PPT97: How to Recover an Unsaved Presentation from a .tmp File

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This article was written about products for which Microsoft no longer offers support. Therefore, this article is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.


Microsoft PowerPoint allows you to protect your work by using the AutoRecover feature to periodically save a temporary copy of the presentation that you are working on. If the power goes out or your computer stops responding unexpectedly, the AutoRecover feature may be able to recover your work automatically the next time that you start PowerPoint. If you mistakenly quit PowerPoint without saving your presentation, it still may be possible to recover your work, even though the temporary copy has been deleted.

NOTE: Not all presentations can be recovered with this method. For more information about recovering damaged presentations, browse to the Microsoft Knowledge Base articles in the "References" section of this article.

More Information

Recovering Your Presentation After a Power Failure

You can recover work after a power failure or similar problem if you have selected the Save AutoRecover info every check box on the Save tab in the Options dialog box before the problem occurs. You can set the AutoRecover save interval to occur more frequently than every 10 minutes, which is the default setting. For example, if you set it to save your work every 5 minutes, you can recover more information than if you set it to save your work every 10 minutes.

To turn AutoRecover on, follow these steps:

  1. On the Tools menu, click Options.
  2. In the Options dialog box, click to select the Save AutoRecover info every check box on the Save tab, set the interval to the number of minutes that you want, and then click OK.
When AutoRecover is on and PowerPoint stops responding while you have presentations open, causing you to have to restart your computer, the recovery files automatically open when you restart PowerPoint. The information in the files reflects the last time AutoRecover saved the presentations. Because the recovery file is deleted when you save or close a presentation, AutoRecover should not be used as a substitute for regularly saving your presentations.

Recovering Your Presentation When You Quit Without Saving Your Work

Whenever AutoRecover saves a presentation that you are working on, that information is stored in the PPTnnnn.tmp file, where "nnnn" represents random numbers that PowerPoint generates automatically. When you save your presentation (on the File menu, click Save), the PPTnnnn.tmp file is deleted. If you close the file and do not save the changes the PPTnnnn.tmp file is also deleted.

It may be possible to recover the PPTnnnn.tmp file if no other data has been made to the hard drive. You may be able to Undelete the PPTnnnn.tmp file. However, if the PPTnnnn.tmp file is recovered, there is no guarantee that it is a good copy of the presentation. To recover the temp file, follow these steps:

  1. Click Start, point to Search, and then click For Files or Folders.
  2. In the Search Results dialog box, type ppt*.tmp under Search for files or folder named, and then click Search Now.
  3. If a file that matches the search criteria is found, right-click the file, and then click Rename. You can give the file any name that you want, but you must give it a ".ppt" extension.
  4. Double-click the file that you renamed to open it in PowerPoint. If it is the file that you want to recover, click Save As on the File menu, give the file the name that you want for your presentation, select the folder where you want to save it, and then click Save.NOTE: If you receive an error message when you are attempting to open the file, then the presentation cannot be recovered with this method.


For additional information about recovering files, click the article numbers below to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

228995 PPT97: Where Settings are Stored in the Registry
158501 PPT97: AutoRecovered Presentation Always in Slide View
89247 WD97: How Word for Windows Uses Temporary Files
249109 PPT97: AutoRecover Does Not Save New or Changed Summary or Custom Properties
189549 PPT97: Troubleshooting Damaged Presentations on Windows 95

Article ID: 292585 - Last Review: Aug 27, 2002 - Revision: 1