Office 365 Autosave

Published: | by Julian Knight Reading time ~1 min.
📖 Kb | 📎 Microsoft, Office 365, Software | 🔖 microsoft, office, word, excel, powerpoint

I am sure that whoever in Microsoft came up with the idea of an autosave flag, they thought it was a great idea. And indeed it is. However, when they made it default to on, they made a logistical nightmare for the majority of users. This post discusses why and what you could do about it.

With autosave on by default, every shared document that you open in Word, Excel or PowerPoint is subject to the whims of the Office client software. This means that it is all too easy to accidentally make a change that is then autosaved changing a shared document, throwing out version control processes, possibly approvals, etc. To say nothing of annoying other colleagues with random changes.

When the “feature” was introduced at the start of 2017, Microsoft gave no way to change the default from on to off. By the middle of the year, however, they introduced a set of registry settings.

Somewhat inevitably for a poorly thought through feature, they compounded the issues by making these registry flags permanently disable autosave instead of allowing a change to default to off. :sigh:

Well, for what it’s worth, here are the registry codes you need to permanently disable autosave in the three client applications:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\16.0\Word]
"DontAutoSave"=dword:00000001

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\16.0\Excel]
"DontAutoSave"=dword:00000001

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\16.0\PowerPoint]
"DontAutoSave"=dword:00000001

You can save the above code to a text file ending in .reg. Then right-click on the file in Windows File Explorer and chose the merge option to turn off autosave.

If you want to undo the change, set the values to 0 instead of 1.


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