How to Turn on AutoSave in Excel on Windows, Mac, and iPad

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In this guide, we will discover: How to Turn on AutoSave in Excel on Windows, Mac, and iPad – Easy Beginners Guide

Want to save your hard work on an Excel file from the unexpected crashing of the Excel app? You can start using the auto-saving feature in Excel. Keep reading to learn how to turn on AutoSave in Excel.

Microsoft Excel comes with multiple worksheet-saving features so that you don’t lose your work if the app crashes or the computer shuts down due to power failure. Since the process is automatic, you don’t have to worry about saving the file every few minutes. Excel will do it if you have provided sufficient automatic content-saving provisions for Excel.

One of the most successful features for saving Excel sheets online is AutoSave in Excel. Find below how this feature works and what you can do to make use of this excellent Excel functionality.

Also read: How to Use Goal Seek in Excel

What Is AutoSave in Excel?

The AutoSave in Excel is a special feature for Microsoft 365 subscription accounts. When you save your Excel spreadsheet online on OneDrive or SharePoint, Excel activates the AutoSave feature. AutoSave in Excel saves your progress every few seconds so that all the changes show up online if someone else is working on the same file.

Learn what is AutoSave in Excel 365

The feature isn’t available in the following situations:

  • You’re not a Microsoft 365 subscriber.
  • The target Excel file is on the local computer and not on the MSFT cloud servers.
  • You didn’t download the Excel 365 desktop app from the Microsoft 365 welcome page.
  • The Internet isn’t working on the PC where you’re running Excel 365.
  • You’re using Excel 365 as a part of an organization subscription and the IT admin disabled this feature for you.

Also read: How to Fix Arrow Keys Not Working in Excel

How to Turn On AutoSave in Excel on Windows 11

As of now, AutoSave in Excel on Windows 11, 10, etc., is only available if you use a desktop app through Microsoft 365 subscription. If you use any other Excel app like Excel 2021, Excel 2019, Excel 2016, etc., you won’t find this feature.

Here’s how you can get Microsoft Excel for Microsoft 365 from a paid Microsoft 365 account:

  • Log in to Office.com using your Microsoft 365 subscription account and password.
Installing Microsoft 365 apps from Office portal
Installing Microsoft 365 apps from the Microsoft Office portal
  • On the Welcome to Microsoft 365 screen, look at the right side for the Install apps drop-down list.
  • Click the Install apps drop-down and choose the Microsoft 365 apps option.
  • Microsoft will download a Microsoft 365 app installer package.
  • Double-click the package to start the installation of the latest Microsoft Office apps, including Excel 365.

Now that you’ve got the appropriate Excel desktop app, follow these instructions to enable AutoSave in Excel:

Create and Save a WorkBook on the Cloud

  • On The Excel Backstage, you can open or create Excel worksheets from the New and Open options.
  • Now, click File and choose Save As or click the Save icon above the Excel ribbon menu.
How to save Excel sheets on a cloud server
How to save Excel sheets on a cloud server
  • On the Save As screen, choose any option between OneDrive and SharePoint Sites under the MSFT section.
  • For example, select Sites MSFT and then choose one of the SharePoint Site inside which you want to save the Excel worksheet.
  • Inside any SharePoint Site, you should see the Documents folder.
  • Double-click the Documents folder. Here, you can save the worksheet or create a new folder and then save the worksheet inside the new folder.
  • You can give a unique name to the worksheet and modify the file type if you want.
  • Now, click Save to store the newly-created worksheet on your MSFT servers, like a SharePoint Site.

Turning On AutoSave in Excel

  • Once you perform the above steps appropriately and come back to the Excel worksheet, you should see that Excel is syncing the file to the SharePoint server.
Excel AutoSave is On pop up
Excel AutoSave is On pop up
  • If the syncing is successful, you’ll see that AutoSave is turned on automatically along with a notification from Excel.
  • You don’t need to manually turn on AutoSave in Excel.

Excel AutoSave Troubleshooting on Excel 365

If you don’t see that AutoSave is turned on itself after saving a workbook on the cloud, it means the AutoSave feature is inactive from the backend. To enable it, follow these steps:

  • Click File on the Excel ribbon and go to the Excel Options dialog box.
  • There, select the Save menu on the left-side navigation panel.
The AutoSave option in Excel Options
The AutoSave option in Excel Options
  • Under the Save workbooks section, the checkbox for “AutoSave files stored in the Cloud by default in Excel” should be checked.
  • If it’s not checked, check the checkbox mentioned above and click OK.
  • Now, restart the Excel desktop app.
  • Next time, AutoSave will engage automatically when you save a new Excel workbook on OneDrive or SharePoint Sites.

Also read: How to Add Track Changes to the Excel Ribbon Menu

How to Turn On AutoSave in Excel on a Mac

Just like the Windows PC, setting up the AutoSave feature on Excel for Mac is effortless. Here’s how you can also do it on your MacBook or iMac by following these simple instructions:

Create and Save Excel Sheets on the Cloud

  • Open Excel for Mac from Dock or Spotlight.
  • You can open an existing Excel worksheet from Recommended, Recent, Pinned, and Shared with me tabs. Or, you can create a new worksheet from the Templates section.
How to create and save Excel workbook on OneDrive on Mac
How to create and save Excel workbook on OneDrive on Mac
  • Once you create an Excel file and arrive on the Excel worksheet, click the Save or Save As button above the Excel ribbon menu and near the window controls like Close, Minimize, etc.
  • Give the file a unique name.
  • Under the MSFT section on the left-side panel, choose OneDrive or Sites (SharePoint Sites).
  • If there are multiple folders inside your OneDrive or Sites server, choose one into which you want to save the Excel workbook.
  • Click the Save button to complete the process.

Activate AutoSave for Cloud Worksheets

  • The workbook you created above is now on your Microsoft 365 cloud server, like OneDrive or SharePoint Sites.
Learn how to turn on AutoSave in Excel for Mac
Learn how to turn on AutoSave in Excel for Mac
  • Now, simply toggle on the AutoSave button located in the green menu bar at the top of the Excel worksheet.

Also read: Apple Numbers Tutorial: How to Use Numbers as a Beginner

How to Turn On AutoSave in Excel on an iPad

If you love to use Excel on the go on an iPad, here’s how you can activate auto-saving in Excel:

  • Open the Excel app on your iPad.
The Excel Home button where you can create new worksheets on iPad
The Excel Home button where you can create new worksheets on iPad
  • Create a new worksheet or open an existing one from the Home, New, or Open folders.
  • Once you’re ready to save the new file, tap the ellipses icon on the top right corner of the Excel worksheet.
The Save button on Excel iPad app in the overflow or ellipses menu
The Save button on the Excel iPad app in the overflow or ellipses menu
  • You should now see a large green Save button. Tap on it.
  • Choose either OneDrive or Sites under your MSFT subscription services as the save location.
  • Within OneDrive and Sites, choose any different folders if you like to.
The Save as screen on Excel iPad app
The Save as screen on the Excel iPad app
  • Tap the Save button in the top-right corner of the Save As window.
  • Now, the Excel app should show you the worksheet again.
The cloud saved confirmation on an Excel worksheet
The cloud saved confirmation on an Excel worksheet
  • Look at the top-left corner of the app and you should see a cloud icon with a tick mark on it.
  • It means that the file has been saved in a cloud location.
Find out how to turn on AutoSave in Excel on iPad
Find out how to turn on AutoSave in Excel on iPad
  • Now, click the ellipses icon again and you should see that Excel AutoSave is online by default.
  • Excel does this automatically on an iPad when you save the workbooks or worksheets on a cloud server in your Microsoft 365 subscription.
  • If you wish to deactivate the AutoSave feature for an Excel worksheet, simply toggle off the AutoSave button from the ellipses menu in the top right corner.

Known Issues With Excel AutoSave

Find below some issues that you can face when using AutoSave in Excel 365:

Just Upload the File Prompt

Suppose you’re working on an Excel file and toggled on the AutoSave in Excel button above the Excel ribbon menu. You might see the “Just upload the file” prompt. In this situation, do any of the following:

  • Click the close (x) icon on the pop-up to ignore the pop-up.
  • Then, follow the steps mentioned earlier in the above sections to set up AutoSave in Excel.
  • Alternatively, you can select any of the OneDrive or Sites locations on the pop-up.
  • Enter a unique name for the copy you want to save.

Save a Copy

As soon as you activate AutoSave in Excel for a workbook, you no longer see the Save As option in the Excel File menu. Instead, you get the Save a Copy option. This is working as intended. You can use Save a Copy to create a clone of the existing workbook in a different location on OneDrive or SharePoint Sites. Now, you continue to work on the original Excel worksheet.

Suppose you want to go back to the point where you created the copy, you can access the copied file from the cloud. It helps when you’re not sure about your work on an Excel workbook and you want to follow a different route from a certain point.

AutoSave Location Modification

If you change the AutoSave location of the Excel sheet, then all the saves will take place in the new location. The copy of the Excel file at the old location will not receive any updates from your work on the desktop app.

Therefore, pay attention to where you’re saving the initial Excel workbook on the Sites or OneDrive. Don’t randomly change the save location as this could scatter different versions of the Excel workbook into different cloud locations.

Also read: Excel Calendar Template 2023

Turning On AutoSave in Excel: Final Words

No longer lose your Excel worksheet, data tables, datasets, data entry tasks, etc., on an Excel workbook by simply enabling auto-saving in Excel. Find above how to turn on AutoSave in Excel on different devices using different methods. Select an Excel AutoSave method from the above depending on the device where you want to use Excel, and share your experience with using this feature on Excel by commenting below.

If you know any other better way to turn on AutoSave in Excel, don’t hesitate to mention that in your comments. Also, share this article with your friends and colleagues so that they can also make use of this great workbook-saving feature on Excel.

Next up, how to use the Excel IF-THEN formula with real-world scenarios.

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