[2021] Top 5 Way to Recover Unsaved/Deleted Excel File on Mac

It is a known fact that Excel files can get lost due to unforeseen circumstances like program crash, unexpected shutting down, damaged hard drive, accidental deletion or malware attack. If the excel files that have been removed from your Mac are unsaved, you can still recover them. But if the excel files have been permanently deleted from your system, there‘s only one way to get them. Read on to learn about sure-fire methods of recovering excel files on Mac.

3 Ways to Recover Unsaved/Lost/Deleted Excel File on Mac

1Recover Unsaved/Lost/Deleted Excel File on Mac with AnyRecover

AnyRecover for Mac is a great tool developed by iMyFone company to help users recover useful data from their Mac. If you've mistakenly deleted your excel file, you can recover that file using this power tool. It has a unique data recovery algorithm that makes it easy to recover any excel file with just a few clicks. With AnyRecover, you can recover unlimited data on your Mac.

Amazing Features of AnyRecover


1,000,000 + Downloads

Key Features
  • Supports recovering Excel file due to deleted, formatted, emptied the Mac trash, virus attack, Mac OS X upgrade or reinstallation and more.

  • Fully compatible with the latest Mac OS. Recover unsaved/lost/deleted excel files on MacBook 2019/2016/2011, iMac and Mac Mini instantly.

  • Supports 1000+ file types recovery, including photos, videos, documents (excel, word, ppt, etc.), audios, emails and so on.

  • Recovers your data without overwriting original data. 100% safe to use.

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How to Recover Unsaved Excel File on Mac with AnyRecover

Download AnyRecover software for Mac from the official website, then follow the steps below:

Step 1. Once you've installed AnyRecover, you can initiate the software by selecting the location you want to recover data from.

select location mac

Step 2. After clicking the "Start"  button, AnyRecover will begin an all-round scan on your selected drive. You just need to wait patiently for a moment.

scanning selected drive

Step 3. When the scan is complete, select Document under the Files View tab. Here, you'll be able to find your lost excel files. You can preview them first, once you're sure, choose them and click on Recovery.

preview and recover mac


    Deleted Excel files can be recovered even after you empty the recycle bin.

    Preview available, you can recover exactly what you want.

2Recover Unsaved Excel File from Mac Temporary Folder 

You can recover unsaved excel file on Mac 2016 from the temporary folder of your Excel worksheet. For example, Excel 2016, has this feature which allows you to continue your Excel project from where you stopped even without the file being saved.

Steps of Recovering Excel Files from Mac Temporary Folder

Step 1. On Mac, Go to Applications -> Utilities -> Terminal


Step 2. Once the terminal opens, type "open $TMPDIR" and press the Return Key to open the Temporary folder

Step 3. Navigate through all the folders an select the folder with the name "TemporaryItems"


Step 4. Find the necessary unsaved file you need under "TemporaryItems" and then restore.


    Not all unsaved excel files can be found on the temporary folder.

3Recover Unsaved/Lost Excel File from AutoRecover

AutoRecover is a wonderful feature that is available in some office applications which attempts to recover unsaved Excel file on Mac 2011 or other versions in the event of a program or system crash. It does this by regularly saving a copy of the file in the background.

Steps of Retrieving Excel Files on Mac

Step 1. Click on"Finder", then press the return key on your Mac

Step 2. Once you've done the above steps, type/Users/username/Library/Containers/com.microsoft.Excel/Data/Library/Preferences/AutoRecovery and click the "Go" button to open up Excel's AutoRecovery folder.

Step 3. Find the unsaved Excel file you need, then recover it to another folder on your Mac.



    The process of recovery with Autosave function is simple,  however; you should have enabled Autosave and Autorecover feature on your Mac.

Bonus: Avoid Losing Excel File on Mac - Configure the Autosave

If you want to avoid losing your excel projects, then you should learn how to configure the Autosave feature in Excel. See the steps below.

Step 1. From the menu bar of Excel, select "Preference"

Step 2. In the Privacy and Sharing section, click on "Save"

Step 3. Check "Save AutoRecover info".

Step 4. Then enter the number of minutes you want AutoRecover to save files, or you can use the up/down arrows to increase and decrease the number



Program crash or Mac shutting down can cause your unsaved Excel files to get lost. When this happens, don't panic yet. After reading the guide, you now know how to recover excel file on mac from the temporary or AutoRecover folder. However, if you need to recover unsaved files that have been permanently from your hard drive, then you should consider opting for AnyRecover Mac Data Recovery Software to get the job done.

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By  Simon Marcus , to Document Recovery

Updated on Jan 26, 2021

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