How to Recover a PowerPoint File Not Saved

Not saving a PowerPoint presentation and losing the content 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 methods below to recover your unsaved or lost presentation.

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, though.

Let’s get started.

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 to find your unsaved presentation.

Just follow these steps:

  1. Open the PowerPoint program
  2. Click File
  3. Click Open
  4. Click Recent
  5. Select Recover Unsaved Presentations
  6. 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
  7. Once the file is open, be sure to save it

Or watch this video:

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.

Note: 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:

  1. Open PowerPoint and start a new presentation or open a current one
  2. Click File
  3. Click Options
  4. Click Save
  5. 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
  6. 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:

  1. Follow steps 1-4 above
  2. Copy the file destination text located in the Autorecover file location
  3. From the Windows search menu, paste the file location and your lost file will appear
  4. Click on the file to restore it

Method 3: Using PowerPoint Repair Software

If previous methods did not work for you, there is still another option to explore before giving up. You can use a PowerPoint repair program to help you locate and recover unsaved PowerPoint presentations.

Third-party programs such as Wondershare Repairit (Windows & macOS) or Stellar File Repair (Windows) will allow you to repair files including those that are in the form of PowerPoint presentations.

To use file repair 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.

How Unsaved PowerPoint Presentations Occur

If you use any sort of digital creation software whether that is PowerPoint, Word, or any other Office program, 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.

Final Tips

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. 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 the content? How did you do it, if so? Let us know in the comments below.

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