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Beware the AutoSave


October 17, 2017 - by Bill Jelen

Beware the AutoSave

In Excel 2017, they introduced a new co-authoring feature. Here is the horrible downside you need to know whether you ever plan to co-author or not. If you see AutoSave lit up in the top left corner of your spreadsheet, you are in for trouble.

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  • Do you have a new AutoSave icon in the top left corner of Excel?
  • When this lights up, watch out, because you will be destroying data soon.
  • The feature to allow multiple people to edit a workbook at the same time is called CoAuthoring.
  • I need to Co-Author in 0.00001% of my Excel sessions.
  • Co-Authoring was hard to implement, but it is finally done.
  • So I am thrilled 0.000001% of the time.
  • But 99.9999999% of the time, we have to deal with AutoSave, which is horrible.
  • You have to change your workflow. Don't count on Save As after you make changes.
  • You have to Save a Copy before making changes.
  • When you forget, (and you will forget), use the dropdown in the title bar to go back.
  • Please vote: this

Auto-Generated Transcript

  • Learn Excel from MrExcel Podcast
  • episode 2156 beware the autosave well
  • it's hard to think of a new feature in
  • Excel that has just been so universally
  • hated I want you to look up in the top
  • left-hand corner of your Excel window
  • and see that autosave up there do you
  • have that means you're on office 365 and
  • mine is grayed out why is mine grayed
  • out
  • grayed out because I refuse to drink
  • the kool-aid and I do not save my files
  • to onedrive or to SharePoint I save them
  • on my hard drive and yes someday when
  • this hard drive dies I will regret that
  • decision
  • but I've been burned in the past I was
  • an early adopter and that's the story
  • for another day I do not use onedrive
  • but if you use onedrive and you look up
  • at there in the top left-hand corner you
  • see this button that says autosave on
  • then that means that now in order to do
  • what Microsoft is calls co-authoring
  • co-authoring is the fancy word for 2 or
  • 3 or 4 people from the same department
  • can edit the same workbook at the same
  • time now here's the times in my life
  • that I've had to actually use
  • co-authoring where multiple people had
  • to be in the same workbook and here's
  • the times in my life where I did not
  • have to autosave it was just me and me
  • only selecting and working on the
  • worksheet all right so now there have
  • been times I get it and this is a pain
  • when multiple people in the same
  • department have to edit the same
  • workbook and one of them gets read only
  • not read only but write access and then
  • forgets they have write access and
  • leaves and goes to a three-hour lunch
  • I've been there it's a pain and their
  • doors locked and now we're all locked
  • out right so there are times where
  • co-authoring is awesome but for me for
  • me it is an incredibly small it's that
  • tiny little white strip right there of
  • times that co-authoring is useful to me
  • all right so kudos to Microsoft for
  • making my life easier
  • like 0.01 percent of the time but the
  • problem is is that 99.99% of the time
  • I'm now stuck with autosave
  • automatically turn
  • and autosave automatically turned on is
  • horrible and here's the reason that it's
  • horrible how many times do you have
  • here's a report for January so it's the
  • January report right and now it's
  • February I need to create the February
  • report so what do I do
  • do I start from a completely blank
  • workbook no why would I start from a
  • completely blank workbook that would be
  • insane I go to last month's workbook and
  • I open last month's workbook the january
  • workbook and i said all right well now
  • i'm gonna make some changes to the
  • january first off title february down
  • the left-hand side we're now to 1 2018
  • I'll grab the fill handle and drag go
  • down to no 28 29 whatever the right
  • answer is 28 there we are now my totals
  • have some extra rows so I delete those
  • extra rows all right and now I'm ready
  • to do file save as but it's too freaking
  • late because every change that I've done
  • here has been changed over the January
  • numbers thank God I didn't rewrite all
  • the data with the February numbers or I
  • would have completely hosed up January
  • right this is the point where I need to
  • do file save as but know it's there is
  • no save as it's now save as copy save a
  • copy so I save a copy as February
  • but it's too freakin late because the
  • changes to January have all been
  • overwritten the Excel team at Microsoft
  • so they thought long and hard and
  • debated about this and I can't believe
  • that they came down with this answer of
  • turning autosave on for everybody right
  • it's a tiny fraction of the people that
  • needed to co-author and by turning this
  • on for everybody
  • they are screwing up Excel files left
  • and right I know there's an awesome
  • thread out of Excel like user voice calm
  • where people are begging for this to be
  • turned off by default and when I search
  • for autosave it's funny there's dozens
  • of threads so I had to go find the
  • thread this is one by Liam bastok liam
  • is an Excel MVP funny funny guy down in
  • Australia but really really smart and so
  • this is the one I'm asking everyone to
  • go vote I'll put this link down in the
  • YouTube comments down there go give us a
  • vote we need to get to a thousand votes
  • here to make sure that Excel hears us
  • loud and clear that this setting in
  • Excel is the wrong way to go all right
  • so what can you do
  • first off turn it off but you can only
  • turn it off in individual files you
  • can't globally turn it off that means
  • that you're gonna have to remember every
  • single time and then if you realize
  • before you saved as February that you
  • could go back to some previous version
  • so maybe this one from 902 maybe this
  • one from 910 all right good it looks
  • like that came back and then I have to
  • restore but I shouldn't have to do that
  • this is a horrible horrible decision by
  • Microsoft and the Excel team to force
  • this upon us now it doesn't affect me I
  • don't care about this at all because I
  • refuse to save to onedrive but if you're
  • saving to onedrive or you're saving to
  • SharePoint and you have this stupid
  • feature turn on you're gonna have to
  • undo 20 years of how you've done things
  • where you open the previous file make
  • some changes and then save as that will
  • not work anymore
  • now you have to do this and good luck
  • doing this
  • I forget save as copy every time I make
  • the changes and then I'm screwed
  • thanks Microsoft all right look in the
  • top left corner of Excel do you have
  • autosave on if you do it's going to be
  • destroying your data soon the whole
  • reason that autosave is there is for
  • co-authoring and co-authoring is great
  • in the point
  • oooo 1% of the time I need co-authoring
  • it was hard to do kudos to the Excel
  • team for having it done and I loved it
  • point zero one percent of the time but
  • the rest of the time we have to deal
  • with autosave which is horrible you have
  • to change your workflow
  • you can't save as after making changes
  • you have to immediately save as a copy
  • and you will forget I forget
  • continuously when you do that drop down
  • in the title bar let you go back but
  • rather than just complaining about it
  • rather than making angry videos about it
  • we have to let our voices be heard
  • please go out to this link in the
  • YouTube comments and vote we need to let
  • Microsoft know that this was the wrong
  • decision thanks for stopping by we'll
  • see you next time for another net cast
  • from MrExcel

Download File

Download the sample file here: Podcast2156.xlsm

Title Photo: olafpictures / Pixabay


Bill Jelen is the author of
Excel Subtotals Straight to the Point

I used to use the Subtotals feature daily after downloading mainframe data. This book covers every tip and trick for using Subtotals.