Losing your work in Excel due to unexpected crashes or accidental closures can be a frustrating experience. However, there are several methods you can use to recover recently closed Excel files. In this step-by-step guide, we will explore three effective methods: using Excel’s AutoRecover feature, opening recently closed files, and using the File History feature in Windows.
AutoRecover: Excel’s Safety Net
Excel’s AutoRecover feature is a built-in safety net that helps to prevent data loss in case of crashes or accidental closures. AutoRecover saves a copy of your work every few minutes, so you can always recover your most recent changes.
To enable AutoRecover, follow these steps:
- Open Excel.
- Click the File tab.
- Click Options.
- In the Save category, select the Save AutoRecover information every checkbox and specify the frequency of automatic saves.
- Click the OK button.
Once AutoRecover is enabled, Excel will save a copy of your work in a temporary file every few minutes. If Excel crashes or you accidentally close a file without saving, you can recover your most recent changes by following these steps:
- Restart Excel.
- If Excel detects that a file was not saved, the Document Recovery pane will appear on the left side of the window.
- Click the file you want to recover.
- Click the Open button.
Open Recently Closed Files
Another way to recover recently closed Excel files is to open the Recent Files list. The Recent Files list displays a list of the files you have opened recently. To open the Recent Files list, follow these steps:
- Click the File tab.
- Click Open.
- In the Recent Workbooks section, click the file you want to open.
If the file you are looking for is not in the Recent Files list, you can search for it by typing the file name in the search box.
File History: Windows’ Backup Solution
Windows offers a File History feature that can be used to recover recently closed Excel files. File History creates a backup of the files in your computer, including Excel files.
To use File History to recover an Excel file, follow these steps:
- Open File Explorer.
- Navigate to the folder that contains the Excel file you want to recover.
- Right-click on the folder and select Properties.
- In the Previous Versions tab, click the Restore button.
- Select the version of the file you want to restore and click the Open button.
An alternative method to open a recently closed Excel file is to use the “Search” feature in Windows. Here are the steps:
- Click on the Windows “Start” button on the bottom left-hand corner of the screen.
- In the search box, type in the name of the Excel file you want to open.
- Look for the file in the search results.
- Once you find the file, right-click on it and select “Open With” from the context menu.
- Select “Microsoft Excel” from the list of programs to open the file with.
Note that this method works only if you remember the name of the Excel file you want to open and its location on your computer. If you are unsure of the file name or its location, you can use the other methods mentioned earlier in this conversation to try to recover the file.
How to Prevent Data Loss in Excel
In addition to knowing how to recover recently closed Excel files, it is also important to know how to prevent data loss in the first place.
Save your work regularly. This is the most important thing you can do to prevent data loss. Get into the habit of saving your work every few minutes, especially if you are working on a large or complex file.
Enable AutoRecover. As mentioned earlier, AutoRecover saves a copy of your work every few minutes, so you can always recover your most recent changes if Excel crashes or you accidentally close a file without saving.
Close unused workbooks. When you are working on multiple workbooks, make sure to close any workbooks that you are not actively using. This will free up memory and help to prevent Excel from crashing.
By following these tips, you can help to prevent data loss in Excel and keep your files safe.