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Disable the new AutoSave by default, as it can lead to a loss of data

The new AutoSave can potentially lead to a loss of data. If you open any Word, PowerPoint, etc. doc, there is an "AutoSave" that is automatically on, on the upper left. If you're changing some stuff around and don't want to save, it still saves it. Or if you delete some things and then save as copy, your original is gone, because AutoSave was on. This is a horrible feature and should be disabled by default.

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Charlie Chen shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

We see two patterns in this feedback thread and are addressing them now. The first pattern is that users want AutoSave OFF. The second pattern is that the Template scenarios are problematic with AutoSave.

To address turning AutoSave OFF, we have implemented these capabilities:

1. To avoid accidental edits by others, the owner of a file can set it to Always Open Read-Only. This can be done by setting the file to open in Read-Only Recommended (File > Info > Protect Document/ Workbook/ Presentation > Always Open in Read-Only) or by Sharing the file without allowing others to edit (File > Share > People with the link can edit > Uncheck the “Allow Editing” box).

2. Users can turn AutoSave OFF for a file. While a document is open, clicking the AutoSave toggle turns AutoSave OFF for the current document for that user. The next time the same user opens the document, AutoSave will be OFF. If they open a different document, AutoSave will not be affected by their choice in the other document.

3. Users can set AutoSave to be OFF by default for all files opened in that specific application (Word, Excel, PowerPoint). Go into File > Options > Save (to set AutoSave settings)

These are described in more detail in this support article: https://support.office.com/en-us/article/what-it-administrators-should-know-about-autosave-88e0f80f-e5ea-441b-9c5a-259f08490ae7

To address the Template scenarios, we have released a new dialog reminding the user to “Save a Copy” prior to using an existing template if you want to save changes only in the new document. This is in the Production and Semi-Annual channel today.

If you have any questions or additional feedback on these features – please email us directly at: OfficeAutoSave@Microsoft.com

391 comments

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  • Duncan commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Just turn it off! What's the problem?

    It's a great feature and saves time and, for me, saves loosing data. I have it turned on for most of my Office apps, bar Excel which I prefer to be off due to a couple of spreadsheets that suits that functionality.

  • Stuart T commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I note that in Office 2010 there is no warning in Word that the file already exists (do you wish to overwrite it?) yet in Excel there is a warning.

    Also from an auditing point of view I endorse the concerns about the change to the original files date/time stamp.

    So, inconsistent and a fundamental change to established working practices.

    MS - I think you lost the plot on this one.

    Stuart T

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    How about making AutoSave a SharePoint document library level setting? In some cases it'a nuisance, in some cases a lifesaver, so it would help to be able to configure it per library.

  • Daan commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I absolutely agree with Optii, it's 2019, change the way you work.
    Plus, as he said as well, revisions.
    Stop complaining.

  • Optii commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Dudes. Wake up. Change your way of working. All unhappy ppl write here. While the happy don’t give their voice. They are happy. So it’s a bubble issue with how bad it seams from reading your comments. Truth is it’s a new workflow the enables many ways of working. Data loss? Cmon. It’s revision based and you can always backtrack. The main argument is backwards. Auto save helps against data loss, if you have a modern up to date working methods. However kudos for giving individuals the power the choice to re-enable good old times and not want to learn new stuff.

  • Kristjan commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    If you use this function and bear in mind its characteristics, it is very helpful especially when your computer crashes regularly.

  • Glenn commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    This "feature" has repeatedly led me to lose file templates I use frequently, because now the edited version replaces the blank version without me noticing.
    I have to keep backups of backups of files I use as templates which is really annoying.

    And for some reason the Auto-Save feature even keeps re-enabling itself..

  • Colin commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Agree with most comments below - Autosave is rubbish! Does anyone know if it can be set to default to a local folder on my computer rather than an online folder? The File/Options/Save settings form seems to suggest you can default to a local folder location, but when set and tested the Word doc was not saved to this (or any) location.

  • Paul commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    In addition - it changes timestamps on the files, often even if you don't make a change to the file. Just opening some documents has caused an "autosave" and now my file that was created in 2017 is stamped as 2019 in the file explorer. It basically tosses out the reliability of timestamps in your folders.

    I opened a few presentations and word docs from 2016. I didn't make changes. Now one is stamped 2019 which could easily confuse me later because it implies I made a change in 2019. I'll have to start putting fixed dates in my documents until this feature becomes optional.

  • Christopher Noy commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Echoing most other comments: HORRIBLE "Feature" needs to be disabled by default. This has caused me to lose several important documents I was using as base files to create new documents. Now all I have are the new files, with no way to restore previous version.

  • Gary Lee commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    IBM Mainframes used to have a much-hated source code editor ICCF (commonly called Icky-F) that worked the same way. Apparently Microsoft has decided to bring back one of the worst features of a crude early DOS mainframe implementation.

  • Steve commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Autosave is fantastic so far... does in fact work with SP versioning enabled. It does require understanding of how it works, like open a doc and do a save as to a new doc if you are using it as a basis for a new doc, etc. funny how so many "power users" are trying to use it like a 1990's file share.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    This feature has bitten me multiple times. Here's how you turn it off:
    Go to the File tab >
    Options>
    Save>
    Uncheck "AutoSave OneDrive and SharePoint Online files by default on Excel"

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    This is a horrific feature! My god, who in their right mind thought CONSTANTLY committing changes to a document - with NO VERSIONING to fall back on was a good idea? In my professional opinion, whoever green-lit this feature without regard for business data loss should be reprimanded!

  • Eric Chang commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I've overwritten many documents when I was trying to use an original as the base for a new document. Autosave might be useful in some situations, but as a rule, it should be something optional NOT a default setting!

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