Recover Unsaved Excel File on Mac by Following Easy Steps that Work

Get to know how to recover unsaved excel file Mac with ease and perfection. Use the strategies and tools that work. Make your life easy with easy execution.

• Filed to: Document Recovery • Proven solutions

“I am using Mac and one of my most important excel files have gone corrupted. What should I do to retrieve the data? Please share any possible solution.”

- a question from Quora

“How to recover unsaved excel file on Mac” is one of the top searches when it comes to Google. It simply means that the users face the problem and want to know the solution. This article will deal with every such possible solution. It will make sure that the best and the most advanced outcome is generated. To recover excel file on Mac there are several ways that can be applied to get the work done. It is highly advised not to experiment with the excel file once it gets corrupted. The overwritten parts might get lost. It will then create a whole different scenario where you require hardware based data recovery. It is expensive and tiresome process. Once the file gets corrupted or the wrong info is written in the wrong part then it is advised to leave as it is. Finding the solution online will lead you to success. Some of the solutions that this article will be dealing with are as follows.

Part 1: Accidently Lost Excel Document on Mac Without Saving

There are many scenarios that can lead to this issue. The users can encounter any of the following scenarios on Mac when it comes to file corruption. To recover unsaved excel file on Mac you need to keep every point in mind before proceeding.

1. Bad Sectors on Hard Drive

The hard drive saves the data in every sector of its partition. With the passage of time there is constant wear and tear. If the hard drive is old then the bad sectors appear. These are the main causes of issues. If you want to know how to recover excel file on Mac then you should have complete knowledge about the bad sectors as well. Scanning the hard drive is one of the possible solutions but it does not work every time.

2. Cluster Loss

This is another issue that is related to the problem. It is also one of the main causes of excel document not saved on Mac. These clusters are lost due to bad sectoring as well as data writing property of excel. When the info is written or overwritten in the wrong part this issue occurs. It also means that the file is not recovered and the problem is faced. In such case you will not be able to add info to the file. It will also make sure that you are not able to access the file. Once the clusters are loss the file link is missed when the system tries to access it. It then creates issues with the file opening and accessing and it becomes corrupted.

3. Virus and system related issues

It is something that is most common of all. To recover unsaved excel file on Mac this is one of the scenarios that you should keep in mind. This also means that you need to use anti-virus software so that the issue is never faced. Knowing this issue in deep will help you learn about excel recovery on Mac which is the main aspect of this article. There are many viruses that cause this issue. It is all because of the fact that the life cycle of excel is altered. By doing this the files are corrupted and become inaccessible.

Part 2: How to Recover Unsaved Excel Document on Mac

Method 1: Recover Excel Document with Recoverit (IS) for Mac

The iSkysoft is one of the best programs that can be used to make sure that the best outcome is generated for the user. If the Excel document has not been saved on Mac, then it is the best program that will get you out of the issue. The program is easy to use and also allows you to get the best results.

Recoverit (IS) for Mac

A Life Saver to Solve Your Data Loss Problems!

  • With high data recovery rates and easy interface this program is highly recommended.
  • The program supports over 1000 different file format and can not only recover unsaved excel file but also images, videos, emails, and audios.
  • The program can access internal as well as external hard drives i.e. USB and external storage devices.
  • The program can recover excel document on Mac in case of virus attack, accidental deletion, lost partition and the list goes on.
  • Preview the file before restoring it to make sure that the correct version is recovered and the rest are discarded.
2,965,271 people have downloaded it

User guide on how to recover Excel Files with iSkysoft:

Step 1 Choose Recovery Mode

Start the process by launching the program and accessing the recovery mode that you deem fit from the main interface.

Step 2 Scan Location Selection

Choose the location on the hard drive that you want to scan. It will help recover lost excel file on Mac.

Step 3 Preview and Restore Excel File

The process to find unsaved excel file on Mac starts automatically. The program will then scan the drive sectors and recover the file automatically. Preview the file before it is restored so that the right file is recovered.

Step 4 All-Around Recovery

To recover excel file on Mac this is something that is highly recommended. This mode of scanning takes sometime but works perfectly. The results will fascinate you


Tips: For macOS10.3 or above, you need to disable System Integrity Protection first. The process is as follows.

Step 1 Reboot the Mac and press “Command + R” keys so that the recovery mode is initiated.

Step 2 Click “Utilities” > “Terminal” option to proceed.


Step 3 Enter the command “csrutil status” to get to know the integrity protection status.


Step 4 Enter the command “disable csrutil” command to disable the system integrity protection. Restart the Mac and you are good to go.


Method 2: Recover Excel Document from Trash

This is the most common scenario which teaches that how to recover deleted excel files on Mac. It is a built in functionality and hence the users do not have to do anything extra to recover deleted excel file on Mac. The process is simple and therefore every Mac savvy user can apply this process to get the work done.

On the dock of Mac you need to click the trash bin icon. Locate the folder named as “Recovered Items”. It contains the excel file that has been accidently deleted. Right click and put the file back to its original place.


Method 3: Recover Excel Document from AutoRecover Files

If you want to know how to recover unsaved excel on Mac then it is the best process that can be followed to get the work done. Once again this process is simple and requires only the built in methods. It means that there are no third party tools involved.

Step 1 Access “Finder” on you Mac.


Step 2 Click “Go” > “Go to Folder”. This process can easily be used to restore excel file on Mac.


Step 3 For Autosave excel file type the command “~/Library/Containers/” and then press “Go”.

Step 4 The AutoRecover excel file will be located in the “AutoRecover” folder. The header that you need to look for is “AutoRecovery Save of”. Add the extension .xls to the file that you are after. Open it and edit to save it with a different name to a location of your choice. The excel document recovery on Mac has never been as easy as it is with this method.


Tips: What Are AutoSave and AutoRecover in Office?


At times there are toggles on the top of excel or any Office related file. This is something that is related to OneDrive. It saves the file every few seconds and this info can be altered. It saves the changes to the file and can also work as standalone. It becomes handy if more than one person is working on the file at the same time.



It is a feature that has been made to ensure that the file is recovered in case of a system crash. The default time for the AutoRecover for Mac is about 10 minutes. It is important to note that this should not be used as an alternative to regular file saving. That should be done without any delay. For Mac the AutoRecover file path for excel is “/Users//Library/Containers/ Support/Microsoft”.


Method 4: Recover Excel Document from the Temporary Folder

Step 1 Access the terminal by clicking “Applications” > “Utilities”.


Step 2 To access the temporary folder type the command $TMPDIR.


Step 3 You will see the folder by the name of “TemporaryItems”. Right click excel file that you want to recover, select “Open With” > “Microsoft Excel”. Click “File” > “Save As”.


Method 5: Recover Excel Document from Time Machine Backup

The process is simple if you have an external drive to work on. To recover excel file not saved on Mac you just need to follow the process as below.

Step 1 Click on “Preferences” > “Time Machine”.


Step 2 Now click “Select Backup Disk”.


Step 3 Select the external storage. Click “Encrypt Backups” > “Use Disk”.


Step 4 To restore the excel file follow the process as above and add this step. Find the excel file you want to restore. You can find it through the timeline at the edge of the screen. Preview the file and click “Restore” to complete the process in full.


Part 3. Suggestions: Regularly Save and Backup Excel Document on Mac

  1. It is important that the cloud storage of the Mac is activated to make sure that the file is restored each time it is required.

  2. The Time Machine backup is also required to make sure that the files are never lost. Though it requires external hard drive still it is a handy feature.

  3. Backup copies of excel sheets should be created. There are hundreds of tutorials online that can be watched to get the work done. Follow step by step process to get the work done.

  4. Third party tools are highly advised to store the documents. It means that every cloud service should be used to store the document that is required.

  5. Even if the time machine is not activated it is advised to get external storage devices to store the excel files. These external devices should be kept in the best condition so that their purpose is fulfilled.


The Recoverit (IS) for Mac is the best and the most advanced tool that should be used. It is not only easy to use but also a handy program. The processes that are mentioned in this tutorial are all easy to follow. The results are only guaranteed by Recoverit (IS) for Mac as it is backed by professionals. It is also important that the tutorials of the program are used to get the best out of it. There are many other programs but none provide results as good as Recoverit (IS) for Mac.


staff Editor

Hot Articles

How to Recover Previous Version of Word Document? [5 Ways]
Working hours to lose all data at the last minute can be frustrating. Learn how to recover previous version of Word document to alleviate the stress.
How to Recover Deleted Sheet in Excel: Step-By-Step Guide
Are you wondering how to recover deleted sheets in Excel? If so, keep reading to learn different ways to restore your worksheets in no time.
3 Best Free PDF Password Removers to Unlock Your Files Online
Learn about the three top PDF password remover online and find out how to easily unlock your PDF files without any software.
How to Recover Previous Version of Excel File?
Don't worry when you lose your unsaved excel files, here are 5 proven ways to tell you how to recover previous version of excel files.
How to Recover Unsaved PDF Files from Crashed Computer/Mac?
This article will tell you how to recover unsaved PDF files from crashed Computer/Mac, and how to avoid computer/mac from crashing.
Deleted Permanently? How to Recover Deleted Files from OneDrive Recycle Bin
How long do files stay in OneDrive? How do I recover permanently deleted files from OneDrive from the Recycle Bin? How to recover deleted files from the Recycle Bin in OneDrive will all be answered.
5 Solutions to Recover Deleted Excel Files from Recycle Bin that You Shouldn't Miss
This article compiles 5 solutions on how to recover excel deleted from Recycle Bin. These solutions also offer ways to recover recently deleted files from Recycle Bin and unsaved excel files.
Steps to Recover Deleted Google Sheets, Docs, or Slides
A guide on how to recover a deleted Google Slide, Doc or Sheet with ease under circumstances where it accidentally gets deleted from the interface.
Home > > Resource > Document Recovery > Recover Unsaved Excel File on Mac by Following Easy Steps that Work