I have a large Excel file that I had last saved on, I believe September 21st. On the 22nd I made some changes but did not save it. On the 24th, my computer was rebooted (without saving the sheet).

Today I opened the file and was informed that there was autosave data. I looked at the few options and found the one that had my edits from the 22nd, and saved it as the "real" file (i.e. overwrote the one that was saved on the 21st).

Apparently that was a stupid idea, because now that I more closely examine it, I see that every single formula (thousands and thousands of cells across multiple sheets) has now changed to "=#N/A". However, my data is still there. For example, if cell A1 had a value of 2, and cell B1 had a value of 3, and C1 previously had the formula "=A1+B1", then C1 still shows the value 5, but its formula is gone and has "=#N/A".

I hope that's clear enough.

Some of these formulas were very complicated. Is there any way to get them back? If I copy and paste from one of the "=#N/A" cells, I just get "#N/A" in the new cell (even though the old one still shows the old correct value which is the result of the formula that used to exist there).


look at the file properties in Windows Explorer. Is there a "previous version" tab? If so, select one to recover.

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  • Thank you! I had no clue that existed. The version I saved on the 20th is there. Seriously, thanks so much. I'll accept this answer as soon as I can (9 more minutes, apparently)... – Jer Sep 26 '11 at 21:21
  • Glad that worked for you! I hate losing work. – uSlackr Sep 27 '11 at 2:22

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