Autosave In Word 2010

Within Microsoft Word there is functionality to keep saving your changes periodically behind the scenes. This is a good thing because if your system crashes you will then be able to recover the last saved version of your Word document. Some people save infrequently (boo!) and if there were no autosaves, they would lose a lot of data in the event of an application crash.

Few people know that the autosave options are configurable in Word. In Word 2010, you can view the autosave options by clicking the Office Button > Word > Options > Save.


In this window you can change how frequently Word autosaves your document by amending the Save AutoRecover information every value. If it is set to 5 minutes, for example, a copy of the current state of the document is made every 5 minutes. Although this is the value you are most likely to change, other information on this screen is just as useful.

The AutoRecover file location is where copies of your document are saved to periodically. Should anything go catastrophically wrong with a document you are working on, and you need to revert to a particular version of it, you can search for it in this location.

Microsoft Word 2010 Versions

The autosaved copies of your current document are now viewable in the Backstage View of Word 2010. When you click on the Office Button they are displayed in the Versions section for you to see.

word-2010-versionsEach version is clickable, allowing you to view the version, compare it with the current version and restore it. When you click on a version, it will open in a new instance of Word and the following is displayed just beneath the ribbon:


If you click Compare, yet another instance of Word is opened (that’s 3 now) with the Reviewing Pane (Review tab, Tracking group) open, allowing you to see the differences between the autosaved version and the current version of the document. If you decide that you do need the autosaved version, click Restore. You can close either of those extra instances of Word down if you decide you don’t need them.

Don’t worry about these autosaved versions building up and taking up space on your hard drive. They are deleted automatically when you save and close your document.

Recent Documents

If you’ve ever made lots of changes to a document, and then accidentally clicked ‘No’ when asked whether you want to save your changes, then you’re going to like this next feature. When you next open Word you will find the last autosaved version of the document at the top of the Recent Documents list in the Backstage View. Clicking on it will open it up for you to save (!) and carry on editing.

This last autosaved version is kept for 4 days, or until you open and save it.