Office 2019 comes with a new feature that office staff and IT admins should be aware of; AutoSave. AutoSave feature automatically saves a user’s document every few seconds to prevent loss of valuable data. However, it gets enabled only when the user’s document lives in SharePoint Online, OneDrive or OneDrive for business.

In general, saving everything a user does in a document automatically is a good idea – they won’t lose any of their work due to a power outage or any other problem. However, not all users want their documents to be automatically saved. Sometimes users wish to keep their old documents intact. In this post, we’ll show how one can use AutoSave safely.

How to Use AutoSave Safely

Users who wish to use AutoSave without any issues should know that this feature automatically saves every change in their document, even if they only want it to be temporary or if they change their mind and close the document without saving.

If a user wants to use their existing document to work on a new one, they must save the document with a new name before making any changes. If they don’t do this, all the changes they make in the original document will be saved even if they don’t save the document before closing it.

If a user edits a published file while AutoSave is on, any change made on the file will be saved. Therefore, Microsoft recommends users to set the Read-Only Recommend property on the file to ensure that unintentional edits do not get saved.

Microsoft has removed the “File > Save As” command when a file is opened via SharePoint Online, OneDrive or OneDrive for Business.

Therefore, if users want to keep their original files intact, they should disable AutoSave feature by toggling the switch at the top to “Off” position. Alternatively, they can uncheck the AutoRecover settings from the Options menu.

AutoSave features cannot be permanently disabled in Office. If a user opens a file from the cloud, the AuoSave feature will be on and the user will have to turn it off manually every time. If a user doesn’t turn AutoSave off, all the changes will be saved.

Microsoft recommends users to use “File > Save a Copy” to work on a single copy of the document collaboratively. Instead of creating a file with different names, users can just create a copy of the original file.

People who don’t work with cloud platforms like OneDrive don’t have to worry about AutoSave feature.

Hayden McMaster