• If your PC just shut down or the program is not responding because of something, you can still recover that unsaved PowerPoint file on both Windows and Mac computers. But you need to act immediately
  • What are the essential tricks to save your slides or avoid losing them in the future?

There is nothing more frustrating than having been working on a project for hours and, shortly after completion, something happens that leads to losing all progress. And while developers work on smart programs that save progress as it’s made, this isn’t always enough. If your PC just shut down or the program is not responding, you can still recover that unsaved PowerPoint file. How to do it step by step?

The first thing is to analyze the possible causes behind the loss of documents such as slides and presentations. Then, consider what are the potential solutions available to us to recover the work achieved. Getting it can be impossible at times, but nothing is lost by trying and you may have some luck.

How to recover an unsaved PowerPoint?

Generally speaking, PowerPoint presentations can be lost due to various reasons or reasons. Basically, we can accidentally delete the file, get a software crash, or get a virus. Obviously, depending on your suspicion or your certainty, you should prioritize one of the next solutions.

Recover unsaved presentations with AutoRecover

Setting up Microsoft PowerPoint AutoRecover is the simplest way to ensure your work isn’t lost due to an unexpected shutdown, power outage, and more. This handy feature opens recovered files after restarting PowerPoint, although those copies may not be without some actions. Manually saving each action you complete in your presentations to avoid losing them.

On the other hand, you can open AutoRecover files without waiting for the program to do it for you.

  • In Office 365 and later, click the File tab at the top of the ribbon
  • Select Open from the menu and choose Recover Unsaved Presentations
  • You will be redirected to the AutoRecover folder
recover unsaved PowerPoint

In Office 2021 or earlier, a Document Recovery panel will immediately appear as soon as you restart Windows or MacOS, so you don’t need to open it yourself. Still, you can open the folder if you want.

on Windows


on macOS


Important AutoRecover settings

Now that you know this, to make sure your presentations aren’t lost in the event of a data crash, you may want to change how often AutoRecover saves files and where it saves them.

To turn on AutoSave in PowerPoint, you need to toggle the switch located at the top left. You can too go to File, then Options, then Save and check the AutoSave box for this. Assuming you’ve already done that, take a look at customization because there are so many things you can choose from.

Having AutoSave turned on will automatically and periodically save your work, protecting you.

Other recommendations by operating system

Recovery of an unsaved PowerPoint may vary slightly depending on your operating system.


Don’t forget about the Temp folder. Windows creates temporary files that could contain your unsaved work. To find this folder, go to C:\Users[User]\AppData\Local\Temp and check if the file is available.


If you’ve set up Time Machine on your Mac at the time, it’s another good place to search for lost presentations. Just go into Time Machine, navigate to the folder where that presentation should have been saved, and return to it before the file is lost. From there, you can restore the file in a few clicks.

What to do if nothing works?

If you still haven’t been able to recover that unsaved PowerPoint file, there is still one last chance. Consists in turn to a more powerful data recovery application than Windows or MacOS.

There are several third-party alternatives that you can trust, highlighting some such as Recuva and Disk Drill. Each one of them has its particularities, but they coincide in their greater capacity to recover files. Remember that it is essential, for whichever you choose, run them as soon as you lose the file.


Losing all your work in a PowerPoint presentation can be extremely discouraging, but if you follow these tips your chances of getting it back in time will increase dramatically. You’ll almost certainly get a more recent copy, and you’ll at least save some of the effort. However, let us insist that you should prevent as much as possible, enabling Autosave or with an uninterruptible power supply

Have you lost any critical PowerPoint file? Do you have other suggestions to share with others?

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