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Microsoft AutoSave Workaround Solution by PWD Media

How to get around the AutoSave with MS Office 2021


Microsoft: “AutoSave is only available if you have an active Microsoft 365 subscription.”

Modifying registry entries can be risky if not done carefully. It’s always a good idea to proceed with caution and make sure you have a backup of your registry before making any changes

Not recommended. If you’re uncomfortable with modifying registry settings, consider seeking assistance from someone experienced or consulting official documentation for safer alternatives.

Microsoft disabled the function and would like you to Down (Up) grade to Office 365. Microsoft: “AutoSave is only available if you have an active Microsoft 365 subscription.”

Configure the AutoRecover option in Word to save to a cloud drive such as Dropbox, iDrive, iCloud, etc., and set the frequency to save every 1 or 5 minutes.

To do this, you typically need to adjust the settings within Word preferences or options menu, specifying the desired cloud drive location and the frequency of autosaves.

You can configure the AutoRecover option in Microsoft Word to save to a cloud drive such as Dropbox, iCloud, or iDrive. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Open Microsoft Word in Office 2021.
  2. Go to File > Options > Save.
  3. Under the “Save documents” section, check the box next to “Save to Cloud by default”.
  4. Click on the drop-down menu under “Save AutoRecover information every”, and choose the desired time interval (e.g., every 1 or 5 minutes).
  5. Click OK to save your changes.

By following these steps, Word will save AutoRecover information to the specified cloud drive at the selected time interval, providing an added layer of protection for your documents.

We found a workaround for the issue using Dropbox or OneDrive and Microsoft's Autorecover

You have seen the statement from Microsoft:

“AutoSave is only available if you have an active Microsoft 365 subscription.”

See the Microsoft Help page:
Microsoft Office Autosave

Don't Panic

It is one of the marketing forcing everybody to have a Microsoft OneDrive.

PS: This solution can be modified to a Local Network Drive or a transportable USB drive. However, this option will not place your data into a cloud and offsite your building or home.

How to Utilise Dropbox for an Autosave Solution with Microsoft's Autorecover

Losing work due to unexpected crashes or power outages can be a nightmare, especially when using applications like Microsoft Word that rely on Autorecover but lack a built-in autosave function. However, with ingenuity and the power of Dropbox, you can turn Autorecover into a practical autosave feature.

Understanding Autorecover & Its Limitations

Microsoft Office 2021 and previous versions applications, including Word, often come equipped with an Autorecover feature designed to save your work at regular intervals. However, this feature primarily serves as a backup mechanism in case of a sudden program closure or crash. It doesn’t ensure real-time saving, leaving your recent changes vulnerable to loss in a system failure.

Leveraging Dropbox for Real-time Autosave

Integrating Dropbox can be a game-changer to overcome this limitation and prevent potential data loss. Here’s how to set up an autosave system using Dropbox alongside Microsoft Word:

Step 1: Set Up Dropbox

  • If you haven’t already, install Dropbox on your computer and sign in to your account.


Step 2: Locate the Autorecover Folder

  • Find the Autorecover folder location on your system. Typically, it’s within the AppData folder for Microsoft Office. For example, in Windows, the path might be something like: C:\Users\YourUsername\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Word.


Step 3: Redirect Autorecover to Dropbox

  • Move the Autorecover folder to your Dropbox directory. This action effectively syncs the Autorecover files with Dropbox.


Step 4: Symbolic Link (Optional)

  • Create a symbolic link (symlink) from the original Autorecover folder to the new Dropbox location. This step ensures that Word still accesses the files seamlessly while they’re being saved in Dropbox.

Set Autorecover Interval: Locate the Autorecover settings and adjust the interval to a desired frequency (e.g., every 5 or 1 minute). This ensures that Microsoft Office applications automatically save temporary copies of your work at specified intervals.

The same setup can be done for OneDrive

Microsoft Word Autosave OneDrive by PWD Media
Save Autosave to OneDrive
Microsoft Word Autosave Dropbox by PWD Media
Save AutoSave to Dropbox

Benefits of Dropbox Integration

Combining Autorecover with Dropbox effectively transforms a periodic backup mechanism into a near-real-time autosave feature. Dropbox’s syncing capabilities ensure that your changes are constantly updated and stored securely in the cloud, minimizing the risk of data loss due to system crashes or unexpected shutdowns.

Precautions and Recommendations

  • Internet Connectivity: Ensure a stable internet connection for Dropbox sync to work effectively.

  • File Conflicts: Avoid conflicts if simultaneously editing the same file across multiple devices.


Microsoft’s Autorecover feature provides a safety net for unexpected disruptions but falls short of real-time autosave capabilities. Integrating Dropbox bridges this gap, ensuring that your work is continuously saved and backed up, offering peace of mind and significantly reducing the risk of losing crucial data.

With this simple yet effective workaround, you can maximize the reliability of your work while using Microsoft Office applications, safeguarding against potential disasters and streamlining your workflow.

If you enjoyed reading this article, you may want to check out these related articles that can help enhance your understanding of the topic even further.

Latest Update on November 17, 2023

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