So you want to disable AutoSave on your Office applications huh? Yep I don’t blame you, while I love the version control that comes from using SharePoint, OneDrive and the Office 365 platform, AutoSave drives me absolutely crazy and to my mind is a poor implementation of what could be great. Opening files to read them and having the ‘Last Modified Date’ of a 10 year old file changed to yesterday really impairs files sorting in SharePoint.
I don’t undertand why Office doesn’t simply save a temporary version and upon close simply prompt you to see if you want to save any changes you’ve made. Oh wait, that’s what it used to do.
Permanently Disabling AutoSave in Word, Excel and PowerPoint
Firstly the disclaimer, to disable AutoSave requires making changes to your computers registry, this is dangerous and can result in a zombie apocolypse or worse, a blue screen of death. You carry out these steps at your own risk.
Press the Windows key and type Regedit and press enter to launch the Registry Editor
You may be asked if you want to allow the Registry Editor to make changes to your PC (say Yes)
You’ll now need to navigate to a specific area of your registry, the easiest way to do this is to copy this path: Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\16.0\
And paste it in the registry address bar which – frustratingly – isn’t labelled or obvious:
Paste the path in to the box shown above and press enter, you should immediately be drilled down to the correct location in the left hand panel (you’ll see the office applications listed):
Disabling AutoSave for Microsoft Word
As an example, we’ll start with Microsoft Word
You’ll see a new key appear in the right hand name with a temporary name (e.g. New Value #1) inviting you to give it a proper name.
Enter DontAutoSave as the proper name and press enter
Double click DontAutoSave and enter 1 in the Value data field:
Click Ok and then you’re done!
If you had office open, you’ll need to close and re-open it.
Disabling AutoSave for Excel and PowerPoint
To disable AutoSave for Excel or PowerPoint, repeat the steps above but clicking on the appropriate application name in the left hand panel.