Protecting Your Work with AutoRecover

Even though saving a workbook takes only a few seconds, it's easy to forget to click the Save button. When you're really busy or under the gun, you might not want to break your concentration. Unfortunately, Murphy's Law determines that it's at those crucial times that your system locks up, the electricity goes out, or some other catastrophe occurs and your work is lost.

Excel's AutoRecover feature, also present in other Microsoft Office applications, offers some protection against such disasters. AutoRecover saves your work at specified intervals without any prompting from you. If your workbook should become damaged, you can open and repair the recovered workbook file.

To Do: Set AutoRecover

  1. Click the Tools menu and choose Options. Click the Save tab (see Figure 3.2).

    Figure 3.2. The Save tab is selected to set up automatic file recovery.


    Make sure that the Save AutoRecover Info Every box is checked, and specify the desired number of minutes between saves in the Minutes box. To change the interval, click in the Minutes box and type the time interval you want.


    Be careful when you adjust the Minutes setting. A shorter interval decreases the risk of lost work, but increases the risk of a slow system if your file is large or your system doesn't have sufficient power.

  2. Leave the default AutoRecover Save Location or specify a different folder.

  3. Click OK to close the Options dialog box.

  4. To deactivate the AutoRecover feature anytime you're working in Excel, click the Tools menu, choose Options, and check Disable AutoRecover.

    Part I: Excel Basics