Recovering unsaved files

How to recover Excel workbooks, PowerPoint presentations or Word documents you forgot to save

Despite using Microsoft Office for years it surprises me that some features that will get you out of jail are simply not used.

Let’s say you’ve been working on a new PowerPoint presentation; a new Word document or Excel workbook and you haven’t got round to saving it yet.

It’s a new file so as far as you are aware if your laptop battery was to run out before you saved the file or you were working on a desktop PC and had a power cut without saving, all your work is lost. Or you may have started working on a new PowerPoint presentation, or Word document or Excel workbook and at the end of the day you close your apps down and click don’t save each time.

Panic sets in, you’ve lost all that hard work and you’re going to have to start all over again.

Well guess what, nothing will be lost at all, everything is recoverable even if you have clicked don’t save on a new file

Hard to believe I know but you can easily recover unsaved Excel workbooks, unsaved Word documents and unsaved PowerPoint presentations, here is how

Go to the file tab of the ribbon and select Open

And all you need to do now is look at the bottom of all the recent workbooks you have been working on and you’ll see a button that saves Recover unsaved Workbooks

In word you will see recover unsaved documents

And in PowerPoint you will see recover unsaved presentations

Once you click on this button you’ll be opening the location on your PC or laptop that stores these unsaved files

Any files you have not saved before an unexpected system shutdown or any files you accidently clicked don’t save when closing down the application will be listed here.

Here you can see an unsaved Excel workbook.

When you open the workbook, you will see RECOVERED UNSAVED FILE and Save As below the ribbon

The file will only be available for a few days to restore before it is deleted permanently.

But what about those files a colleague has overwritten and you want to restore an earlier version. Have no fear you can use version history as long as the file has been saved in Microsoft  Teams or SharePoint

And if you are still saving documents to a laptop, a PC or a server you also have the option of looking in the AutoRecover file location by going to the file tab on the ribbon and selecting Options:

Go to the save category in the left pane

There you will see the AutoRecover file location – the location where the files are saved on your PC or laptop.

Simply copy and paste this path into your windows search bar and press enter

Open the folder that represents the name of your file

Open the file and select Restore alongside RECOVERED UNSAVED FILE

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