How to Disable Autosave in Excel Permanently – Office 365 and OneDrive Location

If you are using Office 365 or the latest version of Microsoft Office products, you might have noticed the AutoSave feature. The document keeps saving automatically in the background. The idea of auto-saving is to protect your document from sudden power off of the computer, PC crash or not manually saving the file after doing your important work. But it some cases, you may not need this feature to save your documents automatically with your temporary/unintentional changes. In this article, let me show how to disable the Autosave feature in Microsoft Excel which is applicable for other products such as MS Word and Powerpoint. Also, how to handle these type of situations without disabling the Autosave permanently.

By the way, the Autosave technology works only for the documents you save in OneDrive or SharePoint sites which support version history feature. If you save the Excel or Word files on your local disks like C or D drive, you will not get this feature. So, make sure to save your documents on local partitions manually.

Below is the working AutoSave Excel sheet which saved in OneDrive.

See all 3 parts I indicated, that will be useful throughout this guide.

Working Autosave

Below document saved in the local disk (C Drive) where the Autosave feature does not work on the same computer.

Non Working Autosave In Local Disk

Should I Disable the AutoSave Feature?

I recently got a request from one of the user to disable this feature. He works on accounting Excel files; he doesn’t want the changes to save automatically without saving manually, because his temporary changes overwrite the original file. It was a fair requirement. If you use and modify the documents temporarily and do not want to save the changes more frequently, then you can think about disabling the feature. But as a proper computer user, it is not recommended. Microsoft kept this feature to safeguard you. Also, there is a way to go back to your original file and revert all the temporary changes you have made. I will show that too here.

Disable Autosave in Excel Permanently (Word and PowerPoint Also)

1) Go to Options by clicking File from Menu.


2) Under the Save options, untick the Autosave option and press OK.

Remove The Tick

3) You may need to close all Excel files and open back. The Autosave option would be disabled for all files. Here is the example of the disabled autosave option in Excel.

Disabled Autosave On Excel

The Catch

These steps are simple and obvious, but I faced a strange problem with a specific user who was asking to disable it permanently. The above step worked only on that particular file, not the entire Excel program. If I open another Excel file saved in OneDrive the Autosave option was there, so it was not disabled permanently.

The Reason

These minor settings of Office 365 applications are getting stored in the cloud for your profile. Hence these type of parameters and customization can be replicated to the other devices you used with the same account or even when you install on the new computer/laptop. In my case, the particular user had an issue in logging to Office 365 account with Excel. You could see an exclamation mark near the user account in Excel or Word ribbon bar. In this case, whatever settings you change from a particular computer will not be saved or replicated to the Office 365 cloud settings. Once I fixed the login issue from Office application, disabling the Autosave applied to all Excel sheets (basically to the Excel program) permanently.

How to Manage without Disabling Auto Save Feature?

Office 365 documents have a nice feature called ‘Version History.’ Before you try the version history, you can try the ‘Undo’ feature if the changes saved in the document without your intention.

Undo Option

If many changes saved in the original document, but you do not want that to be saved, you can revert the document to a specific version (like a snapshot).  To get the available version history, click on the drop-down in the ribbon bar.

Open Version On Auto Saved Excel

Open the version you like to review; if that is the document version you are looking for, you can click restore. It will put back the original version of the file.

Restore Option

Technically, the Autosave is an excellent and safe feature to protect your essential changes on the document from sudden PC crash or accidental closure of the files without manually saving them. But if it is not suitable for your usage, either you can disable it permanently as shown in this guide, or use the Version History feature to recover and restore the original file at the particular time and date.

Dinesh is the founder of Sysprobs and written more than 400 articles. Enthusiast in Microsoft and cloud technologies with more than 15 years of IT experience.

2 thoughts on “How to Disable Autosave in Excel Permanently – Office 365 and OneDrive Location”

  1. We just found an interesting quirk on this… Even when the box is unchecked… If you do a “save as” of a Sharepoint based file, the new file you’ve created is automatically switched to a “auto save = yes”, even when the Original file and the Excel default were both set to “no”. 🙁 Why did they give us this “feature”???

  2. Just tried this and hope it works. I hate auto save. Going back to version history is a royal pain. My job requires a lot of excel but also travel and customer interface, Going back again and again seems counterproductive for my needs.

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