Workaround AutoSave for MS Office 2021


Do you have any questions like:

  • Change word autosave to a cloud drive
  • Change word autosave in regedit
  • Change word autosave to Dropbox in Regedit
  • Why can I not change AutoSave to a Cloud Drive?
  • How do I save from Word to Dropbox?
  • How do I change the AutoSave location in Word?
  • I want my documents to autosave without having to use OneDrive

Using Microsoft's Autorecover and Dropbox or OneDrive, we were able to resolve the problem.

Have you seen the statement from Microsoft:

“AutoSave is only available if you have an active Microsoft 365 subscription.”

Stated differently, they are making an effort to get you to use Office 365 (Cloud).

See the Microsoft Help page:
Microsoft Office Autosave

Something to think about...

It’s a shift in their business model. Moving from traditional software purchases to subscription-based services like Office 365 can be seen as a strategic move by companies like Microsoft to adapt to changing technology landscapes and consumer preferences.

Subscription-based models offer continuous updates, cloud storage, and often additional features or services. While it might seem like a significant change, it also gives users more flexibility, regular updates, and the ability to access their files from various devices.

However, concerns about control and ongoing payments are valid points to consider. Storing files on a cloud drive managed by the service provider does mean relying on their infrastructure. It’s a trade-off between convenience, access, and control versus ownership and one-time payments.

Users must weigh these factors and decide what suits their needs best regarding cost, convenience, and data control. Sometimes, it might mean exploring alternatives or sticking to traditional software if that aligns better with one’s preferences and requirements.

Now, back to the article…

Don't Panic

It is one of the marketing tactics used to force everyone to get a Microsoft OneDrive account.

PS: This solution below may be transformed into a Local Network or portable USB disk. This option, however, will not save your data on the cloud or off-site but in your office or residence. So, a burning or collapse of your building could be loss of backup.

How to Utilise Dropbox for an AutoSave Solution with Microsoft's Autorecover

Losing work due to sudden breakdowns or power outages can be a nightmare, especially when using products like Microsoft Word that rely on Autorecover yet lack a built-in AutoSave capability. However, with a bit of creativity and the power of Dropbox or OneDrive, you can transform Autorecover into a useful AutoSave tool.

Understanding Autorecover & Its Limitations

Microsoft Office 2021 and previous versions of apps, like Word, frequently have an Autorecover option that saves your work at regular intervals. However, this capability primarily acts as a backup method in case of a program shutdown or crash. It does not guarantee real-time saving, making your recent modifications vulnerable to loss in a system failure.

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Leveraging Dropbox or OneDrive for Real-time AutoSave

Integrating Dropbox or OneDrive can be a game changer in overcoming this constraint and avoiding data loss. Here’s how you use Dropbox alongside Microsoft Word to set up an AutoSave system:

Step 1: Set Up Dropbox

  • If you haven’t already, install Dropbox on your computer and sign in to your account.

Step 2: Locate the Autorecover Folder

  • Find the Autorecover folder location on your system. Typically, it’s within the AppData folder for Microsoft Office. For example, in Windows, the path might be something like: C:\Users\YourUsername\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Word.

Step 3: Redirect Autorecover to Dropbox

  • Move the Autorecover folder to your Dropbox directory. This action effectively syncs the Autorecover files with Dropbox.

Step 4: Symbolic Link (Optional)

  • Create a symbolic link (symlink) from the original Autorecover folder to the new Dropbox location. This step ensures that Word still accesses the files seamlessly while they’re being saved in Dropbox.

Set Autorecover Interval: Locate the Autorecover settings and adjust the interval to a desired frequency (e.g., every 5 or 1 minute). This ensures that Microsoft Office applications automatically save temporary copies of your work at specified intervals.

The same setup applies to OneDrive.

Microsoft Word AutoSave Dropbox by OBCG Media
Dropbox Autorecover
Microsoft Word AutoSave OneDrive by OBCG Media
OneDrive Autorecover

Benefits of Dropbox Integration

When you combine Autorecover and Dropbox, you effectively turn a periodic backup process into a near-real-time AutoSave capability. Dropbox’s syncing features ensure that your changes are regularly updated and securely saved in the cloud, reducing the risk of data loss due to system failures or unexpected downtime.

Precautions and Recommendations

  • Internet Connectivity: Ensure a stable internet connection for Dropbox sync to work effectively.

  • File Conflicts: Avoid conflicts if simultaneously editing the same file across multiple devices.


Microsoft’s Autorecover capability protects against unforeseen disruptions, but it falls short of real-time autosave capabilities. Integrating Dropbox fills this gap by guaranteeing that your work is always saved and backed up, providing peace of mind and considerably lowering the chance of losing critical data.

With this simple yet efficient workaround, you may increase the dependability of your work when using Microsoft Office products, protecting yourself from potential calamities and optimizing your productivity.

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