Opening files and having changes being saved

Copper Contributor

I have a question about an experience a team member had where she opened an excel docs, made changes and then it didn't save them in teams, but gave her the option to save as. I'm trying to figure out how the changes were not saved. And if opening files in various ways can cause that. Is this correct or not?


  1. Edit it teams: Edits made will be saved in the doc on teams
    Open in browser: Edits will be saved in the teams doc
    Open in Desktop App: Word opens and edits will not be saved in document on teams  you will end up with a separate doc.
    Open in Sharepoint: Edits will be saved in the document on teams
    Download: Creates a separate document. Your edits will not be in the document on teams you will end up with a separate doc.
16 Replies

@cepasqua are you using the default SPO document library for the files, or one of the 3rd party stored like Box?


In general, it does not matter how you open the file, edits will be saved automatically and new file versions generated every few minutes. 

The files are all in our Microsoft teams channel. @Dean Gross 

So are you saying that no matter how you open it changes should be saved in the original document? 

@cepasqua Files are not actually stored in Teams, they are stored in another system, typically SharePoint, but it can also be an external system like Box. The Files tab in each channel is pointing to these other systems, in most cases it is pointing to a folder in SharePoint online that has the same name as the Channel and which is created in the default document library in the SPO site that was created automatically when the Team was created. 


Yes that is what I'm saying, for files that are stored in the default location (the SPO folder for each channel) the file does not care how it was opened. The Office Web Apps and the Office client apps will all save the file automatically as it is being edited and no new file will be created (unless the file was manually Checked Out by another user- and in this case a warning message will be displayed)

Thank you very much for the clarification@Dean Gross 

Not all true, it should work that way assuming you are using the latest versions of proplus and everyone else in the team is as well with auto save support.

Users can also open the files in the desktop app and turn off auto save. This essentially locks the file from others editing at that point until they save and close the file.

When I open an excel file in the desktop app excel loads, but the file never shows up. For some reason we don't have the autosave option visible@Chris Webb 

what version of office do you have? In Excel File > Account > About. Seems you guys might still be on an older client, which will lock files anytime you open them and not allow web / teams to edit them real time. Basically acts like old school days.

Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2013@Chris Webb 

Yeah, without Proplus or maybe office 2016/19, not sure if those support it or not tbh. But ProPlus def. has it. Otherwise, when anyone opens files they will be locked. You will also probably be restricted often when someone is editing files via web/teams and try to open with desktop app. Doesn't quite work as nicely when using older office clients unfortunately.

Yes, we have had some team members work on files and then when they try to save they get a message that they can only save as as they have to re-do their work directly in the file in teams@Chris Webb 

Yup, it's due to the files being in use and opening in read only mode. Older clients don't recognize it well either. You might be better off utilizing check/in/out using older clients, or just telling folks only open in the clients only or other way around. If you use the SharePoint interface for files you can set the default open method. Hoping when the files tab gets replaced here "real soon" we'll still be able to utilize that setting, then you might be able to just force desktop edit or web edit's only.

Thank you for that clarification. My team member was thinking she was going crazy as all of the help items/training's I looked up trying to investigate acted like this was not possible.@Chris Webb 

@cepasqua Were you able to remedy this problem?  I am having the same issue today with files my team members are sharing. Different ways of opening and not saving and having to rework.  I have done all of the things recommended in the discussion and more and cannot for the life of me figure out why this is happening randomly.

Do you know if we're able to set a default file location for the back up files after editing? For example I want them to save in a "Backup" folder. Another questions do you know if we're able to have previous versions embedded in the same file, similar to how Procore works? Where you can view previous versions directly through the same file by clicking on the version you want @cepasqua 

Did you ever figure this out. We are dealing with the same scenario with powerpoint and one of our users wants to kill us. It appears to be autosaving, but then stops at some point while working on the document (in native app).
I've had the same issue with sharing a powerpoint in a Teams meeting, updating it . . . being prompted to save it at the end of the meeting and it then disappearing . . . any ideas???