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Recovering Presentations Automatically in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

Learn how to automatically recover your unsaved presentation in PowerPoint 2010.


Product/Version: Microsoft PowerPoint 2010
OS: Windows 8, 7, Vista, XP

After spending an inordinate amount of time to create your PowerPoint presentation, your computer unexpectedly crashes or your computer just shuts off due to a power failure. Or maybe just PowerPoint crashes for any number of reasons. Of course, since you had zero warnings, your files were not saved -- you are thus left with the state of your last saved presentation. Not really because you can restart PowerPoint, and one of two occurrences might happen:

  1. PowerPoint starts with opening the presentation file, so you can save any salvaged work and continue using your file.
  2. The Document Recovery task pane appears, with up to three recovered versions of your file. You can identify which version you want to keep -- and the ones you want to discard.

Note: You must have turned on the AutoRecover or AutoSave options, and ensured 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:

  1. Launch PowerPoint, and you may see the Document Recovery task pane, as shown in Figure 1.

    Document Recovery task pane
    Figure 1: Document Recovery task pane

  2. 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.

  3. There are four options available within the list, which are explained below:

    1. Click the Open option to review the recovered version of the file
    2. Click the Save As option to rename and create a new version of the file
    3. Click the Delete option to delete any recovered version(s) of the file
    4. 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 learn more about the file repair.

  4. Save and keep any recovered file that you want.

Recovering Presentations Manually

Note that when you open PowerPoint, the Document Recovery Task Pane does not always 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 see this list of presentations manually outside the Document Recovery Task Pane, follow these steps:

  1. Within PowerPoint 2010, access the File menu, and choose Options, as highlighted in red within Figure 2.

    Choose File | Options
    Figure 2: Choose File | Options

  2. 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 (highlighted in red within Figure 3) option is selected. Scroll down to the Save presentations section to find the AutoRecover file location (highlighted in blue within Figure 3) option.

    PowerPoint Options dialog box
    Figure 3: PowerPoint Options dialog box

  3. Copy the AutoRecover file location folder path highlighted in blue within Figure 3, above. And close the PowerPoint Options dialog box.

  4. Now, access the File | Open option, this brings up the Open dialog box, as shown in Figure 4. Notice the area highlighted in red within Figure 4, below- - just click on this area and paste the previously copied AutoRecover file location folder path.

    Open dialog box
    Figure 4: Open dialog box

  5. You can now see all the files and folders with the AutoRecover file location folder path, as shown in Figure 5.

    AutoRecover file location directory path within Open dialog box
    Figure 5: AutoRecover file location directory path within Open dialog box

  6. Within the Open dialog box click the button (highlighted in red within Figure 5, above) to bring up a drop-down list, as shown in Figure 6. Within the drop-down list make sure you select the "All Files" option.

    Choose All Files option
    Figure 6: Choose All Files option

  7. This will show all the .tmp, .pptx and other files within the Open dialog box, as shown in Figure 7. You can select the file and open to recover them. Make sure you check within all sub-folders for any file.

    Files within the Open dialog box
    Figure 7: Files within the Open dialog box

Note: Other than the designated AutoRecover folder, some files may also be available in other folders -- explore our Recovering Presentations Manually in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows tutorial to learn more.

See Also: Recovering Unsaved Presentations in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows


PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences:
PowerPoint 2013, 2011, 2010, 2007 and 2003

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 E-Book.

PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences E-book


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