Yesterday morning my colleagues Excel 2011 (on Mac OSX 10.8) crashed. He reopened Excel and was asked if he wanted to recover the previous document. Yes, he said and then got a document named previousfilename(version 1). To be certain that this document was saved he continously saved the (restored) document manually during the day and by the end of the day he saved it finally and went home.

Today there is NO trace of the document whatsoever.

We have looked in the original location, Trash, userfolder/Microsoft userdata/Office 2011AutoRecovery etcetera and there is no document except for the original unedited version. Spotlight doesn't find it either.

Since we have a running Time Machine backup we have lots of backups from yesterday but all the same locations are also empty.

This is a freshly installed product. If this behaviour is expected Excel then having no auto-recover function would actually be better. I hope someone out there might help out. Manually saving a document SHOULD leave a trace somewhere in the filesystem?

Info: System MacBook Pro 2012, OSX 10.8, Office 2011, Excel version 14.2.4 Swedish version.

1 Answer 1


Finally we found the file in the folder:

/Users/username/Library/Application Support/Microsoft Office/Office 2011 AutoRecovery

As the /Users/username/Library folder is a hidden folder since OSX 10.7 and not by default searched by Spotlight it's incredibly stupid that this folder is auto-suggested when saving a recovered file.

  • ~/Library/Application Support is the Apple defined directory where it should go - I think the idea is that Excel should provide all needed access to this - so MS are being stupid here - although before Lion ~/Library was not hidden
    – mmmmmm
    Feb 27, 2013 at 10:56

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