Help protect your files in case of a crash

Crashes happen. The power goes out. And sometimes, people accidentally close a file without saving.

If you've already experienced a document closure and the Document Recovery task pane appears, see Recover your Office files.

Meanwhile, here are some ways to avoid losing work when an app suddenly stops working.

To avoid losing your work when the unexpected happens, save your files in OneDrive or SharePoint, and use AutoSave to save your changes continuously.

Important: If you're not using AutoSave or if your file is not stored on OneDrive or SharePoint, the Save button is still your best friend. To be sure you don’t lose your latest work, select Save Button image (or press Ctrl+S) often.

As an extra safeguard, you can set up AutoRecover in your app.

  1. Go to File > Options > Save.

  2. Make sure the Save AutoRecover information every x minutes box is selected.

  3. Make sure the Keep the last autorecovered version if I close without saving box is selected.

  1. Go to File > Options > Save.

  2. Make sure the Save AutoRecover information every x minutes box is selected.

  3. Make sure the Keep the last autorecovered version if I close without saving box is selected.

    Important: Even if you've set up AutoRecover, the Save button is still your best friend. To be sure you don’t lose your latest work, select Save Button image (or press Ctrl+S) often.

Tip

The amount of new information that the recovered file contains depends on how frequently an 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. To be extra safe, enter a small number in the minutes box, like 5 or 10. That way, you’ll never lose more than 5 or 10 minutes of work.

On the other hand, if you want to make Office slightly faster, try entering a larger number in the minutes box, like 20.

Learn more

AutoRecover saves more than your files. It also saves your workspace (if it can). Suppose you open several spreadsheets in Excel and the power goes out. When you restart Excel, AutoRecover tries to open your spreadsheets again, laid out the way they were before, with the same cells selected.

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