Excel AutoSave (Including VBA Macro)

Here’s an overview of using the AutoSave option for Excel.

an overview image of Excel autosave

Download the Practice Workbook

What Is AutoSave in Excel?

Excel AutoSave is a feature that periodically saves the document in local storage or on the cloud, helping you avoid losing essential information during a computer crash or power outage. In current Excel versions, the file is stored in OneDrive, OneDrive for Business, or SharePoint Online once the default AutoSave option is enabled.

How to Turn On AutoSave in Excel

Method 1 – AutoSave from the Quick Access Toolbar

  • Click and expand the Quick Access Toolbar icon.
  • Check the Automatically Save option.

using the quick access toolbar to check the automatically save option.

  • Turn on AutoSave.
  • A pop-up dialog appears. Select OneDrive as your storage.

Turning on the Excel autosave feature

Note: This AutoSave feature is only available on Microsoft Office 365.

Method 2 – Excel Options Dialog to Configure AutoSave

  • Open the Excel Options dialog by pressing Alt + F + T keys.
  • Go to the Save menu.
  • Check the AutoSave files stored in the Cloud by default in Excel option from the Save workbooks section.
  • Hit the OK button.

using the Excel options dialog to autosave

  • Click on the Save As command.
  • You may be prompted to switch to an Excel macro-enabled workbook file type.

autosaving issue with Excel macro-enabled workbook.

  • Click on the Save button after selecting the Excel Macro-enabled Workbook option.

saving with .xlsm extension

Method 3 – AutoSave via Excel VBA Before Closing File

  • Use the following VBA code by selecting This Workbook from the Project Explorer.
  • Hit the Run icon or press the F5 key to execute the VBA code.
Private Sub Workbook_BeforeClose(Cancel As Boolean)
End Sub
  • The Excel file saves automatically every time a user closes it.

using Excel VBA macro to autosave before closing

How to Turn On AutoRecover in Excel

  • Press Alt + F + T keys to open Excel Options.
  • Go to the Save menu.
  • Check the Save AutoRecover information every X minutes. Input the recovery period (i.e. how often Excel will make a recovery file).
  • Insert the AutoRecover file location.

using the Excel options dialog to auto-recover the excel file.

Note: If you are not logged in as an administrator, you will not be able to navigate to the AutoRecover location in the File Explorer. Also, you can’t change its path.

How to Recover Overwritten Files with Excel

  • Click on the Excel AutoSave file.
  • Select Version History from the expansion.
  • Select the version from the Version History pane.

recovering overwritten files

How to Save a Back-up Copy of an Excel File

  • Go to the File tab.
  • Click on Save As.
  • Select Browse.

using the Browse command

  • The Save As dialog appears. Expand the options from the Tools command.
  • Select the General Options from the list.

saving a backup copy with Save as dialog

  • A dialog box named General Options will appear.
  • Check the Always create backup option.
  • Hit OK.

creating a backup with the general options dialog

Why Is the Save As Option Absent While Using AutoSave in Excel

While enabling the AutoSave button, you have probably noticed that there Save As Option is missing in the File tab. Despite the Save As option, you will notice a Save a Copy option. The AutoSave feature saves your workbook after a particular time automatically. You can use the Save a Copy option to change the file type or name.

getting the Save a Copy option in the File tab

Frequently Asked Questions

What If My Version of Excel Doesn’t Have AutoSave?

The built-in AutoSave feature is available only on Microsoft Office 365. Using Excel VBA code can otherwise be a suitable way to autosave the file every time whenever the user closes it.

How do you disable or turn off AutoSave in Excel?

  • Go to the Excel Options menu.
  • Select Save from the left Ribbon.
  • Uncheck the AutoSave files stored in the Cloud by default in Excel option from the Save workbooks section.

How do I save an Excel File every minute?

  • Go to the Save menu of Excel Options.
  • Re-configure the Save AutoRecover information every X minutes option to 1 minute.

Excel Autosave: Knowledge Hub

<< Go Back to Excel Files | Learn Excel

Get FREE Advanced Excel Exercises with Solutions!


MD Tanvir Rahman
MD Tanvir Rahman

MD Tanvir Rahman, BUET graduate in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, dedicated over a year to the ExcelDemy project. He is an Excel and VBA Content Developer. Having authored 50+ insightful articles, he actively updates and improves over 80 articles, reflecting his commitment to accuracy and currency, managing day-to-day operations, and analyzing and developing Excel and VBA tutorials. His broad interests encompass Data Analysis, Advanced Excel, VBA Macro, Excel Templates, Excel Automation, and Excel Power Query, showcasing a... Read Full Bio

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

Advanced Excel Exercises with Solutions PDF