Microsoft Office is a valuable tool for many of us. The different programs and features that the varying software programs under the Office banner offer help us to better increase workflow and productivity. Whether you use Office for personal or professional purposes, you know that there is an almost endless amount of capabilities that these programs allow. And with so many others using the same programs, they have become standard in our modern world.
PowerPoint is one of the powerful tools associated with Microsoft Office that allows you to create and share presentations. This program is a common way to create classes, speeches, sales presentations, and many other things that are intended for a visual, slide-show type of interaction. PowerPoint presentations can be highly effective tools to convey important messaging and share information with others.
With all of the time that goes into creating a PowerPoint presentation, you would hate to lose any information you have created because of it being unsaved. Unfortunately, loss of data can happen to anyone whether you forget to save your presentation or because of some other reason. In this article, we will take a look at how to recover an unsaved PowerPoint presentation.
How Unsaved PowerPoint Presentations Occur
If you use any sort of digital creation software whether that is PowerPoint, Word, or any other of the Office programs, you are more than likely familiar with the need to save your files. Saving obviously ensures that your hard work will not be lost if the program you are working with unexpectedly closes or some other similar situation. Unfortunately, unsaved work still happens to people, even those who know better.
Oftentimes, an unsaved PowerPoint presentation can be the result of simple neglect. You might be so wrapped up in creating the presentation that you forgot to save it. You may have then closed out of the program only to realize that you can no longer find what you were working on upon opening it up again. This is common, so don’t panic if it happens to you. We will take a look at some solutions shortly.
Presentations can also go unsaved due to unforeseen events such as a power outage or computer malfunction. These types of situations are out of your control and can also result in unsaved information being lost. If you are working on a large project within PowerPoint and your power suddenly goes out, if you are on a desktop computer, your computer will shut off. This can be alarming but does not mean the PowerPoint presentation can’t be recovered.
How to Recover Unsaved PowerPoint Presentations
If you have lost any unsaved information in a PowerPoint presentation there are a few different options you can use to try and recover them. Typically, these methods will allow you to recover all or most of the files that you were working on. There is a chance that you may be out of luck and that your file is lost. Before accepting defeat and starting from scratch, however, try one of these methods to recover your unsaved PowerPoint.
Method 1: Recover Using the Unsaved Presentations Feature
PowerPoint has a few great features in place to help you recover any unsaved presentations. These are built right into the program and are a great first step towards recovery because you don’t really need to do much do find your unsaved presentation. These features don’t always find every unsaved file but they are the best first step towards finding and recovering your presentations regardless of the reason they went unsaved.
To recover using the Unsaved Presentations Feature follow these steps:
- Open the PowerPoint program
- Click File
- Click Open
- Click Recent
- Choose Recover Unsaved Presentations
- A folder will open that will have all of the Saved Drafts of presentations within it. Find the file you were working on and click on it to open
- Once the file is open, be sure to save it
Method 2: Recover Using the AutoRecover Feature
Another method you can use to recover an unsaved PowerPoint presentation is by using the AutoRecover feature that is built right into PowerPoint. This feature needs to be turned on in order to be used so we first need to take a look at that. If this feature was not turned on when you lost the unsaved file, it won’t work for recovery.
To recover using the AutoRecover feature follow these steps:
- Open PowerPoint and start a new presentation or open a current one
- Click File
- Click Options
- Click Save
- From the Save window look for Save auto-recover info every __ minutes. Make sure that this box is checked and that you enter a minute amount in the blank space
- Also, look for Keep the last Autosaved version if I close without saving and check this box as well
Now that you have the AutoRecover feature turned on and setup you can recover unsaved presentations through these steps:
- Follow steps 1-4 above
- Copy the file destination text located in the Autorecover file location
- From the Windows search menu, paste the file location and your lost file will appear
- Click on the file to restore it
Method 3: Recover Using PowerPoint Recovery Software
If methods 1 and 2 did not work for you, there is still another option to explore before giving up. You can use data recovery software to help you locate and recover unsaved PowerPoint presentations.
Third-party software such as Stellar File Repair (Windows) and RecoverIt (Windows & macOS) will allow you to easily and effectively find unsaved or deleted files including those that are in the form of PowerPoint presentations.
To use data recovery software like the options listed above, you simply need to download and install the programs. The full versions of this software will typically cost a one-time fee but they will also offer a free trial that you can use to recover a single file if you don’t want to purchase the entire program. Once you have the program installed, simply follow the on-screen instructions and prompts directing you to the steps necessary for recovery.
Losing a PowerPoint presentation can seem like a really big deal. And for all of the hard work you certainly put into the project, it certainly is! But before you panic and assume that all of the effort and information you created is lost, try one of the steps above to try and recover any unsaved presentations. There is a good chance that you will be able to recover your unsaved or lost presentation.
It’s also a good idea to get into the habit of making backups of your entire system. This is another method you can use to recover deleted, lost or unsaved files of any type. If you get into the habit of constantly saving and backing up your computer, it will be easier to recover any file if it becomes lost. There are still recovery options if you do not have a backup, but it is a great habit to get into.
Have you ever lost a PowerPoint presentation? Were you able to recover it? How did you do it, if so? Let us know in the comments below.
Andreas is a freelance tech writer based in California. He works on a Mac in the office and lives with a PC and many old computer electronics at home. While he is not reading or writing, you’ll probably find him playing online games with friends.