Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. 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 August 8, 2015)


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 and 2013, 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 Info 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, and 2013. 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. ...


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What is 1 + 8?

2015-08-10 12:37:50

C Moss

When you create a new document, whether it is based on another document or a blank page, just do a file/save as to name your document and save it where you want it saved.

2015-08-09 15:32:35


BouncingFaces and Richwood7 both provide excellent advice. 1. If you are creating a new doc from an old doc, save the text with its new name at once. (Send your old doc back into its file and now work only on the new doc). 2. Constantly use Control S while working on the new doc.

2015-08-09 05:58:12


The solution is simple, guys. Just Control+S (save) every time you type a paragraph or every few paragraphs. It will become second nature and you won't even realise you're doing it.

2015-08-08 23:20:29


I find that while my document is "AutoSaving", the keyboard input is ignored and I wind up with gaps of several characters within or between words. This is a problem because I usually touch-type, with my eyes on another monitor or hand-written notes. Does anyone else have this problem? Does anyone know how to overcome it?

2015-08-08 10:23:09

Roger Herman

"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."

What good is it to save information this way if Word will only TRY to recover all my hard work. I want a solution that will save all my changes to my documents.

2015-08-08 08:37:01


You have to watch this if you are modifying a document. Say Doc A is perfect and you decide it would make a good starting point for Doc B but you start typing your new document without saving it first as Doc B. All of a sudden your Doc A is automatically saved with the changes and you have now lost the original.

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