How to Recover an Unsaved PowerPoint

Get that PowerPoint presentation back

What to Know

  • File > Open > Recover Unsaved Presentations.
  • Or: File > Info > Manage Presentations > Recover Unsaved Presentations.
  • Check your Recycle Bin and automatic backup folders for deleted presentations, or use recovery software.

This article explains how to recover an unsaved PowerPoint. These instructions apply to PowerPoint 2019, 2016, 2013, and Microsoft Office 365.

How Do I Recover a PowerPoint That Was Not Saved?

There are a few ways to recover an unsaved PowerPoint. If one method doesn't work, you should try the other options outlined below.

PowerPoint has a feature called AutoRecover which periodically stores data from your presentations. In newer versions of PowerPoint, you can access AutoRecover files from within PowerPoint:

  1. Go to the File tab.

    PowerPoint File menu highlighted
  2. Select Open.

    Open highlighted in PowerPoint for Microsoft 365
  3. Select Recover Unsaved Presentations at the bottom of the list of recent files.

    Recover Unsaved Presentations highlighted in PowerPoint for Microsoft 365
  4. Select your presentation to open it. If you don't see it, move on to the next section to try a different method.

Alternate Way to Recover an Unsaved PowerPoint

Depending on your version of PowerPoint, the steps for recovering unsaved presentations might be different:

  1. Go to the File tab.

    PowerPoint File menu highlighted
  2. Select Info.

    Info highlighted in PowerPoint for Microsoft 365
  3. Select Manage Presentations > Recover Unsaved Presentations.

    Manage Presentations and Recover Unsaved Presentations highlighted in PowerPoint for Microsoft 365
  4. Select your presentation to open it.

If you don't see the Recover Unsaved Presentations option in PowerPoint, you might find your presentation in the following folder on Windows:

  • C:\Users\User\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\PowerPoint

On Mac, you can find AutoRecover data in this folder:

  • Users/User/Library/Containers/com.Microsoft.Powerpoint/Data/Library/Preferences/AutoRecovery

Copy and paste the above file path in the File Explorer or Finder address bar; then press Enter to open the folder. Replace User with your Windows or Mac username.

C:\Users\User\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\PowerPoint in Windows File Explorer address bar

If you still don't see your file, try looking in the following folder on Windows:

  • C:\Users\User\AppData\Local\Temp

Alternatively, press Windows key+R to bring up the Run command and enter %temp% in the Run prompt to open the Temp folder. To find your presentation, search for ppt files.

How Do I Get My Deleted PowerPoint Presentation Back?

If you previously saved a presentation and it got deleted, there are a few things you can try to recover your PowerPoint.

First, check your Windows Recycle Bin or Mac Trash folder. Depending on how long ago a user deleted it, you may be able to restore files from the Recycle Bin or recover files from the Trash on Mac. If successful, the file should return to its original folder.

If you use automatic backup software, check your backup folders. You can also restore your file using recovery software like Recuva or Disk Drill.

Enable PowerPoint AutoSave

PowerPoint includes an AutoSave feature that backs up your work every few seconds. Select the AutoSave toggle switch in the upper-left corner of your presentation to turn it On, or go to go to File > Options > Save and check the AutoSave box.

Autosave toggle switch highlighted
FAQ
  • How do I recover an unsaved Word document?

    To recover an unsaved Word document, go to File > Manage Documents > Recover Unsaved Documents. If you see the document listed, select it. Or, search for a backup of the file by going to File > Open > Browse. You can also use Windows Explorer to search for recovered or temporary files.

  • How do I recover an unsaved Excel file?

    To recover an unsaved Excel file, if you have AutoSave enabled, view the Document Recovery interface when you launch Excel. In the section called Available Files, you'll see all your autosaved workbooks and document files. To recover a file, select the arrow next to the file details and choose Open.

  • How do I recover an unsaved Notepad file?

    To recover a deleted or unsaved Notepad file, go to your Windows 10 search function, type %AppData%, and press Enter. The Roaming folder will open. Search for files that end in .txt to find your unsaved Notepad file.

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