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orerockonFlag for United States of America

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Excel find file saved in temp directory

Hello, I came upon a situation where Excel 365 Preview (in Windows 7) saved a temporary copy of a workbook when the drive the workbook was opened from got disconnected. I had a workbook open that was on an external USB drive and tried to save it without knowing the USB cable had pulled out of the PC. I was in a hurry to get to an appointment so when Excel complained that it couldn't save the file, I clicked on the Continue button and it complained again, I didn't read what the dialog box said but at this point I think I let it save a temporary copy or something like that. It saved it in a directory that was either under users or Documents and Settings, I am not sure which. I remember seeing either roaming/appdata or appdata/roaming in the file path. It may have said there were errors in the file that were repaired but again I'm not sure what the dialog boxes said.

I tried to open the temp file it had created on the external drive before it was disconnected (the one that starts with a ~), it does contain all the modifications I had made up to that point. Excel complains that the format is invalid. I don't see any options to open a temporary file from in the file open dialog box in Excel 365. I had thought that the autorecover version of the file is created every 10 minutes for the explicit purpose of recovering lost work in a workbook that couldn't be saved, the computer crashed, etc. So I am mystified by its inability to open what I thought was the autorecover version of the file.

So I searched for the file name in Documents and Settings and Users using both Windows search and Ultra File Search. All I see are older copies of the file in Documents and Settings, that are from early in the morning (I saved it around 5:00 PM). I found no Excel files in Users. Opening the file in the Excel open dialog box this morning opens a copy from earlier in the day yesterday. Is there another way to find it, or place the file might reside? I did a lot of modifications to the workbook that I don't think I can exactly replicate, which is why I can't use the copy from earlier int he day.
Avatar of regmigrant
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You can try going to File tab, Info, manage versions. - if you're lucky there will be a copy saved locally which you can recover but as you were using a USB drive that folder may have been on it.

If the changes you made are format/formula there is nothing further I can think of. If they were text then using the 'recover text from files' might help - click on tools in the File Open dialog

Good luck

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Thanks for the reply, I tried the info tab but it says no previous versions exist. I just now managed to find an "xlsb" file on one of the temp directories on the C: drive that Excel complains is corrupt but at least some of the changes I made are there. At this point I don't see how I can get a file that has all the changes and is in the same format, what I can tell with the xlsb file is that all the formatting and at least some links are gone and who knows what else is messed up (it's a big file with many sheets). It's much smaller than the original which leads me to believe that a lot more is missing. All the files with "autorecover" int he file name are form much earlier in the day yesterday. Also there is no temp folder on the USB drive that I can find, just the unopenable "~" file in the same directory that I saved the original file to.
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Yes this did help, I would add that searching for "xlsb" in the Documents and Settings directory and subdirectories cuts down on wading through the choices. I was able to determine that most of if not all of the changes I had made were in that file, and I am pretty sure the dialog box complaining about having to save the workbook to a temp file (or something to that effect) gave the correct file and directory.