Methods to Recover Lost or Unsaved Excel Files on Mac

Somei Liam

April 10, 2019 09:00 / Posted by Somei Liam

When the Excel program suddenly crashes or overwrites the original Excel by accident, what should be the best solution to recover lost or unsaved Excel files on Mac? Just get back the files from Temporary folder or AutoSave should be a nice solution.

What should you do if you cannot retrieve deleted or unsaved Excel files with the methods? FoneLab Data Retriever and Time Machine are the professional Excel data recoveries to get back Excel in different situations. Just read on the article and get a solution according to your requirement.

If you just insert an image or use a VBA codec for Excel, you might find the Excel suddenly stuck and fails to response. When you launch Excel again, you might not able to find a recovered version. We canrecover unsaved Excel files on Mac from Temporary Folder or AutoSave.

recover lost or unsaved excel files on Mac

1. Recover Unsaved Excel Files on Mac from Temporary Folder

Click the Launchpad on your Mac and choose the Terminal from Utilities. If you are using some old MacOS, you can go to Applications > Utilities > Terminal instead.

terminal mac

Enter open $TMPDIR and open the Temporary file folder with the unsaved Excel files. Select the folder named TemporaryItems, which you can find lots of temp caches end with TMP.

Find the unsaved Excel file under TemporaryItems, you can click each tmp file to check whether the file is the desired one. After that you can restore the unsaved Excel files on Mac.

temporary file

2. Retrieve unsaved Excel files on Mac from AutoSave

Just launch the Terminal on your Mac. After that you can enter the codec: defaults write AppleShowAllFiles true. It will show all the files on your Mac, including the tmp files and caches.

terminal mac

Go to Finder and press Return on your Mac. Enter the information as below to open AutoRecovery folder of Excel.


Now you can find the unsaved Excel files with xlsx or other excel file formats. Just preview the file before you recover the unsaved Excel file on your Mac with ease.

recover unsaved excel file autosave

3. Restore lost Excel files on Mac with Time Machine

How about the lost or deleted Excel files? Just need to check some important Excel file, which is no longer available now, Time Machine is a nice solution to restore Excel files on Mac from backup.

Launch the Time Machine icon from the System Preference of your Mac. After that click on the Time Machine shortcut and start the program with Enter Time Machine option.

Use the timeline to select the Excel version that the Excel files are still available or even you create the Excel file. You can preview the Excel files before retrieving them on Mac.

It will restore your Mac to a previous status. You can choose and restore the deleted Excel file on Mac. Just long press the Command key and select multiple Excel files with mouse click.

recover lost excel time machine

4. Professional method to recover deleted Excel files on Mac

As for the deleted files from Mac, USB cable or SD card, FoneLab Data Retriever is the professional solution you should choose.

FoneLab Data Retriever is the professional and ultimate solution to recover deleted Excel files on Mac. It is able to retrieve deleted or lost Excel files from Mac, hard drive, flash drive, memory card, digital camera and more. Moreover, it won’t store or modify your data.

  1. Recover deleted/lost/overwritten/missing Excel files for different situations.
  2. Provide Quick Scan and Deep Scan to recover deleted or lost Excel files.
  3. Retrieve files from Mac, Windows, external hard driver and more devices.
  4. Keep the recovered data in original status without storing or modifying.

Download and install FoneLab Data Retriever

Once you installed FoneLab Data Retriever on your Mac, you can launch the program and choose the Mac Data Recovery option. It will retrieve the deleted or lost Excel files from different devices.

launch mac file recovery software

Select Document option and start scanning

After that you can select the file type as Document and the hard drive where you lost or deleted the Excel files. Click the Scan button to start the quick scan process on your Mac.

choose file type

Preview the recovered Excel file on Mac

You can find the scanned document results in different categories. Select the XLSX files and preview the result. If the XLK files are available, you can also check the backup copy files with XLK files.

retrieve lost excel

Recover the deleted Excel file on Mac

If you located the lost or deleted Excel files with the Excel Data Recovery, you can choose the Recover button to restore the files to your computer in the original status.


Whether the Excel files are deleted by accident, lost without awareness or unsaved due to program crashes, you can always find a suitable solution to recover Excel files on Mac from the article.

FoneLab Data Retriever is a ultimate solution to get deleted, overwritten or lost Excel files on Mac with Quick Scan and Deep Scan modes. If you have any query about how to retrieve deleted Excel files on Mac, you can share more detailed information in the comments.

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