How to recover an unsaved Visio file

You can use the web or app version of Microsoft’s popular Visio program. If you use the desktop (app) version of Microsoft Visio, you may have experienced a crash, resulting in your work being unsaved or lost. Fortunately, there is a way you can recover unsaved work from Microsoft Visio, so keep reading to find out.

To recover an unsaved Microsoft Visio file on your desktop, you need to access the temporary files in your File Explorer. You can also prevent the loss of unsaved data by using the auto-save feature.

  • Use Temp files in File Explorer to recover unsaved Visio files.
  • Use the autosave feature in the Visio settings section.

How to use Temp files in File Explorer to recover unsaved Visio files

Microsoft Visio stores any unsaved copies of your work in a temporary File storing section within File Explorer. You can access File Explorer to recover those files depending on what is required. If you have unsaved files in Microsoft Visio that you forgot to save before you exited the program, you can use the method below to help recover the file. 

  • Firstly, open File Explorer. 

File Explorer is an application where you can access all your files and folders on your desktop or external from a cloud drive such as OneDrive. You will need to access File Explorer to enter the app data section, where you will be able to locate the temp folder. 

  • Now input the following: C:\Users\Username\AppData\Local\Temp

If you are trying to locate the temporary file section in File Explorer, I have included a path you can use to help navigate to the folder instantly. Simply input the following and change the username to your username. Once complete, you can access the temp files to proceed with the following steps. 

  • Locate the unsaved File in this section. 

Locating the temp files for Microsoft Visio can be made easier by knowing that Microsoft Visio files will have a “.vsdm” file type. If you remember the file’s name, that is even better; just navigate to the filename, and then proceed with the following steps. 

  • Move the File onto your local desktop to complete the process. 

Upon completing the process, you will have managed to recover an unsaved file from Microsoft Visio. The temp file section is where all your files are stored; they can either be unsaved versions of a file or previous versions. There will be quite a few files here from various other applications you use regularly. However, if you keep looking, you will eventually find the file that is required to recover unsaved work for Microsoft Visio.

How to use the autosave time cycle in the Visio settings section

So now that you have successfully located the unsaved file in the temporary file section, you may be looking for methods to prevent a situation like this from occurring again. Thankfully there is a method you can use to help avoid a situation like this from happening. Using the Options section in Microsoft Visio, you can decrease the time between each autosave cycle. Read the steps below to better understand how you can achieve this. 

  • Firstly open Microsoft Visio. 
  • From there, you need to click on “File.” 
  • Now click on “Options.”

From the left-hand menu, when you click on File, there will be a list of different options available for you to choose from. From here, you will need to select the one called Options. 

  • Click the “Save” category link on the left side to make your selection.
  • Go to the Save documents section and choose the “Save AutoRecover information every” option. 

You can adjust the time scale next to this option, allowing you to be more precise in what you require. For instance, if you want more frequent autosaves, you can reduce this scale below the current time scale. 

  • Click on “OK” to complete the process. 

If you use Microsoft Visio regularly, using the steps above may be worthwhile to reduce the amount of time for an autosave cycle to occur. Upon completing the process, you will have managed to reduce the autosave cycle in Microsoft Visio. Doing this will eventually reduce the time it takes for autosave cycles to run within the program.


Thank you for reading our content on recovering an unsaved file from Microsoft Visio. I have provided the steps to recover an unsaved file from Microsoft Visio using the temp section. The temp section includes the unsaved files you lost because the desktop has crashed or the application has stopped working. 

I have also provided the steps to reduce the chances of unsaved files occurring when you use Microsoft Visio. You can use this section if you want to minimize the autosave cycle and, therefore, more frequent updates of files. If you come across any issues following the blog, simply drop a comment below, and we will address them. 

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Saajid Gangat

Saajid Gangat has been a researcher and content writer at Business Tech Planet since 2021. Saajid is a tech-savvy writer with expertise in web and graphic design and has extensive knowledge of Microsoft 365, Adobe, Shopify, WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, and more! You can connect with Saajid on Linkedin.

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