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How To Recover Unsaved Microsoft Office Excel, Word, or PowerPoint Files Closed Before Saving

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NOTE: These instructions work for both Office 2010 and Office 2013.

Here are the steps to take to recover your unsaved new document in Microsoft Office Excel, Word, or PowerPoint if you inadvertently close it before saving it:

  1. Open the Office application that you were using.
  2. Click the File tab.
  3. Click Recent.
  4. Scroll to the bottom of your "Recent Documents" (Office 2013 only), then click Recover Unsaved Documents if you are in Word, Recover Unsaved Workbooks if you are in Excel or Recover Unsaved Presentations if you are in PowerPoint.
  5. Your saved drafts folder will open in a new window. Select the file and then click Open.
  6. In the business bar at the top of the file, click Save As to save your file to your computer.

You can also access these files by using these steps:

  1. Open the Office application you were using.
  2. Open a new file or any existing file.
  3. Click the File tab.
  4. Click Info.
  5. Click Manage Versions.
  6. Click Recover Unsaved Documents if you are in Word, Recover Unsaved Workbooks if you are in Excel or Recover Unsaved Presentations if you are in PowerPoint.
  7. You will see the list of your unsaved files. Select the file and click Open.
  8. In the business bar at the top of the file, click Save As to save your file to your computer.

Notes

You can also browse to one of the following file locations to open the file, depending on your operating system (NOTE: These file locations cannot be changed):

  • Windows 7/8 and 10 - C:\Users\User_Name\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Office\UnsavedFiles (you have to be able to see your hidden files)

Here is how to enable AutoRecover and AutoSave to protect your files in Microsoft Office:

  1. Click the File tab.
  2. Under Help, click Options.
  3. Click Save. 
  4. Make sure the "Save AutoRecover information every x minutes" check box is selected. 
  5. In Word, Excel and PowerPoint, make sure the "Keep the last autosaved version if I close without saving" check box is selected.

NOTE: To be sure you don’t lose your latest work, click Save (or press CTRL+S) often.

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