AutoSave is a relatively new feature in Microsoft Office programs. Present in Office Word, Excel, and PowerPoint programs, the AutoSave feature automatically saves your documents every few seconds, as you work on a file.
While the AutoSave feature is fantastic and is enabled by default, many users often complain that the AutoSave is disabled or can’t turn on the AutoSave feature in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint programs.
If you are also not able to turn on the AutoSave feature, it’s likely because of one of the following reasons.
Check if AutoSave is disabled
It’s a good idea to start by checking if the AutoSave feature is disabled under settings. Here is how to do just that.
Step 1: Navigate to File > Options. In the resulting dialog, switch to the Save tab.
Step 2: Select the box next to the AutoSave OneDrive and SharePoint Online files by default option. Click the OK button.
You are not saving files to OneDrive or SharePoint
Yes, the AutoSave feature is available and automatically turned on only when you are working on a file that is saved to OneDrive, OneDrive for Business, or SharePoint Online. That is, the AutoSave feature is turned off and cannot be turned on when you are working on a document without saving it to OneDrive/SharePoint Online or when working on a document saved on your computer or offline.
In short, the AutoSave feature is meant for users who save files to OneDrive.
Besides that, the AutoSave is disabled when your file is in a local OneDrive folder and synchronization is paused or disabled.
NOTE: The AutoRecover feature present in Office programs is completely different from the AutoSave. The AutoRecover feature is available even when you are saving files offline or working on a file without saving it. The AutoRecover feature helps you recover files in case of a crash or even if you accidentally close a file without saving it.
You are using an unsupported file format
The AutoSave feature is not available when you are working on an older file format like .doc, .xls, or .ppt. Change the file format to the latest to turn on the AutoSave. To check the file format, have a look at the title bar of the program. The title bar displays the file name as well as the file format.
Turn off these security features in Excel
If you are unable to turn on the AutoSave feature in Excel, it could be because the file contains features that are not supported by AutoSave. You need to turn off Shared Workbook, remove password encryption from the file, remove restricted access, and turn off Refresh data when opening.
Additionally, an add-in might have disabled the AutoSave. Go to File > Options > Add-ins > Excel Add-ins > Go and then deselect the checkbox for the add-in.
Repair the Microsoft Office installation
If the issue persists, you can consider repairing the Office installation to fix the issue without affecting files. Refer to how to repair the Office 365 installation guide for step-by-step directions.