Many Word users have faced an unpleasant problem – this text editor may close unexpectedly, either by itself or due to a restart of the operating system. But what happens to the text that you haven’t saved in time? Fortunately, Word has a built-in autosave feature. Many users do not know about it or do not know how to use it.
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How does the autosave function in Word work?
When editing certain documents, the text editor will automatically create copies of them. Thanks to them, it will be possible to recover a file that you did not manage to save before the sudden termination of Word, including due to a computer shutdown. The program itself may “crash” due to some kind of its own or system error, and the computer may go out due to a blackout or battery discharge.
Typically, Word already has AutoSave turned on. But by default, backups are created every 10 minutes. But it may happen that the computer shuts down 9 minutes after the last copy was made. As a result, all changes made to the text in 9 minutes will be lost, and during this time an experienced user can make a lot of them.
When you start Word after an unexpected shutdown, you will be prompted to restore the file from its most recent copy or from a previous copy. But even if the program did not offer you to restore, you should not despair. This procedure can be done manually using the folder for saving the backups.
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How do I activate and configure Autosave in Word, including choosing a folder to store backups?
Let’s use Word 2010 as an example to see how you can make automatic backups more frequent. The instructions are also suitable for other versions of the program, including versions of Word 2007 or Word 2016 (and Microsoft Word for Mac), although the names and locations of some menu items may differ, but the essence remains the same.
1. First, click on the very first tab “File»On the Word menu bar.
2. Go to the section “Parameters“.
3. From the list of tabs on the left, select “Preservation“.
4. In the right window find the option “Autosave every»And put a check next to it if it is missing. Next you need to specify the number of minutes after which the autosave will be performed. It is best to set it to 1 minute to make copies as often as possible.
5. Check the box next to the “Keep last autosaved version on close without saving“. Below you can select the folder in which Word will store backups. If you need to change this location, then click the “Browse” button and select the desired folder in Explorer. By default, copies are stored in the user profile and there is little point in changing this location. Also in this section you can choose the format in which both the document itself and its copies will be saved.
6. To save the changes made, do not forget to click OK down below.
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How to turn off autosave in Word?
To turn off autosave in Word, go to the same section where the desired function is activated. But there you just need to deactivate the “Autosave every“. After this action, the backup copies of the document you are editing will no longer be saved to the hard disk.
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How can I manually recover text from an autosave file if the document was not saved?
It may happen that after you restart Word, you will not be prompted to restore from the latest backup. But you can also do it manually:
1. Open the previously mentioned “Saving” section in Word settings.
2. Find in which folder the application stores the backups. Remember this path or copy it.
3. In the address bar of Explorer, paste or enter this path, or manually open the required folder.
4. In the list of files with backup copies, select the one you need, taking into account the date and time (which is especially important) of creation. Most often, there will be few such files, and the one you need will be the very first. Start it with a double click.
5. In the Word Document Recovery window, select the last copy and resave it.
It is worth noting that Word tries its best to preserve user data even if it crashes. As you work on a document in the background, backups are constantly created and saved. The user is only required to set the desired storage time interval, preferably 1 minute. And if suddenly Word closes or the computer turns off, you can always recreate a relatively current document. This will offer to do either the text editor itself, or you can perform the operation manually using Explorer.