Since Office 2002 (probably even 97) until Office 2010 (probably even 2013), opening Excel and Word constantly results in me being shown a list of documents that I might want to recover. As far as I know, I save my documents, close them, and then shut down Excel and Word like any other application by clicking the X. I don't ALT+F4, open task manager and terminate the processes, unplug my computer, go out to my garage an flip all the breakers, etc. Every time this document list shows up, I feel a little paranoid, as if I need to look at them or something just to make sure I am not losing anything that I somehow didn't save.

I'd like someone to tell me that this is just Office messing with my mind, that everything I need has been safely saved to my drive. Don't just tell me that because I want you to, though. If you know what's up with this, do share.

  • Windows offers to recover files when it detects the presence of temporary versions of those files, which should have been deleted when the program unloaded the file and closed gracefully. these files will have the same name as the file opened, but will start with a tilde. Is your user allowed to delete files in the location the documents were opened from? – Frank Thomas May 1 '15 at 12:26
  • @FrankThomas I have the permissions for that, but why I actually have to even worry about that in the year 2015 hits me in the wut – oscilatingcretin May 1 '15 at 12:47
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    Do you have always the same files? Have you tried to open and see what are those? I guess either you always have the same ones and you should save/delete them just once; either you have some template files opened in the background which you don't save, but I can't say more based on the information in your question. – Máté Juhász May 1 '15 at 13:38
  • @MátéJuhász It's never the same files. One time, I opened Excel and there were five or six files showing in there for what I established as no legitimate reason. I just click the close button in the list pane and dismiss them. I've opened them on occasion in the past, but they just seemed to be the same file, though I didn't do any painstaking comparisons to ensure that this is the case. – oscilatingcretin May 2 '15 at 14:56
  • Old question and perhaps overtaken by events. If this is still going on, try closing by using the Close or Exit option in the menu rather than clicking the X. – fixer1234 Oct 5 '18 at 0:15

If you have closed the files normally and you are still getting auto recovery files then this means you still have temporary files in autosave folder.

  1. Go in File/Options/Save: find the path and delete everything in that folder. Close excel/word and open again. Check if you get autorecovery files again or not.

  2. Go in File/Options/Save: Change the location of the autosave files, preferably give it a sub folder for excel and do the same thing in word if you are having problems there.

  3. Do run scan disk to see if there are disk problems. If you do I suggest you just buy another drive, its not worth losing your data anyway.

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I don't know the reason yours isn't working as it should, but here's an idea that will hopefully get rid of the behavior. (It's a little bit risky in the sense that you might conceivably lose some work in the event of a crash.)

Options -> Save -> uncheck "Keep the last autosaved version if I close without saving"

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  • Useful for a dedicated server where Excel is used only for automation and not for user interaction. – Vojtěch Dohnal Sep 24 '18 at 9:25

I solved this problem by going to File/Options/Save and clicking Disable AutoRecovery For This File Only. The "file" is an empty worksheet where my macros are saved.

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  • I don’t understand. Do you do this for every file that you edit, or just one? Do you do it every time you run Excel, or just once?  And what about Microsoft Word? – Scott Mar 15 '19 at 14:58

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