I’ve been using Microsoft Word for how long — 30 years almost! You might think you know all the ins and outs of Word. Today, I confirmed something that has always been true but I think a lot of Word users don’t know and would be shocked by. Here is the big TRUTH BOMB: With one exception ** Microsoft Word does not — absolutely does not — auto save your document. What? But — I have always gone into the Word Options (File menu >> Options >> Save and set it to 5 minutes or 10 minutes). @Look again Word users @ Even I did a double take. You are saving Auto-Recover information to a certain location on your computer. That is not the same as auto saving the file every 10 minutes. Bottom line: Word does not auto save your file — with one exception. This Auto-Recover business is about if you were to lose power or Word was to freakishly quit in some sort of computer error — you MIGHT be able to go to the Auto-Recover folder on your computer and retrieve a recent version of your file. MIGHT is the key word, because I have seen many instances where this does not not happen for my clients.
Alright, alright. So I have to keep pressing the save button on my file? Generally, yes. What is the exception? The exception comes if you are saving your files in Microsoft One Drive. One Drive is a service and a folder on your computer that synchronizes with the cloud. It is a direct competitor of Dropbox. It shouldn’t surprise you that it integrates very neatly with Microsoft Word and other Office programs. One Drive works on Windows, Mac, iPhone and Android. Don’t want to pay anything? Don’t have to. The free tier of One Drive gives you 5 GB of free space — that is good for potentially thousands of Word documents. When you pay the $6 or $8 a month for Microsoft Office 365 the annual subscription to Office that I set up for many of my clients — you get 1 TB of One Drive space or 1000 GB. That is more than enough space to likely save your whole digital lives.
So what I am trying to say here is — if you are doing important work in Word — you should be doing one of 2 things
1) Regularly clicking Save
2) Save your documents in the One Drive folder (One Drive is built into Windows. It has to be installed on a Mac from the App Store.)
I tried looking at alternatives and here is what I found. In the Pages word processing app on a Mac — files do auto save. Using Google Docs in the browser — files also auto save. You may or may not want to use One Drive. Some of you probably should. But now you know the truth about Microsoft Word. One way or another — save your files!! Utilize a backup system as well.