Office 365 AutoSave to OneDrive - how to choose the folder location where a new document is stored?

Brass Contributor

In any Office 365 application, such as Word, Excel or PowerPoint, the titlebar shows an "AutoSave" button. Upon turning this function on, a dialog pops up where you choose which OneDrive to save the document to, and where you enter a name for the file. See screenshots below.


However, this dialog does not allow choosing in which folder on the OneDrive you want to save the document. All files get saved automatically in the "OneDrive/Documents" default folder.


Is there a way to change the behavior of Office apps, so that the user can select in which folder on the OneDrive the file will be stored in by AutoSave?



Click AutoSave buttonClick AutoSave buttonSelect OneDriveSelect OneDrive

Selection of folder on OneDrive not possible.Selection of folder on OneDrive not possible.



42 Replies
AFAIK no! There is no settings in the office settings pane except enabling the auto save to onedrive! It is saved to the root of the onedrive only!
I’m not aware of any registry settings etc for this!

I’d suggest creating a request on onedrive uservoice:
What about saving the file in the location you want and them enable the Autosave?
Also move it in your Onedrive from the root folder :)
But it would be nice to have the option to browse since it does have this functionality to choose to save it to onedrive when autosave is turned on anyway

@Juan Carlos González Martín Yes, this obviously works indeed. My request here is specifically to allow selecting a folder, for any new document which has not been saved yet, when clicking the AutoSave button.

Why are you clicking AutoSave for a document that has not been saved yet. Just save it where you want it to go and as long as its OneDrive or SharePoint Online it will turn on AutoSave for you
I fully understand using "Save as" is an option as well.

However, since clicking the AutoSave button for a document which has not been saved yet exhibits the behavior I described, I feel it has merit to suggest logical improvements to that behavior.

Moreover, I would really use it the way I am suggesting, and am aware that many other users would too (based on anecdotal evidence).



I have the same problem. At the moment I have about 100 documents all in root of OneDrive. That is "bull**bleep**", sorry! :(

Just out of interest - when you saved any one of these 100 documents and clicked the Save To OneDrive option - where did you think they would be saved to given that it does not ask for a folder or default location?

@Brian Reid 

Word should ask to which folder in OneDrive I wanted to save the document in. If there exists none I should be asked to create new one.

@Brian Reid There should be an option for selecting the folder during AutoSave as this improves functionality not, diminish it. It's a general habit to work on a doc before one has decided to name it.

@Paul_Van_CotthemAlthough you can't change the default folder for OneDrive in Office AutoSave there is a way to change the OneDrive folder WITHIN Word/Excel/Powerpoint itself but only AFTER you have saved it by any name.


To do this first AutoSave your file to OneDrive:



Once saved, click the Menu option for Version history on the same bar as AutoSave in Word:




Then click the >Location drop down - This tab also shows the OneDrive folder where your file has been saved by default and then in the next window you can move it wherever you want:




It's really typical and frustrating that Microsoft doesn't provide an option for something as basic as selecting a DEFAULT folder for AutoSave!! 




Dear All


As this discussion thread talks about "Auto Save" feature of Office 365, I just want to understand whether this Auto Save feature has any connection to the OneDrive Sync GPO "Coauthor and share in Office desktop apps".


We have disabled this OneDrive sync client GPO due to slowness of opening the documents from sync location, this Auto Save feature is greyed out by default. When we enabled this GPO, the Auto Save feature is enabled. 


But, the weird thing is that after we disabled again the GPO, the Auto Save feature is disabled (not greyed out) by default and option to enabled in the individual documents.


Can someone faced this issue or really this GPO affect the Auto Save functionality. Need your experts advice here.



Chandrasekaran C N

Thank you f1demon for this work-around. This has been driving me batty for several days. I agree, AutoSave should just give users the ability to select the location initially, rather than having to move the file after it's already saved. I have been trying to get files already in subfolders in OneDrive to open and auto-save to their original locations on a new (to me, anyway) PC, and they were all going as new copies into the Documents root folder instead. Now, at least, I can create copies this way and move them as needed. I greatly appreciate your input to this thread.

@Brian Reid I, like most sane people would expect it to save back to the Onedrive folder it was opened from, not the root of Onedrive.

A quick test has shown that the file will only save to the source folder if it is opened from the Onedrive folder, I use a NAS and sync my Onedrive to this.
I save folders to the NAS which in turn uploads to the Onedrive web client.



Thank you for your input, which I do appreciate, but....


The original files are in subfolders within the OneDrive hierarchy. When I open them, AutoSave is off. When I turn it back on, it opens a little box asking me to select the folder to auto-save to, and the only option is the root OneDrive folder. This has happened consistently, regardless of what files I work with. I've used OneDrive to store my documents for years.


Note that, at least in my case, this is only happening on the laptop I recently upgraded to Windows 8.1 from Windows 7. In Windows 7, the files always saved to the original folder and overwrote the original, as far as I can recall. On my Mac, AutoSave also saves to the original file location.


The laptop in question is a backup/portable system that I need to keep in sync with the desktop (the Mac).


I see no logical reason that we can't simply select the original folder location (which is already in OneDrive) when turning on AutoSave.  I've taken to just ignoring AutoSave and going back to manually saving my work frequently as I go.


@f1demon  Thanks, this resolved the issue I had, where auto save insisted the file was located in the default document folder root.  If I moved it in OneDrive the Auto Save was disabled again and I was going around in circles!! 


However, changing the location in Word as you described worked ok !

@Muzzo4444 Sadly this did not work for me. When I change it's location using the bar at the top, and then close the file and re-open it within that location, the auto-save is no longer turned on. And when I turn it on, it asks me to re-upload it again and puts it right back in the default Documents folder. This is pretty disappointing behavior and I don't believe it always worked this way. I'm not sure if this is the intended behavior but it discourages use of AutoSave (including for collaborating on documents) because I can't find a simple way to turn saving on and off. 

@TurnerWFU If I open the document from the folder structures or from onedrive, I see the same behaviour as you - the doc will not Auto Save if it is not in the default folder.    To resolve this, I always open the document from within the application.  For example, if you are using Word,  open the document from the File/Home/Recent list, Auto Save will then work irrespective of the folder the document was last saved in.