Controlling Automatic Backups

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 10, 2018)

4

Excel includes the ability to save automatic backups of your workbooks, and this can be controlled on a workbook-by-workbook basis. If your system is configured to create backups automatically, you may want to modify whether a backup is created for a particular workbook. In order to turn it off for a specific workbook you need to follow these steps:

  1. Display the Save As dialog box. (Easiest way is to press F12.)
  2. Click the Tools option in the lower-right corner (near the Save button). Excel displays a drop-down list.
  3. Click General Options. Excel displays the General Options dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The General Options dialog box.

  5. Make sure the Always Create Backup check box is cleared.
  6. Click OK.
  7. Continue saving your workbook.

Following these steps affects only the current workbook; other workbooks remain unchanged in their behavior.

One thing that should be noted when working with Excel—it is easy to confuse automatic backups with AutoRecover. These are not the same. AutoRecover is a way to save temporary information, between "hard saves," so that you can recover a workbook on which you are working if the power goes out. Automatic backups are copies of your workbook saved whenever you save the workbook itself. (These backups are stored in the same folder as the original workbook being backed up.) Since AutoRecover and automatic backups are two different features of Excel, changing the settings of one feature doesn't affect the other at all.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3884) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365.

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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What is four more than 2?

2018-11-13 10:00:46

Jim Foote

I'm not looking for Autorecover since i understand that the Autorecover file is erased when Excel is closed correctly. I'm looking for a way to save a copy of an Excel file via Auto Backup on a flash drive, which would remain intact when Excel closes and would be accessible if the entire computer goes south. Currently, Auto Backup saves to the computer hard drive. If the hard drive fails, goodbye Excel file.


2018-11-12 10:51:09

David Gray

For me, this tip was a twofer. Not only did it call out the fairly well-hidden backup option, but it brought to my attention that F12 opens the Save As dialog box straight away.


2018-11-11 16:36:02

Allan

Jim,
This is for Excel 2007.
1 If you already have a folder that you want these to be placed in continue on to step 2. If you don't have a folder, create one. For instance, I have a
Desktop folder named "Al's Excel Autorecover". All of my Autosaved and Autorecover Excel items automatically go here.
2 Open your Excel Workbook
3 Office Button
4 Excel Options>Save
5 Type in "Autorecover file location:" whatever location you chose in step 1 OK


2018-11-10 07:08:12

Jim Foote

How do you save automatic backups to a folder different than the one the original workbook is in?


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