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.
Version 1705 (Build 8117.1000 Click-to-Run)
Office Insider Fast
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
Thank goodness there's a way of turning this intrusive option to OFF. Thank you to William O'Brien and Benn for highlighting how to do it.
Stephen Frost commented
What a horrible implementation, and even worse that it is on by default, and changing it globally is so obscured and stated by Microsoft reps as not possible in MS help forums elsewhere. It interrupts my normal versioning workflow which has worked for *decades* without data loss... until this "feature."
A particularly malevolent quirk is that I was reviewing many old documents from an archive on OneDrive that was not to be altered and both Word and PowerPoint would auto-save/sync them as soon as I opened them; I wasn't making any changes. This meant that the important file modification dates, going back into 2011 and 2012, were wiped out with the current date/time. Worse, the OneDrive version history apparently sets the last version date in 2017, so there's no way to revert and retain the last mod date. I had to actually pull out old backup hard drives and restore all the files I reviewed to restore the mod dates.
Maggie Taylor commented
Thank you for this fix William O'Brien. As well as the frustrations already expressed regarding autosave, it was totally wrecking my entire historic file management which is 'last save date' driven - even going back to the previous version won't restore the original save date, it just overwrites with 'now'. The other frustration is that even if you remember to open a file as a copy rather than the original, you've then got this additional file that has to be manually deleted afterwards or manually renamed in file manager. Now I've done the fix, the "open read only" is back, but I'm sure it wasn't there while autosave was enabled... Anyway, all very annoying so the fix is much appreciated ....
Jules M commented
Absolutely infuriating! Do you mind if *I* am the judge of when my files need saving, Microsoft, rather than you? I am trying to keep versions of a complicated series of e-learning modules and I am totally losing track of what I have because of autosave, EVEN THOUGH I'VE TURNED IT OFF!
Brian Lair commented
See Benn's comment below (February 20, 2018 9:39 AM) -- he quotes William O'Brien's post that contains a solution. I just tried it & it worked!
Tom Cotter commented
Autosave is not a good function for me and to retrieve the previous version is not easy. Please give us the option to globally turn off/on the autosave feature.
Many thanks for the 'fix.' As already said, there should have been a user choice in the first place
I agree, please give us the option to permanently turn off autosave!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I regularly overwrite previous documents then save as. As autosave is automatically set to on, I lose the data from the original document.
Come on Microsoft, this is really poor.
Agree with this being a step backwards. It is making my work harder and lead to loss of data.
Alison Nazarowski commented
Add me to the list. This is ridiculous. Please allow it to be disabled as a setting. I edit and revise documents for various people. This is making my job twice as hard.
I am happy to add to add my name to the huge list of people who find the new auto-save feature to be completely stupid. I see absolutely no need for an auto-save feature that does anything more than make a temporary copy of my work as a back-up, protecting my work from unforeseen disaster. Saving over the top of my existing file, over, and over, and over, is so unnecessary, and it has completely ruined my work flow. If I have a document with the right formatting, and just chaining information in it and wanting to save it as a new file, instead word, without my say so, is saving over the top of the original file over and over. That is just one of the no doubt hundreds of circumstances where an intrusive auto-save feature is nothing but an irritation. Just how Microsoft thought this was a feature worth forcing down everyone's throat, I do not know. I think when it comes to changes to things as fundamental as 'save' or 'save as', Microsoft should introduce choice not change.
This feature has caused me nothing but grief. The combination of default-on Autosave, the spotty ability to retrieve earlier versions in Office Applications, and the disabling of Undo in Excel combine to create a situation where file data can be lost and unrecoverable. I've begun saving prior versions of Excel files under different names in the event I must manually go back to retrieve lost file data.
Reading the below, there are numerous complaints about this feature and no word out of Redmond that Microsoft will do anything to fix it.
I hate to go this route, but wonder if others have found Google Applications to be of better use.
Adding to the cries to change this preposterous default. Truly an asinine idea. Can't imagine how any human being that actually works in Office could have thought it would be preferable not having the ability to globally invert this setting. Even if there is some way of using the feature that makes it seems like a good idea in the pointy little techie minds of whoever set it, why the *$&% would you force the millions of people already imprisoned in Microsoft Office out of their usual workflow when you could have an easy on/off setting. Baffling. W/ this, can't use OneDrive for day to day work.
This feature should definitely be an "opt in" as it is useful in certain circumstances. However, having it on by default with NO WAY to disable its blanket across the Office Suite doesn't seem justifiable.
I have had to go back and manually restore previous version of files I last saved prior to the introduction of this feature to restore time stamps and the original status of a file that I edited prior to saving an updated version separately on numerous occasions. Very annoying, especially as I never asked for these files to be 'Autosaved' when I created them on a previous version of Office.
yes, I hate AutoSave. What the **** is wrong with Save As? nothing. I turn it off all the time, and I'm here tying to find a way to disable it. I'm sure its great for someone, but that's not me, so dont force me to use it.
Autosave is only causing me headaches. Please give us at least an option to permanently disable this for our Microsoft programs. I have lost way too much work because I accidentally forgot to click it off when I opened a document. Also I have had others overwrite my documents on accident because they just wanted to test something else out. I know there is some features that enables us to go back to different version, but this isn't always accurate. It requires more time to open up the previous version to try and confirm that it is the right version, which may not always be easy to tell if you are not that familiar with the original document.
Again, at least give us the ability to permanently disable it for all our Microsoft software.
Autosave causes me nothing but aggravation. I work mainly on excel spreadsheets and need my previous months billing saved as changes do come up later down the road. I have had to redo my work countless times to acquire the original document/formals. I was just informed today that I have to hit autosave "off" for every document.
Because the list of comments is getting longer, I thought I would re-post Williams excellent solution. This changes the default position to 'off' and works a charm.
William O'Brien commented · February 9, 2018 5:16 PM · Flag as inappropriate
Non-tech step by step guide to switching off autosave. Worked for me. Thanks to Rudy Mens for the code.
Click on the "search windows" magnifying glass to the right of the Win 10 logo at the bottom left of your screen.
Type "Create a restore point". Click on "Create a restore point".
In the pop-up window click on Create, to save a restore point so you can easily reverse the changes below. This shouldn't be necessary but provides a prudent safety net.
Click on the "search windows" magnifying glass to the right of the Win 10 logo at the bottom left of your screen
Type "Powershell" and enter.
Find Windows Powershell in the list that pops up, right-click on it and select "Run as administrator"
Click Yes to "Do you want to allow this app to make changes to your device?"
Copy and paste each of the lines below in sequence into the Windows Powershell window, pressing enter after each one
$path = "HKCU:\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office\16.0"
Set-ItemProperty -Path $path\Word -Name DontAutoSave -Value 1
Set-ItemProperty -Path $path\Excel -Name DontAutoSave -Value 1
Set-ItemProperty -Path $path\Powerpoint -Name DontAutoSave -Value 1
In the unlikely event that you want to revert to automatic Autosave:
In "search windows" type "regedit"
Navigate to "HKCU:\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office\16.0"
Under Word, Excel and PowerPoint simply delete the subkey "DontAutoSave" in each case.
Rehman Rasheed commented
This is a useful feature but it should be 'Off' by default. As it ruins the old documents opened for just viewing only.
William O'Brien THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. It has been frustrating me beyond belief when I re-purpose an old document and forget to make a copy of it first before making my changes, only to discover it has permanently saved it. Even worse is that often it seems it the only "version" history it has is the new saved version. Before discovering the info you provided, I painfully would open docs turn Autosave off just to try and prevent this. The fact that they added this feature doesn't offend me as much as the fact that they "retroactively" applied to to default on for all previously created docs and did not provide any global controls to turn it on or off. I am so relieved to have this horrid "feature" in my rearview mirror.