Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Saving Your Work Automatically.

Saving Your Work Automatically

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 9, 2021)

3

We've all done it. You're working along for several hours on a document, when suddenly the power goes out. Or you kick the reset button on your computer. Or your three-year-old pulls the power cord out of the wall. The list goes on, but the bottom line is that you lost the past couple hours of work. Many things spring to mind at a time like this. Most of them can't be printed in a nice, family-oriented newsletter. But hopefully you learned a lesson when this happened.

Word allows you to protect yourself by automatically saving your work for you. To set the automatic saving feature, follow these steps:

  1. Display the Word Options dialog box. (In Word 2007 click the Office button and then click Word Options. In Word 2010 or a later version, display the File tab of the ribbon and then click Options.)
  2. Click on Save at the left side of the dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Save options in the Word Options dialog box.

  4. Click on the Save AutoRecover Information Every check box. The number 10 appears in the Minutes box.
  5. Adjust the Minutes box to reflect how often you want Word to save your document. You can select values between 1 minute and 120 minutes.
  6. Click on OK.

When designating an AutoSave frequency, you should probably not select a time under 10 minutes. More frequent saves can waste time and become counterproductive.

You should also note that AutoSave does not really save your file. What it does is save information that Word can use to try to recover your file if Word stops unexpectedly.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (10175) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Saving Your Work Automatically.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Counting Colors from Conditional Formats

Conditional formatting is a great way to make sure that your information looks a particular way, even if the information ...

Discover More

Calculating a Group Retirement Date

Calculating a retirement date can be as simple as doing some date math to see when a person reaches a certain age. ...

Discover More

Protecting a Workbook from Opening in Other Programs

When working with sensitive information, you always need to be concerned that your data doesn't fall into unwanted hands. ...

Discover More

The First and Last Word on Word! Bestselling For Dummies author Dan Gookin puts his usual fun and friendly candor back to work to show you how to navigate Word 2013. Spend more time working and less time trying to figure it all out! Check out Word 2013 For Dummies today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Saving Information in a Non-Document Text File

Need to store some information in a plain text file? It's easy to do when you use a macro.

Discover More

Positioning the Cursor in a New Document

Creating special templates is a great way to establish "standards" for your documents. With a little ingenuity you can ...

Discover More

Understanding Background Saving

Word has the capability to save your work, in the background, while you continue to edit your documents. This tip ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is one more than 1?

2021-01-09 11:29:33

Val J McCarthy

Thank you for your Saturday morning tips. I migrated from the WordPerfect world so some of the things that Word does just boggles the mind. Your Newsletter has helped me understand these differences.

I have used this suggestion to save automatically every 2 minutes or so. However, I find that too "many" saves, such as when I'm working on a document for 2 hours results in the software not "showing" that all the changes have been made and I cannot manually save (flashes that the document is saving). The only way I can get it to start saving again is to restart the program again. HOWEVER, NO DATA IS LOST. How could frequent saves be counterproductive?

Nervous Nellie


2021-01-09 09:18:04

Allen

Jos, it can become counterproductive if the actual saving process (due to a large file or a slow drive connection) slows down your work.

-Allen


2021-01-09 08:25:07

Jos

"When designating an AutoSave frequency, you should probably not select a time under 10 minutes. More frequent saves can (...) become counterproductive." Why is that?


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.