Can I ensure that if I mistakenly close a Microsoft Excel document without saving the latest version, that I can recover some of the work I've done?
I'm using Excel 2003.
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Look for any files in the following:
C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\Microsoft\Excel\
In my case, I found an errant file here:
C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\Microsoft\Excel\~ar3451.xar
For an Excel 2003 file on our office LAN the computer blue screened and all changes were lost to the document. I found the file shown in the above string and right-clicked, Open With Excel and voilà, there was the file with all of my changes.
Immediately saved it with new filename and back to work.
Applies to Excel 2007 (and maybe 2003) on Windows 7.
Prior to Excel 2010, the Autosave feature creates hidden .xar files in "C:\Users\ username\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Excel". The filenames are generated, and don't relate to the Workbook name. When you close Excel and select NO to save changes, the related temp .xar file is deleted PERMANENTLY... However...
I have come up with a way of saving the files in this directory to a backup directory at regular intervals using Task Scheduler and Powershell - effectively backing up the autosave files. Reason being, you can then (copy your backed up file to a temp location so as not to screw the backup) rename the extension to .xlsx and open it in Excel !! - If it wasn't a .xlsx file, Excel will prob. give you an error, try other extensions (.xls / .xlsm ...etc).
This is how to do what I did...
I recall it may ask you to confirm that you wish to run a program with the following arguments or something...
I had a similar situation but someone was working off of our company's server via remote desktop. Someone recommended the following file tree which was helpful:
C:\Users\*user name*\AppData\Local\Microsoft ⇢ \Office\UnsavedFiles\Book1((Unsaved-301910293917302138)).xlsb
I actually found the files on the server via a similar file tree with a weird non excel file extension and, while I could not double-click and open, I was able to open it just fine from the already launched Excel software and finally save it as a spreadsheet.
C:\Documents and Settings\*user name*\Application Data\Microsoft\Excel\XLSTART
I worked on an Excel 2007 file, then chose not to save it after getting confused by the many windows! Searching for the exact name of the file (using Google desktop) will show you a few cached versions of the file. Look at the time of your last file and use the cached file to copy and paste back your work. The format will not be the same but you'll have your work. I just did this and it worked!
MS Office has an autosave feature. It does this periodically just to make sure you do not lose anything. The question is whether or not it was actually enabled. If it was you might be able to find the temp file in the directory mentioned below.
Excel doesn't have the AutoSave feature enabled as default, you have to add it. This is because it isn't always practical to have this functionality enabled. If you have it enabled and want to experiment with a spreadsheet, you should create a copy then open that so that the AutoSave doesn't overwrite the original.
To enable the AutoSave feature, you have to use an Add In. Go to "Tools" "Add ins" and choose "AutoSave". With Office XP, AutoSave has been moved out from Add Ins to Options, in a similar way to Word. You will find the settings under "Save" where you can also disable the Auto Recover feature for that particular work book.
Excel automatically saves every 10 minutes to the default location of "C:\ Documents and Settings\\Local Settings\Temp" The files are identifiable as they are saved as a number .tmp e.g. "28.tmp". This means that they look different from word or any other temporary files that are being saved there by other applications.
With a little luck this suggestion will work for you. You will probably have to rename the file manually since excel file was closed normally.
At that point (and it's probably too late now, but for future reference), whether from a close or a crash, open Excel up directly. DO NOT open up the file from a "Recent Docs" list or even from My Docs. Office creates a temp file to store your work in, so if you open (any) the program by itself, it should have a Recovery bar on the left. If not, maybe you can use some file recovery software. I use PC Inspector File Recovery alot.
If I have a trouble to recover my office files I use an OfficeRecovery application. Once I have helped a good friend of mine with this application restoring his monthly Access work!