Excel AutoSave & AutoRecover

This blog explains how to use the AutoSave function in Excel for Microsoft 365, Excel 2019, 2016, 2013, and 2010. Excel provides us with such good features as AutoSave and AutoRecover. But these two features are often misunderstood, so at first let's define what they mean.

Excel AutoSave is a tool that automatically saves a new document that you've just created, but haven't saved yet. It helps you not to lose important data in case of a computer crash or power failure. AutoSave automatically saves your files to your OneDrive and SharePoint account.

Excel AutoRecover helps you retrieve unsaved files after an accidental closure or crash. It allows you to restore to the last saved version which displays in the Document Recovery pane when you start Excel next time. AutoRecover temporarily keeps changes in a directory on your computer. Available since Office 2007, it does not automatically save your files. Instead, if your computer shuts off or Excel closes without saving, you have the option to recover your work. It saves this information on a set interval, usually 10 minutes, but it's only temporary.

AutoSave in Excel

Since excel version 2010, Excel has made only minor changes to the AutoSave function. If you're using Excel 2010 or later, you'll find this menu in the same place.

1) Open Excel and select File > Options

2) In the menu that opens, select Save on the left.

3) If you have a OneDrive or SharePoint account, select AutoSave OneDrive and SharePoint Online files by default on Excel. This will save your work on OneDrive and SharePoint accounts in real-time, preserving a backup if you lose your laptop.

4) Select Save AutoRecover information and choose the interval at which you'd like to save it. The default is 10 minutes, but you can set it lower or higher, depending on your preferences.

5) Select Keep the last AutoRecovered version if I close without saving to preserve your work if you lose power or accidentally close Excel.

6) Make a note of where Excel will save these files. If you prefer a more accessible location, you can write it out here.

AutoRecover in Excel

To access the AutoRecover version of your Excel workbook, select File > Open, then scroll down to the Recover Unsaved Workbooks section and choose your file.

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