older Versions Of Excel?

We can Recover the Older Versions of Excel as follows:

  • Step 1: In an Excel workbook, select the “File” tab.
How to Recover Order Versions of Excel - Step 1
  • Step 2: Click the “Info” option from the list à select the “Manage Workbook” option from the drop-right window, as shown below.
How to Recover Order Versions of Excel - Step 2

It shows if any unsaved changes are present or not. In addition, all the recent auto-saved versions with time are shown.

How To Recover Unsaved Work Of Excel?

We can Recover Unsaved Work Of Excel as follows:

Consider a scenario where we suddenly closed the workbook & didn’t save the file we were working on.

Open the unsaved workbook, select the “File” tab → click the “Info” option from the list → select the “Manage Workbook” option.

Here, we can see the last version with special remarks when we closed without saving.

How to Recover Unsaved Work of Excel

Completing the saving time set displays the latest auto-recovery time if the file is closed without saving.

Important Things To Note

  • The less time duration to get more versions of backup.
  • If the data is huge, Excel will take time to recover information every 1 minute.
  • Manage a 5-minutes time interval for auto-recovery for large workbooks. For small workbooks, maintain 1 minute.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Where is Auto Recover in Excel?

Select the “File” tab of Excel Ribbon.
Select the “Open” option from the list.
Select the “Recent” option from the window.
The Auto Recover file is shown in the Workbooks section.

Auto Recover in Excel - FAQ 1

2. What does Auto Recover mean?

When the program crashes or the system accidentally shuts down, the Auto Recover feature helps to load the most current saved version of the document on which we were working.

3. How to Recover Overwritten Excel Files?

To Recover Overwritten Excel Files, follow the below steps;

• Step 1: Click the “File” tab of Excel Ribbon.

• Step 2: Click the “Info” option from the list.

• Step 3: Select the “Manage Versions” option from the drop-right window.

Auto Recover in Excel - FAQ 3

The versions of the overwritten current file are shown.

Download Template

This article must help understand the Auto Recover in Excel feature. You can download the template here to use it instantly.

This has been a guide to Auto Recover In Excel. Here we recover unsaved files & Excel older version files, auto save, examples & downloadable excel template. You can learn more from the following articles – 

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