Where Does Excel Store Temp Files? How to Recover If Lost?

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After spending almost an hour filling up a spreadsheet, Microsoft Excel crashes or you forget to save it before quitting. what do you do? Don't let your anger get the best of you just yet, we've assembled this guide to assist you with recovering Excel temp files.

1Where Does Excel Store Temp Files?

When you install any Microsoft Office package on your computer, by default the program will save temporary copies as you work. If your computer crashes, the next time you open Microsoft Excel you'll be shown the "AutoRecover" menu which lists the most recent Excel temp files.

However, if this doesn't appear or you closed Excel without saving (in which case it wouldn't show anyway), you can access all of the temp files manually. The temporary save folder is different for each Windows version:

  • Windows 10: C:\Users\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Office\UnsavedFiles

  • Windows 8/7/Vista: C:\Users\UserName\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Office\UnsavedFiles

  • Windows XP: C:\Documents and Settings\UserName\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Office\UnsavedFiles

After making your way to the respective directory you'll have the answer to "where does Excel save temp files" and can manually recover them.

2How to Recover Unsaved Excel Files?

There are easier ways to recover Excel files than navigating your way through a maze of folders, here are the solutions we recommend.

Method 1. iMyFone AnyRecover

Of all the solutions, iMyFone AnyRecover is by far the best. This is the ultimate data recovery tool and it doesn't just come in handy for recovering Microsoft Excel files. No matter what type of file or how it was lost, this program will successfully recover your data.


1,000,000 + Downloads

Features of AnyRecover

  • Recover Excel files that were corrupted, deleted, or lost from software updates

  • Recover data from any type of storage device, including computer, external hard drive, smartphone, SD card, etc.

  • Supports recovery of over 1000 file formats, such as photos, videos, documents, etc.

  • Existing versions of files aren't overwritten during recovery, 100% safe to use.

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It's clear from the features above that iMyFone AnyRecover is an impressive tool. Follow the steps below to recover your unsaved Excel files with it.

Step 1. Download iMyFone AnyRecover on your computer, install it, and then launch.

Step 2. The main menu will present the different file locations, choose the one you want to recover data from.

select location

Step 2. After selecting the appropriate location to scan for the temp files, then click "Start".

scan location

Step 3. Wait while the scan takes place (it should only be a few minutes).

Step 4. Navigate through the folders on the left to find the Excel spreadsheets and once you find them, check their boxes.

Step 5. Finally, click "Recover" and your unsaved spreadsheets will be restored.

preview and recover

Alternatively, you can try using "Deep Scan" if this method doesn't locate the Excel temp files.

Method 2. Using Recover Unsaved Workbooks

Most solutions won't require you to know where does Excel save temp files, this one included. For new files that you haven't saved even once, try using these steps.

Step 1. Open Microsoft Excel and create a new file.

Step 2. Click the "File" tab at the top-left corner.

Step 3. Select the "Open" option and click on "Recent".

Step 4. At the very bottom of this list press "Recover Unsaved Workbooks".


Step 5. A new window will appear showing you all of the unsaved Excel files. Choose the one you want to recover and click "Open".

Step 6. Save the recovered file to prevent losing it again.

Microsoft Office is one of the few software packages which have this safety net for users. If you ever create a new workbook in Excel and didn't save it intermittently, this will help you recover it.

Method 3. Restore from Previous Version

From within Excel, you will also be able to view the previous/unsaved versions of your Excel files.

Step 1. Launch Microsoft Excel and open the most recent save you have of the Excel file.

Step 2. At the top of the window, click on "File" and click "Info".

Step 3. Next to "Manage Workbook" the recent autosaves/autorecovery files are shown. Click on the one which you want to restore.


Step 4. Excel will display a preview of the file. To save it, click "Restore" and rename it appropriately.

If autosave isn't set up then you won't have as many versions available, but most users will find this method helpful.


Microsoft Office is slowly becoming more advanced and as a result, includes features that create Excel temp files which minimise the risk of data loss. Fortunately, it is easy to access these temporary saves when you have iMyFone AnyRecover and that's why we recommend it for recovering Excel files.

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By Simon Marcus , to Document Recovery

Updated: Apr 21, 2021

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