How to Recover Unsaved or Deleted Excel Files on Mac

Never lose hope when you find your Excel files lost or unsaved. Get through this article and you can get the simplest solutions to help you recover unsaved, lost or deleted Excel files on Mac.

Aug 21,2019 • Filed to: Solve Problems with Mac • Proven solutions

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Accidently deleting or losing a file or more on Mac is something that every user goes through at least once. While most other files can be recreated or recovered easily, the same cannot be said for Excel files. Even the smallest of problem or issue with an Excel file can lead to a significant loss of data, and depending on how you use it- even hours of work that it took for creating that file.

To help Excel users solve the data loss issue, this article shows how to retrieve deleted Excel documents and how to recover unsaved Excel files in some easy ways. Now, read on and get the solution for Excel file recovery on Mac.

Part 1. Overview of Excel Files

An Excel file, most commonly found with the extension ".xlsx", is a spreaedsheet software that comes with a host of calculation capabilities, pivot tables, graphing tools as well as macro-programming. Excel files are in fact, the industry standard for spreadsheets and used globally for a host of purposes. Every Excel file can hold a vast amount of data, and results of various operations performed on it.

Why Your Mac Excel Files Go Lost

Then, you might be curious about some situations that may lead to loss of Excel files on your Mac.

  • Accidental deletion is the most common cause.
  • Formatted hard drive partitions - When you format the hard drive or a particular partition, then you will lose all Excel files as well as anything else that is there in it. This can cause loss of data in case you did not have any backup. Improper repartitioning is one of the most common causes of lost data.
  • Virus/malware attack - This is amongst the biggest menaces that lead to loss of significant data. Any malware or virus that inflicts your hard drive will delete your files. While formatting the hard drive is an easy way to get rid of the virus, it gets rid of your files as well!
  • Other reasons, including power failure, system crash, computer shutdown, human imporper handling and so on.

So what happens when you lose your Excel files? Is there no way to get them back if you did not have any backup of the same? This is exactly where you need an Excel file recovery software to help you recover deleted or lost Excel files on Mac.


Part 2. Free Download the Excel File Recovery Software

The first thing that you can do to recover deleted or lost Excel files on Mac is to check the Trash Bin. If you have not emptied this yet, then your files will be there. However, if you used the "Command +Delete" or "Command+Option+Delete" method, the files will not be in the Trash Bin. You will need a third-party utility to help you recover Excel files on Mac.

A simple search may lead you to various Excel file rcovery software - but not all will offer you the kind of performance and results that Recoverit for Mac will. If you are looking for a trusted, easy-to-use and effective solution to recover deleted Excel files on Mac, then Recoverit Data Recovery for Macc is what you need.

recycle bin or trash recovery

Recoverit - The Excel File Recovery Software We Trust

  • Recover Excel files from all storage devices like Mac hard drive or external devices.
  • Recover 1000+ types of files, like Excel files with .xls, .xlsx, xla and more extensions.
  • Free scan, thumbnails and preview of Excel files available before recovering them on Mac.
Download | Mac Mac Version Download | Win Windows Version

Using the Excel file recovery software, you're able to restore Excel files regardless of the data loss situations, especially the accidental deletion or permanent loss. Moreover, it supports a variety of filesystems on Windows or Mac computer, like APFS, HFS+, HFSX, FAT16, FAT32, exFAT and NTFS file systems.

Features of Recoverit Mac Excel Recovery:

Before you begin using Recoverit for Mac, knowing what features it offers will help you be more confident of your choice of Excel file recovery software. A roundup of what all it offers is given here.

  • Retrieve Excel files on Mac due to format, deletion and inaccessibility.
  • Recover various file types like documents, videos, images, archives, songs, etc
  • Only read and recover data, no leaking, modifying or things like that, 100% safe.
  • Allows you to rescue data from Macbook, iPod, Mac desktop, usb drives, digital cameras, mobile phones and other storage media.

Video Tutorial on Excel File Recovery

Recoverit Excel Recovery can help you recover Excel files on Windows (Windows 10/8/7/Vista/XP) and Mac computers.


Part 3. How to Recover Excel Files Deleted or Lost on Mac

As mentioned earlier, Recoverit Mac Data Recovery is all about simplicity and effectiveness. Using this powerful data recovery tool is just a matter of 3 simple steps as detailed ahead.

Setp 1. Select the source drive for lost files

To recover deleted Excel file on Mac, you need to select the Mac logical drive where the deleted or Excel files were stored. If any particular partition or drive is not there in the list, refresh the list.

recover excel files on mac

Setp 2. Scanning the selected hard drive

An all-around scan will be preformed immediately on the selected hard drive to search for the lost or deleted Excel files on Mac. You can pause the scanning process at any time.

recover lost excel file

Setp 3. Preview and recover Excel files

After the scan completes, all the files present in that particular memory that you can recover. Select only those files that you require, and click on the "Recover" button. It will then prompt you to browse to the path where the files are to be saved most recovery. With this, you will recover deleted Excel files on Mac to the specific location.

recover excel files


Now, after the 3 steps, we believe that all your deleted or lost Excel files are recovered and saved successfully and safely. One thing to point is that please do not save the recovered Excel files on the same location to avoid data overwritting.


Part 4. How to Recover Unsaved Excel File on Mac

Sometimes, the Mac Excel shutdown can happen and cause the loss of unsaved Excel files. When suffering from the situation, you might be eager to know: "How do I retrieve an unsaved Excel file on a Mac?". Yes, you can recover unsaved Excel files as you wish. Moreover, there are 3 common ways to help you out.

1. Recover Unsaved Excel Files with Excel AutoSave

Mac Excel (2016 - 2010) features 2 useful and helpful functions, that are AutoSave and AutoRecover, to help you recover Excel files not saved on Mac promptly. AutoSave can automatically save the Excel files you're writing data into. The saving interval is configured by yourself, usually every 5 minutes. AutoRecover can show all the latest autosaved Excel files and allow you to recover unsaved documents.

Step 1 Enable Excel AutoSave and AutoRecover

Before recovering unsaved Excel files with Excel AutoSave and AutoRecover, you need to first enable the two functions. Otherwise, the method doesn't work.

  1. To enable and configure Excel AutoSave, you can go to "File" > "Options" > "Save".
  2. Then you need to fill the minutes you want to decide how often the Mac Excel AutoSave works.
  3. Check the two boxes "Save AutoRecover information every X minutes" and "Keep the last autosaved version if I close without saving".
  4. Click "OK" and the Mac Excel will automatically save your Excel files according to your configuration.
recover unsaved excel files on mac
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Step 2 Recover Unsaved Workbooks on Mac

Now, let's take a look at how to recover unsaved Excel files in this way.

  1. Go to the "File" tab on the top of Excel spreadsheet. Click it.
  2. Click "Open" > "Recent Workbooks" and scroll down the list.
  3. Select the document version you want and click "Recover Unsaved Workbooks".
  4. You can also go to "File" > "Info" > "Manage Workbooks" and select "Recover Unsaved Workbooks".

Note The autosaved documents can be easily overwritten, so sometimes, it can't help you out.

2. Recover Unsaved Excel Files from AutoRecovery Folder

You can also get the AutoRecovery Excel files and recover unsaved documents on Mac by entering into the AutoRecovery Folder.

  1. Go to "Finder" and find the search box.
  2. Type "/Users/username/Library/Containers/com.microsoft.Excel/Data/Library/Preferences/AutoRecovery" in the search box.
  3. Press Enter or Return and you can see the AutoRecovery folder.
  4. Find the Excel files you want to recover, select and save them to another location on Mac.

3. Recover Unsaved Excel Files from Temporary Files

What are Temporary Files? Mac Temp files is created to contain the data while a new Excel document is made. Usually, when the Excel program is closed, the temp files are deleted accordingly. But sometimes, when your Excel is closed abnormally or suddenly, the Mac Temp files can help you recover Excel data not saved on Mac promptly.

  1. Go to "Applications" > "Utilities" > "Terminal".
  2. Type the command line - "open $TMPDIR" on Mac Terminal and press "Return".
  3. Access the Temporary files folder > "TemporaryItems" and open the folder.
  4. Select the unsaved Excel files you want and drag them out of the folder.
recover unsaved Excel files from Temp files
Click and enlarge the image

Excel AutoSave, Excel AutoRecovery and Excel Temp Files can be powerful options to help you retrieve unsaved Excel files on Windows or Mac computer. But if you want to a one-stop solution to recover unsaved, deleted or lost Excel files, it is Recoverit Data Recovery that offers you the service. It can ever help you with Excel recovery after computer crash.


Part 5. Tips for Recovering Excel Files on Mac

Now that you know how to recover unsaved, deleted or lost Excel files on Mac, you might be a bit more relaxed about the data on your Mac. While there are some ways to rescue your data, it will be better if you avoid any such situations from coming up again in the future. Here are a few tips to help you with that:

  • Avoid using any automated tools for cleanup and for increasing your memory. These delete files without asking for your permission at times, and can cause you to lose sensitive data.
  • If you use the command line for deleting a file(s), then be careful about what you type, as even a single mistake could delete many data here.
  • Before formatting any partition or disk, be sure of what the implications of it will be. One of the most common causes of lost files and data are improper repartitioning of drives as mentioned above.

To Wrap Up

Thus, with all the above knowledge, getting back your lost Excel files and preventing any further issues in the future should now be an easier task for you! To recover files from hard drive or external devices, Recoverit Data Recovery can be a nice option. Free download and try it for free now!

Note: Recover Lost Mac Data under Mac OS X 10.13 (High Sierra)

Due to macOS High Sierra (macOS 10.13) requirement, Mac users are not allowed an access to the built-in system drive from any apps. Therefore, if you need to restore lost data from the system disk under macOS 10.13, please "disable System Integrity Protection" first.

How to disable "System Integrity protection"? Please follow the steps below.

system integrity protection

Step 1Reboot the Mac and hold down "Command + R" keys simultaneously after you hear the startup chime, this will boot OS X into Recovery Mode.

recovery mode

Step 2When the "OS X Utilities" screen appears, pull down the "Utilities" menu at the top of the screen instead, and choose "Terminal".

terminal

Step 3In the "Terminal" window, type in "csrutil disable" and press "Enter" then restart your Mac.

Amy Dennis

staff Editor

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