New "Turn AutoSave OFF by default in Excel/PowerPoint/Word” Group Policy setting


We are replacing the “Don’t AutoSave files in Excel/PowerPoint/Word” Group Policy setting with the new “Turn AutoSave OFF by default in Excel/PowerPoint/Word” Group Policy setting (one Admin setting per app).


If you enable this new Group Policy setting, users can still turn AutoSave ON through two ways:

  • For a specific Word, Excel or PowerPoint file, they can do so by using the AutoSave toggle.
  • For all files by default, they can do so by going to File > Options > Save.


If you disable or don’t configure this policy setting, AutoSave is set to ON by default. Users can turn AutoSave OFF through the same two ways mentioned before.


Admins that have been using the previous Group Policy setting might want to set AutoSave OFF by default by using the new policy setting. Admins can also refer users to learn more about setting AutoSave ON/OFF through Microsoft Help Articles.


Learn more about Turning AutoSave ON/OFF by default


Before old Group Policy setting was removed

After old Group Policy setting is removed

Admins are able to completely disable AutoSave from Office apps (AutoSave Toggle grayed out). Users can not override this setting.

Admins are able to shut AutoSave OFF for the entire tenant, however users can turn AutoSave ON for their individual purposes or for a specific app.



Why is it changing?

Since the time we rolled out the old policy setting that allowed admins to disable/gray out the toggle, we received feedback from users wanting to have better control to turn ON/OFF AutoSave whenever they need to, such as to enable real-time co-authoring as well as avoid data loss in unexpected scenarios (e.g. power loss when working within Office). The new policy setting gives users better control over the toggle and still gives admins the ability to ON/OFF the toggle at the tenant level.


When is it changing?

Rolling out August 2019, CC.

This change does not apply to Semi-Annual Channel, since the old policy setting was never rolled out. The new policy setting outlined here was rolled out to Semi-Annual Channel in September 2018.



Note: We recommend that IT Admins who choose to deploy this Group Policy should have a user education plan in place to eventually enable cloud collaboration by default. For example, you could teach users about best practices and hold training. Once users are ready, they can switch the app setting themselves via File > Options. You could also start with rolling out the Group Policy setting with it default to OFF and then inform your users about changing the default to AutoSave ON in a specific time frame.

2 Replies

You make it sound like AutoSave is a requirement for co-authoring, which is not true.

@Vasil Michev 


AutoSave needs to be turned ON for users to experience real-time co-authoring and access features such as getting real-time updates of changes made by others to the file and seeing who else is currently editing the file.


If AutoSave is turned OFF, users will experience an older, less than optimal co-authoring experience, which means users will have to click on the Save button or the Updates Available button down in the status bar to pull changes from other co-authors. Plus the most important experiences for real time co-auth do not work, including presence & real time file updates.