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What happens if I turn off AutoSave?

AutoSave saves your file every few seconds and enables powerful live collaboration features such as seeing who else is currently working in the document and what changes they're making. If users wish to turn AutoSave off, or IT Admins decide to turn it off for their users via Group Policy, it’s important to understand the impact this will have on real-time co-authoring and collaboration in Word, Excel and PowerPoint.  

If AutoSave is turned off, the following experiences are degraded: 

  • Any edits made by other authors will not be visible in real-time to the user​ with AutoSave off. Changes others have made since the last manual save won't appear until the next time the user saves the file manually, content merges complete, and a full download happens.

    Note: In some cases, users with AutoSave off may experience delays in seeing other co-authors’ changes even after having manually saved the file. 

  • Users will still be able to see which other collaborators have the document open, but they won't be able to see where they are in the document.

  • Edits are required to be saved manually. The longer the user goes between manual saves, the more likely their edits will conflict with the edits of others, resulting in longer save time and merge conflicts that may be difficult to resolve. The user may see more errors, including:

    • Upload Failures

    • Merge Conflicts, especially if there are 3 or more co-authors

    • File not updated with the latest content

    • Download Failures

Ultimately, in the event of a crash, there is a risk of data loss if the file hasn’t been manually saved recently. 

Have feedback? 

If you would like to give feedback on the AutoSave feature, please visit our UserVoice forums for Word, PowerPoint or Excel

See also

What is AutoSave?

How do I turn on AutoSave?

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