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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 / co-author of
Excel Dynamic Arrays Straight to the Point

The new Dynamic Array Functions are just one side-effect of an effort to completely rewrite the Calculation Engine in Excel. Joe McDaid and the rest of the CALC team have the laid the groundwork for all future functions in Excel. Yes, the first crop of SORT, SORTBY, FILTER, UNIQUE, SEQUENCE and RANDARRAY are awesome and powerful, but they are just the first of many new functions that will come to Office 365 over the coming years.