Automatically save and recover Office files

Sometimes a Microsoft Office program closes before you can save changes to a file you are working on. Some possible causes include:

  • A power outage occurs.
  • Your system is made unstable by another program.
  • Something goes wrong with the Microsoft Office program itself.

Although you can't always prevent problems such as these from happening, you can take steps to protect your work when an Office program closes abnormally.

What do you want to do?


Learn how AutoRecover and AutoSave work

The AutoRecover option (in these Microsoft Office programs: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, and Visio) and AutoSave option (in Microsoft Office Outlook) can help you avoid losing work in two ways:

  • Your data is automatically saved     If you enable AutoRecover or AutoSave, your file (such as a Microsoft Office Word document) or item (such as an Outlook e-mail message) is automatically saved as often as you want. Therefore, if you have been working for a long time but forget to save a file or if your power goes out, the file you have been working on contains all or at least some of the work you have done since you last saved it.
  • Your program state is automatically saved     In Microsoft Office Excel, Microsoft Office Outlook, Microsoft Office PowerPoint, and Microsoft Office Word, there is an additional benefit to enabling AutoRecover or AutoSave. In these programs, if you enable this option, some aspects of the state of the program are recovered when the program is restarted after it closed abnormally.

For example, you are working on several Excel workbooks at the same time. Each file is open in a different window, with specific data visible in each window. In one of the workbooks, a cell is selected to help you keep track of which rows you already reviewed, and then Excel crashes. When you restart Excel, it opens the workbooks again and restores the windows to the way they were before Excel crashed.

Although not every aspect of your program's state can be recovered, in many cases, the Recovery feature can help you recover more quickly.

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Enable and adjust AutoRecover and AutoSave

Which program are you using?


Excel

  1. Click the Microsoft Office ButtonButton image, and then click Excel Options.
  2. Click Save.
  3. Select the Save AutoRecover information every x minutes check box.
  4. In the minutes list, specify how often you want the program to save your data and the program state.

 Tip   The amount of new information that the recovered file contains depends on how frequently a Microsoft Office program saves the recovery file. For example, if the recovery file is saved only every 15 minutes, your recovered file won't contain your last 14 minutes of work before the power failure or other problem occurred.

  1. Optionally, you can change the location (specified in the AutoRecover file location box) where the program automatically saves a version of files you work on.

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Outlook

  1. On the Tools menu, click Options.
  2. On the Preferences tab, click E-mail Options, and then click Advanced E-mail Options.
  3. Select the AutoSave items every: x minutes check box.
  4. In the minutes list, specify how often you want the program to save your data and the program state.

 Tip   The amount of new information that the recovered item contains depends on how frequently a Microsoft Office program saves the recovery item. For example, if the recovery item is saved only every 15 minutes, your recovered item won't contain your last 14 minutes of work before the power failure or other problem occurred.

  1. Optionally, on the AutoSave items in menu, select the folder where you want Outlook to automatically save items.

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PowerPoint

  1. Click the Microsoft Office ButtonButton image, and then click PowerPoint Options.
  2. Click Save.
  3. Select the Save AutoRecover information every x minutes check box.
  4. In the minutes list, specify how often you want the program to save your data and the program state.

 Tip   The amount of new information that the recovered file contains depends on how frequently a Microsoft Office program saves the recovery file. For example, if the recovery file is saved only every 15 minutes, your recovered file won't contain your last 14 minutes of work before the power failure or other problem occurred.

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Publisher

  1. On the Tools menu, click Options, and then click the Save tab.
  2. Select the Save AutoRecover information every x minutes check box.
  3. In the minutes list, specify how often you want the program to save your data.

 Tip   The amount of new information that the recovered file contains depends on how frequently a Microsoft Office program saves the recovery file. For example, if the recovery file is saved only every 15 minutes, your recovered file won't contain your last 14 minutes of work before the power failure or other problem occurred.

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Visio

  1. On the Tools menu, click Options, and then click the Save/Open tab.
  2. Select the Save AutoRecover information every x minutes check box.
  3. In the minutes list, specify how often you want the program to save your data.

 Tip   The amount of new information that the recovered file contains depends on how frequently a Microsoft Office program saves the recovery file. For example, if the recovery file is saved only every 15 minutes, your recovered file won't contain your last 14 minutes of work before the power failure or other problem occurred.

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Word

  1. Click the Microsoft Office ButtonButton image, and then click Word Options.
  2. Click Save.
  3. Select the Save AutoRecover information every x minutes check box.
  4. In the minutes list, specify how often you want the program to save your data and the program state.

 Tip   The amount of new information that the recovered file contains depends on how frequently a Microsoft Office program saves the recovery file. For example, if the recovery file is saved only every 15 minutes, your recovered file won't contain your last 14 minutes of work before the power failure or other problem occurred.

  1. Optionally, you can change the location (specified in the AutoRecover file location box) where the program automatically saves a version of files you work on.

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Save early and save often

The AutoRecover and AutoSave features are not a substitute for regularly saving your work by clicking Save Button image. Manually saving your file is the surest way to preserve the work you have done.

Keyboard shortcut  To save a file, press CTRL+S.

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Applies to:
Excel 2007, Outlook 2007, PowerPoint 2007, Publisher 2007, Visio 2007, Word 2007