Controlling Automatic Backups

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 18, 2016)

15

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. 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, and 2013.

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 6 - 3?

2017-05-24 14:38:25

Vicki

Is there a way to globally disable the "Always Save Backup". I have an SSIS package/job that generates many Excel reports daily. How can the Excel reports be generated with the "Always Save Backup" unchecked/disabled? It is not reasonable to go into each Excel file and walk thru the steps to uncheck the option in each Excel report every day. Please provide a way to disable the feature.


2017-03-25 19:49:54

ExcelUserAnonymous

You can also use a third party application, like Cel Tools, to automatically save backups of every excel document you open. The trial has a fully functional backup system and other useful tools that are completely free. Just a though, it saves the hassle of making those changes for every workbook ;)

http://www.graytechnical.com/celtools/


2016-08-24 08:26:51

Darren

Hello, is there any way to give a path to where you want the back up created? I want a back up every time I save but I don't want it in the same folder. I would like to hide it a bit.???


2016-05-20 03:59:09

Bren Sheehan

Thanks again Willy - I have answered my own question - it does create the backup in the same folder as the original. As always, useful tip for which I thank you.


2016-05-19 14:48:17

Bren Sheehan

Thanks Willy - that tells me when the automatic backups are saved (i.e. "whenever you save the workbook itself") but it doesn't tell me where they get stored - is it to the same location as the workbook being backed up?


2016-05-19 11:16:15

Willy Vanhaelen

@Bren Sheehan

It is mentioned in the last but one sentence of this tip: "Automatic backups are copies of your workbook saved whenever you save the workbook itself."


2016-05-18 09:08:31

Bren Sheehan

Hi - I may have missed this, but where do the automatic backups get stored?

Thanks


2016-05-18 08:22:34

Alison Miller

Once you have done this, how do you find where the backup is saved if you ever need it?


2016-04-15 15:07:00

G. Ruth Grant

How to always create backup Excel 2013 template

Word 2013 makes automatic backup. Excel 2013 does not.


2016-01-07 14:45:44

Cat Marron

This is the same questions as Laurie. I want to turn it off in the system (globally) not just by file. We back up our entire system every night.
EXCEPT I need/want to turn off automatic BACKUPS globally in Excel 2010. I am NOT referring to auto-recover/save. It is creating multiple backups of the many files I work on every day. It only started this in the last month or so. I am a trainer of Excel and a frequent-saver; I should know this. How do I turn this off??


2015-09-06 18:16:24

Jeremy Taylor

Hi there,
This is an excellent tip.
I have a question. Is there a way that I can set up a file to auto save at a certain time? ie at midnight or a once a day backup?

I seem to recall (but cannot locate the tips anywhere) that you can auto save a backup once a day


2015-08-26 17:39:33

harry

Ditto for Laurie and Glyn. Surely there is a way to turn this OFF globally. Anyone know?


2015-01-21 05:41:16

Mike McCann

I have tried using this feature but when I open my Back up copy it is blank
I cannot find a way to resolve this . Any Ideas, Please


2014-11-25 11:54:47

Glyn

My comment is EXACTLY the same as Laurie. Why can't I be allowed to control my own backups?
How do I unconfigure this annoying recent change?


2014-10-06 12:38:31

Laurie

EXCEPT I need/want to turn off automatic BACKUPS globally in Excel 2010. I am NOT referring to auto-recover/save. It is creating multiple backups of the many files I work on every day. It only started this in the last month or so. I am a trainer of Excel and a frequent-saver; I should know this. How do I turn this off??


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