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Microsoft Excel now has a built-in AutoRecover feature that has replaced the AutoSave add-in that exists in versions of Excel that are earlier than Microsoft Excel 2002. The AutoRecover feature saves copies of all open Excel files at a user-definable fixed interval. The files can be recovered if Excel closes unexpectedly, for example, during a power failure.
This article contains an overview of the AutoRecover feature.
How to configure the AutoRecover settings
Microsoft Office Excel 2007The controls to configure the AutoRecover feature are in the Save settings in Excel Options.
Note To open the Save settings, click the Microsoft Office Button, click Excel Options, and then click Save.
To configure the AutoRecover settings, follow these steps:
Microsoft Office Excel 2003 and earlier versions of ExcelThe controls to configure the AutoRecover dialog box are on the Save tab of the Options dialog box.
Note To open the Options dialog box, click Options on the Tools menu.
To configure the AutoRecover dialog box, follow these steps:
When an AutoRecover event is triggeredWhen an Excel file is open and AutoRecover is turned on, AutoRecover does not save the file until the first change is made to the file, the AutoRecover save time interval passes, and Excel has been idle for some time (the default is 30 seconds). After AutoRecover saves the file, the file is only saved at subsequent save intervals if further changes are made.
When AutoRecover files are deletedTo keep from filling up your AutoRecover location with unneeded files, AutoRecover files are automatically deleted in the following situations:
AutoRecover save timingThe AutoRecover timer checks for changed Excel files at the interval you set in the minutes box on the Save tab in the Options dialog box. The timer starts when you start Excel.
Note In Excel 2007, the minutes box is in the Save category in the Excel Option dialog box.
When the first save interval passes, Excel checks to see whether any open files have been changed. If Excel locates changed files, an idle timer starts. The purpose of the idle timer is to make sure that the user does not make entries in the worksheet while the save operation occurs. The idle timer restarts each time that the user makes an entry into the worksheet so the AutoRecover save file is not created until both the save interval passes and no entries are made for the duration of the idle time.
The default idle time is 30 seconds. To change the default idle time, use the AutoRecoverDelay registry key. To do this, follow these steps.
Important This section, method, or task contains steps that tell you how to modify the registry. However, serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up and restore the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/322756/ )How to back up and restore the registry in Windows
File formats that are saved by AutoRecoverAutoRecover saves all file formats that can be opened in Excel. To maintain speed and simplicity, AutoRecover saves all files as the current Excel file format, regardless of the original file format opened. The file is saved as a hidden file with an arbitrary filename with the extension .xar (for example, ~ar18a.xar).
When you try to save a recovered file upon reopening Excel after it closed unexpectedly, the original file format and name is suggested as the Save file type. Excel stores the original file name and its related .xar file name in the registry for the purpose of recovery.
AutoRecover and multiple instances of ExcelWhen more than one instance of Excel is running and one instance closes unexpectedly, a new instance of Excel is automatically started and the AutoRecover files are opened. If all instances of Excel close unexpectedly, but the computer is still running, a single instance of Excel is started and all AutoRecover files are opened. In the case of a power outage, all recovered files are opened when you start Excel again.
CompatibilityAll AutoRecover settings, except the Disable AutoRecover workbook option, are stored in the system registry. AutoRecover settings are compatible with files from previous versions of Excel is not an issue.
When the Disable AutoRecover workbook option is set, and the file is opened in an earlier version of Excel, saved, and then reopened in a later version of Excel, the Disable AutoRecover workbook option is not affected.
For more information about how to troubleshoot errors when you save Excel files, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/271513/ )How to troubleshoot errors when you save Excel files