Imagine this situation: you started working on a presentation, saved it couple of times, then got so much involved in your
work that you spent an inordinate amount of time working on it without saving it. Then, your computer unexpectedly crashes or
just shuts off due to some unexpected crisis. Or maybe just PowerPoint crashes for some reason. Does it mean you are now left
with your presentation in the status when you last saved it and lost all your work? Not really because you can restart
PowerPoint, and one of two occurrences may happen:
- PowerPoint starts with opening the presentation file, so you can save any salvaged work and continue using your file.
- The Document Recovery Task Pane
appears, with up to three autosaved versions of your file. You can select which version you want to keep.
To see the options mentioned above, you must have
AutoRecover or AutoSave
turned on, and you should also ensure that the save interval is sufficiently set to save your work frequently.
Follow these steps to use the Document Recovery Task Pane to recover your presentation after
PowerPoint or your OS crashes:
Launch PowerPoint 2016 and you may see the
Document Recovery Task Pane, as shown in Figure 1.
Figure 1: Document Recovery Task Pane
Within the Available Files list, click the button with the downward pointing arrow next to the
recovered file (highlighted in red within Figure 1) to bring up a
drop-down list, as shown in Figure 1.
There are four options available within the list, which are explained below:
Click the Open option to review the recovered version of the file
Click the Save As option to rename and create a new version of the file
Click the Delete option to delete any recovered version(s) of the file
The Show Repairs option is often grayed out, unless PowerPoint finds a file that's not
completely useable it, then attempts to salvage whatever content it can save. You can then select the
Show Repairs option to proceed.
- Save and keep any recovered file that you want.
Recovering Presentations Manually
Another possibility of losing your work done on your presentation is if you close the presentation in a hurry, ignoring
PowerPoint's warning to save it (which is almost impossible). Note that in this case when you re-open PowerPoint, the
Document Recovery Task Pane won't appear. And if you need to see presentations within the Document Recovery
Task Pane, there really isn't an intuitive way to launch it. To access this list of autosaved presentations manually
without Document Recovery Task Pane, follow these steps:
- Launch PowerPoint 2016, access the File menu, and choose Options, as shown highlighted
in blue within Figure 2.
Figure 2: Choose File | Options
- This brings up the PowerPoint Options dialog box, as shown in Figure 3. Within
the PowerPoint Options dialog box's sidebar, make sure that the Save option (highlighted
in red within Figure 3) is selected. Locate the AutoRecover file location
box (highlighted in blue within Figure 3).
Figure 3: PowerPoint Options dialog box
- Copy the AutoRecover file location folder path (highlighted in blue
within Figure 3, above). Close the PowerPoint Options dialog box.
- Now, access the Backstage view, select the
Open option, as shown highlighted in blue within Figure 4. Then select the
Computer option, highlighted in red within
Figure 4. Finally click the Browse button (highlighted in green within
Figure 4: Browse button
- This brings up the Open dialog box, as shown in Figure 5. Notice the area highlighted in
red within Figure 5, below. Within this area paste the previously copied
AutoRecover file location folder path.
Figure 5: Open dialog box
- Now, within the Open dialog box you can see the names of all presentations that were open in the last
session of PowerPoint, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 6. But as you
can notice, there are folders instead of PowerPoint files. Just double-click on the folder that shows the name of the
presentation you want to recover.
Figure 6: AutoRecover file location opened within Open dialog box
- This will show all the recoverable autosaved (and also unsaved) versions of the selected presentation, as shown in
Figure 7. Select the file and click the Open button (highlighted in red
within Figure 7) to recover it.
Figure 7: Files within the Open dialog box
- This will open the selected presentation in PowerPoint as shown in Figure 8. You will see a strip
above the Slide Area to indicate the fact that this is a recovered presentation. Just click the Restore button
(shown highlighted in red within Figure 8) to save it as original file. A window will show confirming that you are overwriting the last saved version. Click the OK button in the window to accept.
Figure 8: Recovered unsaved file
Recovering Unsaved Presentations in
PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Automatically in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows
PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences:
PowerPoint 2016, 2013, 2011, 2010, 2007 and 2003 for Windows
PowerPoint 2016 and 2011 for Mac
Have your ever used keyboard shortcuts and sequences in PowerPoint? Or are you a complete keyboard aficionado?
Do you want to learn about some new shortcuts? Or do you want to know if your favorite keyboard shortcuts are documented?
Go and get a copy of our PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences ebook.