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

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Where are temporary excel files stored? Can I recover excel lost content from temp files?

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 all the effective methods to assist you with recovering Excel temp files in Windows 11/10/8/7.Read on!

Part 1. Where Are Excel Temp Files Stored

1. The Location of Excel Temp Files in Windows 11/10/8/7

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 11/10: 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

2. How to Manually Recover Excel Temp Files

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.

Step 1. Go to the location of Excel temp files (check the above content) and open and files.

Step 2. On the top right corner, click "File", then "Save As", pick the place where you want to save your workbook.

Part 2. Recover Unsaved Excel Files in Windows [Any Scenarios]

There are also options available to recover unsaved Excel files in Windows 11/10/8/7 without knowing the location of temp files.

Method 1. 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.

  • Open Microsoft Excel and create a new file.

  • Click the File tab at the top-left corner.

  • Select the Open option and click on Recent.

  • At the very bottom of this list press Recover Unsaved Workbooks.

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

  • 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 2. Restore from Previous Version

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

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

  • At the top of the window, click on File and click Info.

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

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

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

  • Save the recovered file to prevent losing it again.


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

Part 3. How to Recover Deleted/Lost Excel Files in Windows 11/10/8/7

The above methods show how to recover unsaved Excel files with or without Excel temp files. In case that you have lost or accidentally deleted Excel files from computer or any other storage device, you can try the following method.

Of all the solutions for getting back lost data, 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.


Features of AnyRecover:

  • Recover Excel files or its temp files that were corrupted, deleted, or lost from software updates.
  • Recover data from any type of storage device, including computer, external hard drive, flash drive, SD card, etc.
  • Support 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.
  • Support Windows 11/10/8/7 and all macOS versions.

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

Step 1. Download AnyRecover on your computer, install it, and then launch.Choose the location where your Excel files were saved before.

select location with AnyRecover

Step 2. After selecting the appropriate location to scan for the temp files, then click Start. Wait while the scan takes place (it should only be a few minutes).

scan files with AnyRecover

Step 3. Navigate through the folders on the left to find the Excel spreadsheets and once you find them, check their boxes. Finally, click Recover and your unsaved spreadsheets will be restored.

preview and recover excel files with  AnyRecover


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. If you unfortunately lost your excel files in Windows 11/10/8/7 or macOS, there are still chances to get them back with AnyRecover.

Download AnyRecover and save your files right now before they get overwritten! Once the

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By Simon Marcus , to Document Recovery

Updated: Oct 17, 2022

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