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AutoRecover is a PowerPoint feature that attempts to recover files automatically in the event of a crash, power failure, or other unexpected application shutdown. It does this by periodically saving a copy of the file in the background. By default, AutoRecover saves a recovery file every 10 minutes. 

Important: Do not use AutoRecover as a substitute for regularly saving your files by using AutoSave (see below) or by clicking Save. Saving your files frequently is the best way to preserve your work.

AutoRecover is different than AutoSave, which automatically saves your file as you work - just like when you save files manually. The AutoSave feature is available for Microsoft 365 subscribers. When AutoSave is turned on, AutoRecover files are rarely needed. 

For more information see: What is AutoSave

Microsoft 365

AutoRecover files automatically reopen on next app start

Normally, PowerPoint will automatically recover your work the next time you open the application following an unexpected shutdown. It does this by detecting if an AutoRecover file exists and automatically opening it. If you want to keep the recovered file, you should immediately save it before editing or closing. 

To manually open an AutoRecover file: 

  1. Click the File button in the ribbon and then click the Home tab in the menu.

  2. Click the Recover Unsaved Presentations button at the bottom of the screen to navigate to the folder where AutoRecover files are stored.

  1. In the PowerPoint ribbon, click File and then click the Home tab in the menu.

  2. In the menu, click Options > Save.

  3. Under the Save Presentations heading, modify the Save AutoRecover information every x minutes box.

  1. In the PowerPoint ribbon, click File and then click the Home tab in the menu.

  2. In the menu, click Options > Save.

  3. Under the Save Presentations heading, modify the AutoRecover File Location box.

Note: If you change the default AutoRecover file path, there are certain cases in which AutoRecover files will not be automatically deleted when no longer needed. 

  1. Click the File button in the ribbon and then click the Home tab in the menu.

  2. Click the Recover Unsaved Presentations button at the bottom of the screen to navigate to the folder where AutoRecover files are stored.

You can navigate directly to the AutoRecover folder using Windows File Explorer. The location of the AutoRecover folder can be found in the Options dialog, in the Save tab. By default, the AutoRecover folder is located at:

C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\PowerPoint

Replace <username> with your user name. 

Office 2021 and earlier versions 

Document Recovery Pane 

After an unexpected shutdown, the Document Recovery pane automatically opens to help you get your files back. Document Recovery lists any files you had open that were recovered from the most recent time you saved them, the most recent time they were AutoSaved (if your file is on OneDrive or SharePoint and you are a Microsoft 365 subscriber), or the most recent time they were Auto Recovered.   

To see the entire Document Recovery pane, hover over the right edge of the pane until you see an arrow pointing left and right. Then click the arrow and drag it to the right to widen the Document Recovery pane. 

  1. In the PowerPoint ribbon, click File and then click the Home tab in the menu.

  2. In the menu, click Options > Save.

  3. Under the Save Presentations heading, modify the Save AutoRecover information every x minutes box.

  1. In the PowerPoint ribbon, click File and then click the Home tab in the menu.

  2. In the menu, click Options > Save.

  3. Under the Save Presentations heading, modify the AutoRecover File Location box.

You can navigate directly to the AutoRecover folder using Windows File Explorer. The location of the AutoRecover folder can be found in the Options dialog, in the Save tab. By default, the AutoRecover folder is located at:

C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\PowerPoint

Replace <username> with your username. 

AutoRecover files automatically reopen on next app start

Normally, PowerPoint will automatically recover your work the next time you open the application following an unexpected shutdown. It does this by detecting if an AutoRecover file exists and automatically opening it. If you want to keep the recovered file, you should immediately save it before editing or closing. 

To manually open an AutoRecover file: 

  1. Click the File button in the ribbon and then click the Home tab in the menu.

  2. Click the Recover Unsaved Presentations button at the bottom of the screen to navigate to the folder where AutoRecover files are stored.

  1. In the PowerPoint ribbon, click File and then click the Home tab in the menu.

  2. In the menu, click Options > Save.

  3. Under the Save Presentations heading, modify the Save AutoRecover information every x minutes box.

You can navigate directly to the AutoRecover folder using the Finder. The location of the AutoRecover folder can be found in the Options dialog, in the Save tab. By default, the AutoRecover folder is located at:

 /Users/<username>/Library/Containers/com.Microsoft.Powerpoint/Data/Library/Preferences/AutoRecovery

Replace <username> with your user name. 

The AutoRecovery folder is a hidden folder, so you may not see it if you try to navigate to it in the Finder. Use the Go To Folder tool and enter the full path there. 

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