How to Recover a Microsoft Office File You Forgot to Save

You’re hard at work on an Excel spreadsheet, making sure all the numbers are accurate and everything looks great . You are a machine: nothing can stop you from getting the job done and impressing your boss. Except, however, for a power outage that shuts down your computer before you’ve had a chance to save. Now you either have to start over or quit your job and never look back.

Not so fast: While not saving your work is a little dangerous, losing such a document is not a death sentence. If you accidentally closed an Office document without saving for any reason, you don’t have to worry about starting from scratch. There’s an easy way to get a file back using the recovery tool built right into the Office application you’re using.

When you’re working on a document in Word, Excel, or another Office application, the file isn’t only backed up when you click the Save button. The app in question has the data for this file stored in its roaming folder in your user account’s AppData folder. This folder, usually invisible to most users, stores data from various Windows applications for your user account.

In most cases, you’ll find a recently closed, unsaved Office document here. There are two main ways to find it. The first one is the easiest and most direct, as it will take you straight to the roaming folder containing the missing document. To get started, open the app you originally closed, click the File tab in the top left, then select Info. Now click “Document Management” then “Recover Unsaved Documents”. Here you should see the file you closed without saving: select it, then click Save As so you don’t lose it again.

If you want to feel a little more “techy”, there is a slightly more advanced method you can use to achieve the same result. Press Windows + R to open the Run window. Then type %appdata% and run it to open the roaming folder. From here, follow the file path to your application folder (for example, open the Microsoft folder, then the Word folder). This is the folder that the first method takes you directly to, so you should see the missing file. Reopen it, then save.

[ Reddit ]


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