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Using the AutoRecover Feature In Office 2010

Groovy Office 2010 How-To, Tips, and News Ever had an Office program crash and then lost the entire project you were working on?  With Office 2010 that never has to happen again.  When you exit an Office 2010 application without saving, by default you’ll be prompted with a dialog window such as the one below.

if you dont save changes an automatic draft will be created

If you don’t save your file, or your file crashes you’ll be able to still recover it later using the default Auto-Save features of Office 2010!

Note this feature only works for the following of the Office 2010 Applications:

  • Microsoft Word 2010
  • PowerPoint 2010
  • Excel 2010

For this guide I’ll be using Microsoft Word 2010 so there will be a slight variation if you are using PowerPoint or Excel.

How To Recover An Office 2010 Document, Spreadsheet, or Presentation That Was Never Saved

1. In your office application, Click File > Recent and then at the bottom Click Recover Unsaved Documents.*

*The wording may be different depending on which Office application you are using.  For example, PowerPoint would say Presentations instead of Documents.

recover unsaved office 2010 documents

2. Select the document that you were last working on and didn’t save.  Looking at the Date modified can greatly aid you in finding the correct one.

load an unsaved draft from word 2010

3. When you open the unsaved file it will alert you at the top that this is an (Autosaved Version).  Also in the middle of the Document you will see a warning that you are currently in a Draft Version and if you don’t save the file it will be automatically deleted in 4 days.

draft version warning in office 2010

That’s all there is to recovering unsaved Office 2010 docs.  Next we’ll look at recovering an Office 2010 file that had been saved once before, but the most recent version was never saved.

Recover Office 2010 Files That Were Previously Saved But Were Closed Without Saving

4. In the File > Recent tab you can find existing recent documents that have been worked in but not saved the last time they were exited.  Look for the (when I closed without saving) tag below the file name, this is the latest version that was auto-saved.

open a recently unsaved document in office 2010

Revert To A Previous Version (AutoSave) Of An Office 2010 Document, Presentation, Or Spreadsheet

5. The Auto-Save part of Auto-Recover will automatically save your file at the specified time increments.  To revert back to one of these Auto-Saves, Click File > Info and then select a version by Clicking on the Timestamp near the Manage Versions button.

Note that previous auto-saved versions are typically deleted when you close the file.

autosaved version revert to outlook 2010

6. You can adjust how often an Auto-save (AutoRecover) occurs, as well as where these temporary files will be stored.  Lets look at those, Click File > Options.

go to options in office 2010

7. In the options menu Click the Save tab.  Here you can customize how many minutes between Auto-Saves and also the format and location that files are saved in.  I like to set mine for 3 minutes because once you get really going on something, 3 minutes of work is a pretty big deal to lose.

adjust autorecover settinsg in office 2010

Overall AutoRecover is a groovy feature of Office 2010 under PowerPoint, Word, and Excel.  It has saved my butt a few times and hopefully now that you know how to use it it can help you and your colleagues!

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27 Responses to Using the AutoRecover Feature In Office 2010

  1. John August 3, 2010 at 7:01 pm #

    You just saved me from jumping out a 4th story window, if this website had a MF’ing tip jar, it would be full right now.

    • Hen77 November 14, 2011 at 9:29 am #

      THANK YOU. This is probably the most valuable information I got in the last decade

  2. Heledd September 12, 2010 at 10:27 am #

    What can I do to reward you for saving my life? A thousand million blessings upon you and your children!

  3. john Caulfield October 1, 2010 at 2:27 pm #

    Good screen shots to back up the article on Autorecover

  4. Rui October 25, 2010 at 12:52 am #

    Many many many thanks! You just saved me of having to redo 1 hour of work after a Word crash. Thanks!

  5. Joey December 15, 2010 at 7:49 pm #

    Totally saved my bacon!!!! Thank you very much. I found the Autorecover feature but I did not know how to get my paper back. Thank you!

    • MrGroove December 16, 2010 at 7:54 am #

      @Joey – Awesome! Thanks for the feedback and welcome to groovyPost!

  6. Vrushank Desai May 1, 2011 at 11:23 am #

    YOUR SO AWESOME!!!!! YOU SAVED ME FROM 4 HOURS OF WORK!!!! THANK YOU SOOO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Sandi December 1, 2011 at 7:12 am #

    Nice easy to follow step by step instructions – thank you.

  8. Patrick Gillis January 13, 2012 at 4:20 am #

    Hi Austin, As a CAD specialist in the UK I know my way around Revit Architecture and AutoCAD but finding your document was a life saver today…it helped big time with a colleague writing some technical documents that experienced a crash….many thanks for such clear steps and guidance, not just on the recover but the various options covered further on down the information…Great stuff!!!

  9. Dimitris January 14, 2012 at 2:36 pm #

    You have just saved my day!
    (in fact a few hours of work)
    Thanks a lot!!!

  10. Rabbani sheik January 19, 2012 at 6:43 pm #

    Hi

    Is the above AutoRecover Feature available In Project 2010.

    Rabbani

  11. areeba February 26, 2012 at 5:08 pm #

    A THOUSAND THANKS FROM THE VERY BOTTOM OF MY HEART! I have been working on a university assignment all day today. My baby brother accidently closed it without saving. YOU ARE A LIFE SAVER! Thankyou. Thankyou.Thankyou

  12. karisa April 5, 2012 at 12:35 pm #

    DUDE THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS I WAS ALMOST KILLING MYSELF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. Camille June 10, 2012 at 8:19 pm #

    This did not work for me. I tried everything. All of my changes vanished….2 hours worth. What is odd, is I swear I saved it … ugh.

  14. Thank You September 5, 2012 at 1:22 pm #

    OHMYGOD! This just saved my life. I cried and freaked out and now I am calm and happy.

    • Steve Krause September 6, 2012 at 5:43 am #

      Awesome! Thank you for the comment and sharing your story. Many visitors don’t take the time to share a comment so I appreciate it!

      Welcome to groovypost!

  15. Derek November 19, 2012 at 6:47 pm #

    Thanx man, really appreciate it.

  16. Jay Adair Clark January 26, 2013 at 4:58 pm #

    Auto recover is a P.I.T.A. when it starts in the middle of a Power Point presentation, freezes the slides, and lets the audio run, OR knocks PowerPoint off completely! Can it be regulated not to run unless asked ?

    • Steve Krause January 27, 2013 at 12:37 am #

      What exactly happens? Powerpoint just freezes up during a slideshow? Is that what your saying?

      • Jay Adair Clark January 27, 2013 at 7:31 am #

        When working in PPT 2010, the ‘Auto recovery’ will stop ability to use any PPT controls and the Message at the top of my screen reads that Power Point is ‘unresponsive’. When the ‘auto recovery’ started while I was running the slide show, the music continued, but the slides stopped changing. Is there a way to temporarily disable ‘auto recovery’ in Office/ power point 2010? I am using the “TRIAL” version if that makes any difference.

  17. Debbie March 1, 2013 at 7:29 am #

    Microsoft Office rocks!!! This turned my frown upside down:)

  18. Trenese Carey-McCloud November 16, 2013 at 1:04 pm #

    Thank you, thank you, thank you many times over, as you helped me recover my unsaved Word document!! I became distraught and was at the point of tears when I made the vital mistake of accidentally closing the Word document file for my Management Information Systems class assignment before saving it. GroovyPost and all its techs and employees are a blessing from God Elohim, and keep up the excellent work.

  19. Nikki December 1, 2013 at 6:50 pm #

    My computer did an auto shutdown in the middle of my son’s project. I tried this and the document isn’t there! He has been working on it for quite some time, so auto recover should have saved it. Any suggestions?

    • Steve Krause December 1, 2013 at 8:38 pm #

      When you re-opened Word (I assume it was word) Did it not prompt you to continue editing the same document?

      Did he ever save it? Even just once?

  20. jenny at dapperhouse December 17, 2013 at 7:53 am #

    Oh My Goodness – Thank you! This article was So Helpful and 100% better than microsofts website!! My son has a huge paper due Thursday and forgot to save his work LOL .

    • Steve Krause December 17, 2013 at 8:43 am #

      Well yeah! That’s because groovyPost is the bomb! ;)

      Glad we could help @Jenny. Hopefully everything worked out for your son’s paper. Welcome to gP!

      -S

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