How to recover unsaved PowerPoint

You have been working for almost a full day on a PowerPoint presentation that will support you during an exhibition that you will shortly hold in front of various people. You were very satisfied with the final result, except that, suddenly, the irreparable happened: a power outage in your home caused the sudden shutdown of your computer.

Since you have the (bad) habit of saving files only when you have finished editing them, you are afraid that what just happened has wasted hours and hours of hard work, and you don’t know where to go. the head. That’s the way it is, am I right? In this case, I invite you to remain calm: perhaps all is not lost. In fact, there are procedures by which, with a bit of luck, it is possible to restore PowerPoint presentations even if they have not been saved.

What am I referring to? I’ll explain it to you immediately. If you give me a few minutes of your precious time, I can in fact explain to you how to recover an unsaved PowerPoint by implementing all the possible solutions, both on a computer and on smartphones and tablets. Happy reading and good luck for everything!


  • How to recover an unsaved PowerPoint: computer
    • How to recover an unsaved PowerPoint: Windows
    • How to recover an unsaved PowerPoint: Mac
  • How to recover an unsaved PowerPoint: smartphone and tablet
    • How to recover unsaved PowerPoint on Android
    • How to recover unsaved PowerPoint on iPhone

How to recover an unsaved PowerPoint: computer

If you agree, I’d start by showing you how to recover an unsaved PowerPoint on the desktop variant of the program in question. You need to know that, on both Windows and macOS , the files you work on are kept as temporary items on the disk, even if they have not been saved. Precisely for this reason, it is often possible to restore them in an emergency. In addition, PowerPoint also has an efficient automatic recovery function for documents closed by mistake without having previously saved them. Here are all the details.

How to recover an unsaved PowerPoint: Windows

If you are trying to recover a PowerPoint file following a sudden program shutdown or shutdown of your Windows computer , you have a good chance of being able to recover it thanks to the aforementioned automatic recovery function built into PowerPoint and other Microsoft Office suite programs .

You can check immediately by starting PowerPoint from the list of installed programs that you find in the Windows Start menu . Once you have opened the software in question, click on the Home item at the top left (it has the icon of a house ) and, having done this, press on the Restore unsaved presentations item at the bottom. Alternatively, click on the Open item located on the left and then press the Restore unsaved presentations button .

In the left area, the program will show you a list of recent unsaved files. At this point, to proceed, just click with the right mouse button on the file you want to restore and then select the item Save as . Choose, therefore, a location for exporting the file and, finally, click on the Save button . See how simple it was?

You should know that even if you do not manually save the files you are working on and you have not activated the PowerPoint autosave function, the program in question has enabled by default a restore function that saves temporary files every 10 minutes ; if you want to lower this time threshold and thus allow a more frequent automatic saving, click on the Options item at the bottom left of the main PowerPoint page.

Subsequently, press on the item Saving and, from here, type 1 in the box next to the item Save automatic saving information every ; finally, click on the OK button . You can also enable autosave to OneDrive , Microsoft’s cloud storage service included in Windows 10 that offers 5GB of free online storage on Microsoft servers in its basic version .

This way, even if some problem occurs with your computer, your files will remain safe in the cloud and you can recover them whenever you want. To activate saving to OneDrive, just open any PowerPoint file and press the switch at the top left, next to the Auto-save item .

You will then have to select your Microsoft account or, if you haven’t done so before, you can also associate your account with OneDrive (I explained this procedure in detail in my tutorial on how to access OneDrive ).

Unbeknownst to you, perhaps, the automatic saving on Microsoft’s cloud system had already been activated previously, so, if you are trying to recover a PowerPoint file you were working on, I also recommend that you check your personal space on the aforementioned service.

To do this, open the OneDrive login page , press the Sign in button , enter the login credentials of your Microsoft account (if required) and click on the Recent Items item on the left. If you find the file you were looking for, right-click on it and hit the Download button .

In addition, I also recommend that you check the storage space of other cloud services, such as Google Drive and Dropbox on which you may have saved a preliminary version of the file, so that you can find it and see how far your progress has been. save yourself.

If you have not had any luck with the methods I have just mentioned, try to search for temporary files with the Windows File Explorer: during the work session, in fact, the Microsoft operating system automatically saves some copies of the file.

To do this, click on the folder icon located at the bottom left, on the Windows taskbar and type one of the following strings in the search field located at the top right: ppt * .tmp , .ppt , .pptx , .pptm , .odp , .pps , .ppsx or .pot .

If you have found such a file, right -click on it, click on Rename and type a name of your choice for the file followed by .pptx . At this point, click again with the right mouse button on the file icon and select the Open with item from the context menu, to open it with PowerPoint and check if the file is what you were trying to recover.

Also be sure to manually check the Windows temporary files folder; to do this, press the key combination Win + R , type % temp% in the compilation field of the Run panel that appears on the screen, press the OK button .

Finally, if you have activated the Windows 10 backup function, you can also check if you find a copy of the file by accessing the Windows Settings (press the Start button , the one with the Windows flag at the bottom left), then go to Update and security> Backup> Restore files from a current backup . For more details on this procedure, please see my guide on how to backup your PC .

Just like “last resort”, if none of the solutions mentioned above gave the desired results, you could try scanning your PC disk with a program to recover deleted data , then filtering the results to show PPT / PPTX files only , but the success rates of the operation are low, I warn you.

How to recover an unsaved PowerPoint: Mac

The functioning of the desktop variant of PowerPoint for Mac is very similar to that of Windows, therefore the first solutions I mentioned in the previous chapter remain valid . Even in this case, in fact, whether the automatic save function is active or not, PowerPoint will create a backup copy of the files you are working on and you can take advantage of this feature to try to recover an apparently lost presentation.

If there is a backup copy of the file you worked on recently, PowerPoint will notify you as soon as it is started: to open it, simply press the OK button (or you can find the copy by clicking on the Recent item ). If you want this backup copy to be saved more frequently (the default value is set at 10 minutes), once you have started PowerPoint on your Mac, go to the PowerPoint> Preferences menu and, in the window that opens, select the tab Save .

In the box under the heading Save automatic saving information, type 1 and then close the window. If, on the other hand, you want to enable automatic saving via OneDrive or check if a copy of the file you were working on has been saved in this cloud service, I invite you again to consult the chapter on Windows .

The other solution you can take advantage of is to manually check the macOS temporary files folder. To do this, click on the Go item located at the top, on the macOS menu bar, then click on the Utility item and, from here, open the Terminal application . Then type the command open $ TMPDIR and press the Enter key .

Now scroll through the list of files, open the TemporaryItems folder and check if there are PowerPoint files in this path. I also invite you to check your PowerPoint unsaved files folder. To do this, start the Finder (the smiling face icon on the Dock ), select the Go to folder … item from the context menu and explore the path from here ~/Utenti/[nome utente]/Libreria/Containers/Microsoft PowerPoint/Data/Library/Preferences/AutoRecovery.

Once you have found a file in this way (it should contain _autorecover in the name), move it to a location of your choice (for example your Desktop ), right-click on it and select the Rename item from the context menu. Then type a name followed by the extension .pptx and try to open the file with PowerPoint.

Finally, as on Windows, you can also check for any file backups created automatically with the functional Time Machine application that is present “standard” on the Apple operating system. To do this, go to the folder where you think the file of interest may have been previously saved, start Time Machina from the MacOS Launchpad and scroll, using the right sidebar, to the date of your interest.

Then check the files in the Finder location of your choice and, once you have found the file you are looking for, click on it and press the Restore button at the bottom right.

Also with regard to the Mac, as a “last resort” you can try to check the cloud storage services (eg. ICloud Drive and Google Drive you use) and scan the computer disk with a program to recover deleted data , but the percentages of success are not very high.

How to recover an unsaved PowerPoint: smartphone and tablet

Recovering a file that you have not saved on the PowerPoint mobile app (available on Android and iOS / iPadOS ) is perfectly possible and, indeed, in this case, compared to what happens on a computer, recovery is even more immediate. Find all the details below.

How to recover unsaved PowerPoint on Android

As for the Android version of PowerPoint, every time you create a new presentation, the app will offer you the default option to create the file on your personal space in OneDrive .

In this way, even if something unexpected happens, you can recover the file directly from the cloud storage, I explained here how to do it. Alternatively, you can also use the OneDrive app, which you can download by opening this page of the Play Store and pressing the Install button (instead check the alternative stores if your device does not have access to Google services).

Once you have launched the OneDrive app and logged in with the credentials of the same Microsoft account you use in PowerPoint, you should find the presentation you worked on recently on the Home tab (to download it, just press the  placed in correspondence with the name on the right and then tap on the Download item ).

I also inform you that even if you have chosen to create the file on the phone memory and not on the OneDrive storage space, even if your device should shut down or the application should crash, you will be able to find the file on which you are working by opening the app again and pressing on the Recent item , at the bottom left.

This is because on the PowerPoint application automatic saving is enabled by default (to check this setting you just need to open any file, press the  icon at the top right, tap the Settings item and, from here, check that the ‘switch under the heading Automatically save files is shown in red; if not, tap on it to fix it). Nothing too complex, do you agree?

In addition, I also recommend that you do a manual search for temporary files using any file manager . These are applications designed to explore the internal memory of devices and open files (I have recommended the ones that I consider most valid in this guide of mine ; moreover, several Android smartphones have already pre-installed this type of app, you could find them in the menu apps with a folder icon and the name File Manager or File Explorer ).

Once you have started the file manager, you just need to select a folder called Memory (or Internal shared memory , depending on the device you use) and explore the contents of the Documents (or Documents ) folder and that of PowerPoint . Give it a try now to see if you can find what you are looking for!

How to recover unsaved PowerPoint on iPhone

The PowerPoint app for iPhone and iPad is similar to the counterpart for Android and, for this reason, the solutions I proposed in the previous chapter remain valid .

The only difference regarding Apple devices is that on the latter you do not have the possibility to perform manual searches in the device memory, therefore, for the recovery of files you will have to rely entirely on the automatic recovery option of PowerPoint. For any other questions about this application, I refer you to my tutorial on how PowerPoint works .


by Abdullah Sam
I’m a teacher, researcher and writer. I write about study subjects to improve the learning of college and university students. I write top Quality study notes Mostly, Tech, Games, Education, And Solutions/Tips and Tricks. I am a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue.

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