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Save Your Deck: Methods to Recover an Unsaved PowerPoint File

September 11, 2014 / Blog, Pitch Deck Tips, PowerPoint Tips

powerpoint file recovery, Powerpoint tips, powerpoint tutorial

Sheer panic—that’s probably your first reaction when you realize that you weren’t able to save the PowerPoint file you were working on. Maybe the power went out or your computer unexpectedly crashed. Maybe you were too preoccupied that you didn’t think to hit “Save.” Whatever the reason, you’ve suddenly lost hours of hard work and you have no clue how to get it all back.

Luckily, there’s no reason to stress over losing an unsaved PowerPoint file. If you’re using the latest versions of PowerPoint, you can easily retrieve and recover all your hard work. Follow these steps to recover a PowerPoint file you accidentally lost:

Method One: Recover Unsaved Presentations

If you were interrupted before you ever got the chance to save your PowerPoint file, you can simply look for it in the Microsoft Unsaved Files folder. Go to the File tab, make sure you’re on Recent and click on Recover Unsaved Presentations. The icon is right below the list of folders under Recent Places.

Recover Unsaved Presentations

Everything in the Unsaved folder are temporary files. Make sure you recover and save everything you need, because you might lose it after a few days.

Method Two: AutoRecover

If you’ve been periodically saving your work but was interrupted before you could save specific changes, you can retrieve your PowerPoint file using the AutoRecover function. First, check if you have it enabled. Go to the File tab, click on Options and go to Save. Make sure your options are similar to those in this picture:

PowerPoint Files - AutoRecover

If you don’t have AutoRecover enabled, there’s no other way to retrieve the changes you made to your PowerPoint file. You will have to redo your work from the last save. But if everything looks good, you can then follow these steps:

1.) In the same dialogue box, copy the file destination path.

PowerPoint Files - AutoRecover 02

2.) Open Windows Explorer, paste the path on the address bar, and hit Enter.

PowerPoint Files - AutoRecover 025

To avoid losing any crucial information, make sure AutoRecover is enabled every time you start creating a PowerPoint deck.


Retrieving an unsaved PowerPoint file is a no-brainer as long as you know these basic recovery methods.

You can either open the “Recover Unsaved Presentations” found in the “Recent Places” or use the AutoRecover function to check where that unsaved document must be hiding.

Learn these tricks by heart so you don’t have to worry about getting your presentation back!

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