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MS Office: AutoRecover Unsaved Documents

The other day, we discussed the AutoRecover feature of the 2007 & 2010 Office Suite of programs and the advantages of a backup system for unexpected and unstoppable closures of a program.

Well, for those of you with Word, Excel or PowerPoint 2010 I’d like to extend that discussion to a feature that I consider to be a bonus of AutoRecover…

You can now set these programs to allow for the recovery of unsaved documents.

That is, with this extra feature enabled, you can have access to the last AutoRecover version of a file you’ve closed without saving.

I know, I know… who would close a file without saving it?

Well, all of us when we accidentally click the wrong button when we are prompted to save.

Come on, admit it… you’ve done it too…. we all have at one time or another.

To make this bit of “magic” work you’ll need to return to the File tab, Options choice.

Once in the Options dialog box choose the Save category on the left.


On the right, in the Save section under the AutoRecover setting check the Save last auto saved version if I close without saving option.

Click OK.

And that’s it, your file can be retrieved to the last AutoRecover point even if you closed the file without saving it.

Oh wait – I bet you’d like to know how to retrieve the file.

We’re back to the File tab for that particular feat.

On the File tab choose Recent.


In the bottom right corner of the recent information, you will find a button to Recover Unsaved Documents.


This button will take you off to the location where the program automatically saved the information when you closed the file without saving it.

Choose the file you want to recover and click Open.


Your document, worksheet or presentation returned to you in the condition it was at the last AutoRecover… maybe not the newest version, but definitely better than the oldest version.

~ April