I made incorrect changes to an Excel file and saved it, and MS Excel (2003) makes no backup files like MS Word does (only autorecovery files, but that is of no use after clicking 'save').

Is there a tool/utility/macro that will create a backup of the current Excel sheet every time I click 'Save'?
(The usual 'one previous version' method is good enough)

Free would be nice, I'm running Windows (7).


What about making use of Windows 7's built in Previous Versions feature? Just right click on the file and select Restore Previous Versions.

I'm not sure it literally makes every version of the file available, but if you increase the size available for System Recovery it can make a lot of previous versions available.

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  • Didn't know that ;-) Checked it out. Previous versions come from either Windows Backup or system restore points, so their 'resolution' is very coarse - not every 'save' results in a previous version. Thanks for the suggestion though, others may find it useful. – user416 Aug 10 '14 at 13:21
  • Yes it's saved my bacon on quite a few occasions. There's some tips here on increasing the frequency that previous versions are created at superuser.com/questions/507540/… – Matthew Lock Aug 10 '14 at 23:57

You could use Dropbox for this as it keeps file versions. If privacy is an issue, you could try Bitcasa as it provides file encryption.

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  • Will DropBox automatically upload a file as soon as it is changed? And can DropBox handle something like 'Only .xls files' - otherwise I'd have to start placing all Excel sheets in one (a few) specific folders... – user416 Aug 9 '14 at 20:01
  • Cloud-Storage might be a work-around here. But it's not suited for sensitive material. Jan: AFAIK, it's either the entire folder or nothing – though there might be addons for filtering I'm not aware off. But yes, you must define which directories should be synced, and you probably don't want to sync your entire disk (if only for restrictions in size of the Dropbox account or for privacy reasons). – Izzy Aug 9 '14 at 20:04

WatchDirectory can monitor a folder in Windows and all file changes can be used to trigger actions such as creating a new backup copy of a file:

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Genie Timeline does this, although at times it feels like a bloated, over-designed anti-virus app. You can filter based on file type. They have a free version. I'm not sure of the resolution, but it's fairly frequent. I think most such software won't try to backup every saved version, because in some cases it would cause undesirable performance overheads. For that, you'd need something more special-purpose.

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