How to Recover Unsaved, Lost or Deleted Excel File on Mac

"It happened in a trice. I added some data to the Excel worksheet on my Mac and the power gone out with the Excel unsaved. Is there a way to recover unsaved Excel file on Mac or recover Excel file on Mac? It’s a business report, I really need it. Please help me, thank you!!!" by Ket

how to recover excel file on mac

It happens regularly that you’re working on an Excel workbook, and suddenly it stopped working or the computer crashed right away, leaving you worried about the work have done because it’s too late for you to save the Excel. That’s the reason why people need to restore unsaved Excel file on Mac and they asked for the recover Excel file Mac solution on the forums. Actually, there is full ways to recover Excel file not saved on Mac. Check out the details below for how to recover Excel file on Mac whether it is unsaved, deleted, emptied the trash, formatted drive, or other cause of loss.

Part 1. How to Recover Excel File on Mac Due to Deleted, Lost or Emptied Trash

Part 2. How to Recover Unsaved Excel File on Mac for Free

Part 1. How to Recover Excel File on Mac Due to Deleted, Lost or Empty Trash

MS Excel can draw beautiful charts and spreadsheet to provide an intuitive and effective presentation for reports. It can also process and analyze various data. However, it is frustrating to lose Excel files due to accidental operations. Don't worry, here you can free try the professional Excel recovery Mac tool - iBeesoft Data Recovery for Mac to completely recover Excel files on Mac in minutes. The best Mac file recovery software has a powerful data recovery capability that can recover deleted Excel file on Mac or other drives. This program supports all file formats and storage devices, you can only click three to help you recover Excel files, Word document, PowerPoint photo, music, video and more on Mac.

Your Safe & Effective Recover Excel Mac Tool


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  • It provides two scanning modes to help you completely recover Excel file on Mac.
  • Fully compatible the latest macOS, this efficient file recovery software can recover deleted/lost Excel files from Mac hard drive, memory card, USB drive, and more.
  • It will analyze your driver in-depth to find any recoverable files and can preview the lost files to make sure better Mac recover Excel file effects.

Things to pay attention to if you lost Excel files from hard disk/external device, please stop thinking anything to make it up. All files, including Excel files, graphics, emails and more are still on the hard drive/external device, but you can’t see them visually. They are waiting to be overwritten. Any further operation your Mac will result in Excel deleted permanently. And you should perform the recover Excel file on Mac as soon as possible.

Tutorial for How to Recover an Excel File on Mac

Step 1. Install the iBeesoft Data Recovery for Mac

Download the latest version of recover Excel file Mac application over the internet. Install it as the way you install other software on your Mac. It is fully supported macOS High Sierra and the latest versions.

Step 2. Select Files to Scan

From the main window, you can see all the supported files are selected, the Excel recovery Mac software is ready to scan for them. You need to uncheck them, only keep the "Documents" option selected and click "Start" to recover Excel file on Mac.

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Step 2. Select Drive to Scan

All disk/volume, as well as external hard drives connected to your Mac are listed there. Please select the one where you have deleted or lost the Excel file and click "Scan" to scanning and recover lost Excel files on Mac.

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Step 3. Recove Excel File Mac

When the software analysis is complete, then you can see the lost items will be list on this page. Select the target files and click "Recover" button to recovering deleted Excel file on Mac. There is also a "Deep Scan" option in the window, which will scan your Mac deeper for more Excel files. If you’re not content with the result, you can try it.

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Part 2. How to Recover Unsaved Excel File on Mac for Free

Solution 1: Autorecover Excel on Mac

Microsoft has developed tools or built-in features in Microsoft Excel to solve the problem of losing the unsaved Excel worksheet in case of users really need the file, but lost it accidentally. They are Excel AutoSave and AutoRecover. First, let’s distinguish them, knowing which one you need to recover unsaved Excel file on Mac. They are enabled by default on your Mac Excel. If you haven’t changed the settings yet, it is very likely for you to recover Unsaved Excel files on Mac of you need.

Excel AutoSave: it is a tool that automatically saves a new document that you have created but not saved yet. It is greatly helpful if you created a file, but have saved, and later your computer crashed or power failed.

Excel AutoRecover: it is a feature in Microsoft Excel that helps you to retrieved unsaved files on Mac after an accidental, like Excel or Mac corrupted, or shut down. After then, you restart your Mac and Excel, the option will appear automatically, asking you to choose whether to restore the current Excel to the last saved version or not. And you should remember that the pop-up only appears when your Excel worksheet has been saved at least once.

In this case, if your Excel crashed on Mac or computer issues resulted in the Excel file unsaved, and it is the first version you haven’t saved yet, you can recover Excel file on Mac with the steps:

1. Hold down the "Shift + Command + G" key, depending on your version of Office, choose to right location to find unsaved files.

Newer versions: /Users/(username)/Library/Containers/ Support/Microsoft.

Office 2011: /Users/username/Library/Application Support/Micirosoft/Office/Office X AutoRecovery.

2. Select the auto saved Excel file, copy it to a location on your Mac computer.

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Solution 2: Recover Unsaved Excel file on Mac with Temporary Folder

TemporaryItems is a temporary folder for macOS. It created by the operating system or application and can save cache files or temporary files. So, when editing or opening an Excel file on Mac, it will create a temp file in this directory. If your Excel suddenly crashes causing the file to not be saved, you can check this folder to recover unsaved Excel files on Mac.

1. Right-click the "Finder" icon on the bottom menu and select "Go to Folder". Then enter "/private" in the input box.

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2. Go to: var > folders > _3 > 0qhhcwkn6sj_pn0ttp9ysy2m0000gn > T > TemporaryItems.

how to recover unsaved excel file mac

3. In this item, you will see the file named "~Excel Work File.tmp". At this time, you can change the ".tmp" to ".xls" and then open it to check if it is a file you have not saved. If you want to recover unsaved Pages document or other unsaved files on Mac, this way can still help you.

If the Excel file you have saved over once, then go on editing it, then unsaved it and your computer crashed or the Excel software not working, or the Mac shut down, then try the AutoRecover feature to restore the previous version of Excel file on Mac.

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