Top 3 Way to Recover Unsaved/Deleted Excel Files on Mac [2020]

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 unsaved 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.

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Key Features
  • Supports recover 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 from iMac, MacBook, Mac Mini and Mac Pro instantly.

  • Supports 1000+ file types recovery, including photos, videos, documents, audios, email, etc.

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

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Steps of Recovering Excel Files on Mac

Step 1. Download AnyRecover software for Mac from the official website.

Step 2. Once you've installed AnyRecover, you can initiate the software by selecting Deleted Files Recovery mode.

anyrecover home mac

Step 3. After the scanning process, select Document under the Files View tab. Here, you'll be able to find your lost excel files. Choose them and click on Recovery.

mac scan results


    Deleted excel files can be recovered even after you emptying 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 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 Lost/Deleted Excel File from AutoRecover

AutoRecover is a wonderful feature that is available in some office applications which attempts to recover lost or deleted Excel files 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/ 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. You can recover these files 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 for Mac to get the job done.

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By  Simon Marcus , to Document Recovery

Posted on Feb 19, 2019  ( Updated: Jun 01, 2020 )

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