How to Turn OFF the AutoSave Feature in Excel

- Written by Puneet

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Let’s say you are preparing a financial report and testing different strategies. You don’t want to save changes automatically because you might need to revert to the original data. Turning OFF AutoSave helps you experiment without worrying about losing the initial information.

AutoSave is a feature that Microsoft introduces in all Office Applications, including Excel. This work with OneDrive and SharePoint to auto-save your files at intervals. So, there’s always a back-up of the file.

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Now as we have seen there are a few situations where you don’t need it and want to turn it off. In this tutorial, I have shared two simple ways to do this. And I have also share which method I use myself.

Turn OFF AutoSave from Excel Options

You can turn off AutoSave from the Excel option for the entire Excel application. Below are the steps you need to follow:

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  1. Click the “File” tab in the Excel Window’s top-left corner. This will take you to the backstage view, where you can access various options. On the left side, you will see options like Save, Save As, and Open.
  2. Once in the menu, click the Options to open the Excel Options. It’s usually located at the bottom of the menu on the left side. Clicking ‘Options’ will open a new window called Excel Options.
  3. Look at the list on the left side of the Excel Options and click “Save.” This will display the save options in the central part of the window. Here, you can customize how Excel saves your workbooks.
  4. In the main part of the window, you will see a section called “Save workbooks.” Look for the checkbox that says “AutoSave files stored in the Cloud by default in Excel.” Uncheck this box to turn off AutoSave for these files.
  5. After unchecking the AutoSave box, click the “OK” button at the bottom of the window. This action will save your changes and close the Excel Options.

Once you save these settings, Excel will stop turning AutoSave “On” for the new file you are saving in OneDrive.

But the files saved in the OneDrive before this setting, will still have AutoSave “On” and you need to turn it off from the AutoSave button, which you have on the quick access toolbar.

Turn OFF AutoSave Without Turning it OFF from Options

AutoSave is a fantastic feature that helps you to save files. And I’d recommend you instead of turning it off from the Excel options, you can use the toggle button on the quick access toolbar to turn it off and on.

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You’ll see the Quick Access Toolbar and the AutoSave toggle button at the top-left corner of the Excel window. If AutoSave is currently on, the toggle will be highlighted. Click on the AutoSave toggle button to turn it off.

I like to turn off autosave from here most of the time, as it gives me more freedom to go workbook-specific. If I want to turn it off only for a single workbook, I don’t need to do so for the entire Excel.

Is there any Benefits of Turnings OFF the AutoSave

Yes, there are a few benefits:

  • Overwriting Workbook Data: Important data is protected from being automatically overwritten. If you make a mistake or change something unintentionally, you can close the workbook without saving it, and your original data will remain safe.
  • Control Saves – With AutoSave off, you decide when to save your changes. This means you won’t automatlically save mistakes or changes. You have full control over what gets saved and when.
  • Change Freely – When trying out different changes or scenarios in a workbook, turning off AutoSave means you don’t have to worry about losing your original data.
Last Updated: May 15, 2024