Automatically save and recover files in Office for Mac

AutoSave, a feature that is available in Mac OS, saves your file automatically on a periodic basis. You can set how frequently files are saved. For example, if you set AutoSave to save every 5 minutes, you may recover more information in the event of data loss — such as from a power outage — than if it's set to save every 10 or 15 minutes. By default, AutoSave saves Office files every 10 minutes.

AutoRecover, a feature that is available in some Office applications, attempts to recover files automatically in the event of data loss. AutoRecover uses the same save interval as AutoSave.

Important: Do not use AutoSave and AutoRecover as a substitute for regularly saving your files by clicking Save  Save button . Saving your files frequently is the best way to preserve your work.

Which version of Office for Mac are you using?

Find an automatically saved or recovered file

The next time that you open an application, files in the AutoRecovery folder are listed in the Open Recent list. Or you can find the files in the Finder under /Users/<username>/Library/Containers/com.microsoft.Word/Data/Library/Preferences/AutoRecovery.

Note: If you close a file and click Don't Save, the file is deleted from the AutoRecovery folder.

Change how frequently files are automatically saved in Word, PowerPoint, or Excel

  1. On the Word, PowerPoint, or Excel menu, click Preferences.

  2. Click Save  Save icon .

  3. In the Save AutoRecover info box, enter how frequently you want the program to save documents.

Change where to automatically save files in Word

  1. On the Word menu, click Preferences.

  2. Under Personal Settings, click File Locations  File Locations icon .

  3. Under File locations, click AutoRecover files, and then click Modify.

  4. Find the location where you want to automatically save files, and then click Open.

Recover text from a damaged file in Word

  1. On the Word menu, click Preferences.

  2. Under Authoring and Proofing Tools, click General   General icon .

  3. Make sure that the Confirm file format conversion at Open check box is selected, and then close the General dialog box.

  4. Click File, Open.

  5. On the Open menu towards the bottom right select Recover Text.

    Click Open > Recover Text then open your damaged document to attempt recovery
  6. Open the document.

Find an automatically saved or recovered file

The next time that you open an application, files in the AutoRecovery folder are listed in the Open Recent list. Or you can find the files in the Finder under /Users/username/Library/Application Support/ Microsoft/Office/Office 2011 AutoRecovery.

Note: If you close a file and click Don't Save, the file is deleted from the AutoRecovery folder.

Word

Do any of the following:

Change how frequently files are automatically saved

  1. On the Word menu, click Preferences.

  2. Under Output and Sharing, click Save  Save Preferences button .

  3. In the AutoSave or AutoRecover info every box, enter how frequently you want Word to save documents.

Change where to automatically save files

  1. On the Word menu, click Preferences.

  2. Under Personal Settings, click File Locations  File Locations Preferences button .

  3. Under File locations, click AutoRecover files, and then click Modify.

  4. Find the location where you want to automatically save files, and then click Choose.

Recover text from a damaged file

  1. On the Word menu, click Preferences.

  2. Under Authoring and Proofing Tools, click General   General Preferences button .

  3. Make sure that the Confirm conversion at Open check box is selected, and then click OK.

  4. On the Standard toolbar, click Open  Open button .

  5. On the Enable pop-up menu, click Recover Text from Any File.

  6. Open the document.

PowerPoint

Do any of the following:

Change how frequently files are automatically saved

  1. On the PowerPoint menu, click Preferences.

  2. Click Save  PowerPoint Save Preferences button , select the AutoSave or AutoRecover info every check box, and then enter how frequently you want PowerPoint to save presentations.

Excel

Do any of the following:

Change how frequently files are automatically saved

  1. On the Excel menu, click Preferences.

  2. Under Sharing and Privacy, click Save  Save Preferences button .

  3. Select the AutoSave or AutoRecover info every check box, and then enter how frequently you want Excel to save workbooks.

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