Microsoft Office 365

Why You Should Stop Using AutoSave in Microsoft Office 365

AutoSave in Microsoft Office 365

The AutoSave feature in Microsoft Office 365 can be a parachute for your forgetfulness. Yes, the AutoSave feature helps you recover your Office files, but there’s one important thing you should know about that little toggle button:

When AutoSave is on, your changes are continually saved to the original, so any changes you make overwrite the original and you cannot get it back.

How to Turn Off AutoSave in Microsoft Office 365

Microsoft explains the AutoSave feature as a failsafe that automatically saves your file every few seconds so that anyone working with you on the cloud can instantly see the changes. But Microsoft has also removed the File > Save As command when you open a file via OneDrive, OneDrive for Business or SharePoint Online.

So, what can you do to keep working and keep the original file intact?

  1. Disable AutoSave by toggling the switch to the Off position.
  2. You can disable AutoSave with a registry tweak if you are an Office 365 ProPlus subscriber.
  3. Uncheck the AutoRecover setting (File > Options > Save > Save AutoRecover information every X minutes).
save a copy

Disabling AutoSave permanently for specific files would have been the best solution. But, this feature is not system-wide and it is on by default for every file you open from the cloud. So, you have to remember to switch it off for every file you open.

Microsoft recommends that you use File > Save a Copy to work collaboratively on a copy of the original document. Instead of using the old Save As command to create a file with a different filename, you can just save a copy of the original document and work on that.

save a copy

The always-on AutoSave feature isn’t a problem for those who don’t work with OneDrive. But if you do, be mindful of the pitfalls if you don’t want your original work to be overwritten. And I hope Microsoft soon adds an option to turn off AutoSave for specific documents.

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