Using AutoSave in Excel

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 7, 2017)

Excel includes the ability to automatically save your work periodically, but the feature is not built into Excel 97 or Excel 2000. Instead, you need to install an add-in and then configure it to work properly. You can check to see if the AutoSave add-in is installed by displaying the Tools menu. If you do not see an AutoSave option, then you will need to follow these steps:

  1. Choose Add-Ins from the Tools menu. This displays the Add-Ins dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  2. Figure 1. The Add-Ins dialog box.

  3. Make sure the AutoSave add-in is selected; that it has a check mark beside it.
  4. Click on OK.

The proper AutoSave add-in is now installed. To use AutoSave, follow these steps:

  1. Choose AutoSave from the Tools menu. This displays the AutoSave dialog box. (See Figure 2.)
  2. Figure 2. The AutoSave dialog box.

  3. Use the controls in the dialog box to indicate how you want the saving to occur.
  4. Click on OK.

Notice that there is an option at the bottom of the AutoSave dialog box that allows you to specify whether Excel prompts you before saving your workbook. This is always a good option to select. The reason is because Excel always performs the AutoSave to the same file that you loaded. Thus, without prompting, your existing file will always be overwritten.

If you are using Excel 2002 or Excel 2003, the AutoSave add-in has been made a permanent part of Excel. In this version, you enable AutoSave by following these steps:

  1. Choose Options from the Tools menu. Excel displays the Options dialog box.
  2. Make sure the Save tab is selected. (See Figure 3.)
  3. Figure 3. The Save tab of the Options dialog box.

  4. Use the controls on the tab to indicate how you want the saving to occur.
  5. Click on OK.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2777) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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