[Video Tutorial]How to Recover Deleted or Unsaved PowerPoint Files?

Last Updated Date: 4, Dec 2023

A Windows user–Annik asked a question at Microsoft Community “I worked on a PPT file all day and it disappeared” and below this question, 359 users said they had experienced the same issue. Losing precious ppt files can be frustrating especially if you put a lot of effort into this PPT. Don’t worry, this post provides a comprehensive guide about losing ppt files, from why they get lost to 7 effective solutions to bring them back. Take a look!

Microsoft Community screenshot

Common Reasons for PowerPoint File Loss

To retrieve your files, we should first figure out why they “vanished” and then choose a pertinent solution. In this section, we will explore the typical factors of PowerPoint file loss.

Accidental Deletion

One of the most frequent cases of PowerPoint file loss is when users delete them in haste or by mistake.

Unsaved Files

You might easily close the PowerPoint software without saving your files when simultaneously handling multiple tasks or just forgetting to do so.

Software Crash

Technical hitches or hardware limitations may cause PowerPoint to break down suddenly, leaving you no time for data saving and backup. You might lose the latest changes to your files or even find the entire files corrupted.

How to Recover PowerPoint Files

Usually, losing your PowerPoint files doesn’t mean they “vanished” forever. As you’ve ascertained the reason behind your specific situation, you can select the most relevant and effective solution in this section.

Solution 1: Utilize the Auto-save Feature

According to Microsoft Support, AutoSave is a new feature available in Excel, Word, and PowerPoint for Microsoft 365 subscribers that saves your file automatically, every few seconds, as you work.
AutoSave feature screenshot

To bring deleted PPT files back, you can press Windows + E to open the File Explorer

file explorer in Windows 10
image source: Microsoft Support

Then choose This PC in the left panel, and then type “.asd” into the search bar.

this PC button under File Explorer

Hit Enter, and your computer will show the unsaved, recoverable files in the search results. Now you should click on the files you wish you recover, open them, and save them as usual.


Solution 2: Use Auto-recovery of PowerPoint

PowerPoint creates a temporary folder for the unsaved files you were working on. You can look for your lost files in the AutoRecover File Location. Before that, you should ensure the AutoRecover option is turned on:

AutoRecover is a PowerPoint feature that attempts to recover files automatically in the event of a crash, power failure, or other unexpected application shutdown. It does this by periodically saving a copy of the file in the background. By default, AutoRecover saves a recovery file every 10 minutes.  by Microsoft Support

To check AutoRecover on Windows: Open File > Options > Save > Save Presentations > Save Auto-Recover info

Save Presentations > Save Auto-Recover info

To check AutoRecover on Mac, follow these steps: Open PowerPoint > PowerPoint Preferences > Save > Save Options > Save AutoRecover info

Solution 3: Retrieve from Windows Recycle Bin or Mac Trash

If you accidentally deleted a PowerPoint file, you can find it in Windows Recycle Bin or Mac Trash unless you empty them.

Here are the specific steps: Open the Recycle Bin or the Trash, locate and right-click on the files you wish to recover and select “Restore”. You get your files back immediately.

Solution 4: Recover from a Recent Files Folder

Don’t worry if you do not have an external backup. Both Windows and Mac have their in-built backup features, respectively File History and Time Machine. They are helpful in handling data loss due to malware, file corruption, and hardware crashes.

Windows File History

Step 1: Open the Windows menu and find the File History folder.

File History folder screenshot

Step 2: Select “Restore Personal Files”.

Restore Personal Files button

Step 3: Locate the PPT files you wish to recover and click on the green Recover button at the bottom of the box. You can get your files back in no time.


Mac Time Machine

Step 1: Open Spotlight (Command + Spacebar) and type Time Machine.

Mac Time Machine feature

Step 2: Locate the PowerPoint files you wish to restore from the available backups.

Step 3: Click on the Restore button.

restore button

Solution 5: Restore from Windows Temporary Files Folder

Temporary Files Folder is another in-built utility of the Windows system to assist data recovery from various applications.

Step 1: You can access the folder through this path: C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Local\Temp. Or, press Win + R and type in %temp% in the Run prompt.

Restore from Windows Temporary Files Folder

Step 2: Search your files within the folder. You can filter through the results by adding these extensions: *.pptx, *.ppt, ppt*.tmp.

Step 3: Once you locate the files, you can use various ways to restore them like copying and pasting them to a place you want, opening them to save again, etc.

Solution 6: Recover by Windows CMD Prompt

CMD is another in-built feature in Windows that allows you to perform advanced administrative functions and fix various system issues, including data recovery. It’s a little more technical than other methods but can be very effective. We will look at two methods with CMD.

Method 1 (Only to retrieve your data)

Step 1: Press Win + R to open the Run dialog box. Type CMD and then press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to run Command Prompt as an administrator.

run CMD

Step 2: Type ‘drive letter’>attrib -h -r -s /s /d *.* (e.g., F:\>attrib -h -r -s /s /d *.*) and hit Enter. Please replace ‘drive letter’ with the letter of the drive where your PPT files were located. This command will recover all your files, like PPT and videos, from the drive. They’ll be restored to a newly created folder in the drive.

windows cmd.exe

Below’s a video guide for your convenience:

Method 2 (To repair the disk and restore your data)

Step 1: Run Command Prompt as an administrator.

Step 2: Once the Command Prompt window appears, type chkdsk ‘drive letter’: /f /r /x (e.g. chkdsk d: /f /r /x) and hit Enter. The data will be restored to a newly created folder in the drive.

Check the video guide if you have any difficulties in this.

Solution 7: Resort to Professional Data Recovery Software

If you don’t bother to follow all the above-mentioned methods, it is okay because there is a myriad of novice-friendly and time-saving data recovery software on your call. ONERECOVERY  is one of the most effective and economical options.

ONERECOVERY is capable of retrieving your lost ppt files in many scenarios, such as accidental deletion, hard drive failure, a computer OS crash, and virus attacks, and it boasts a success rate of 95%.

Besides, it’s a user-friendly ppt data recovery software as you only need 3 steps to retrieve lost ppt files. Select a location to start, scan your computer, and then preview and recover the lost data.

3 steps to recover lost data with ONERECOVERY

If you need help, you can reach out to their 24/7 online tech consults via email at: support@maxmini.online. Interested? ONERECOVERY will soon be available for all users. Take advantage of its FREE TRIAL for an entire month to see if it’s the right fit for your recovery needs!

Protecting Your Files in Daily Life

Having navigated through the ordeal of losing and then recovering your PowerPoint files, it’s crucial to take steps to prevent such incidents from happening again. Here, we’ll share key tips to safeguard your files and other data types in your daily life.

Regular Backups

Making backups on a regular basis is the most effective and convenient way to keep your data safe and sound. You can do this with an external drive, cloud storage, or both. Some software also provides automatic data backup services.

Close PowerPoint Properly

No matter how many tasks you are handling at a time, and no matter how hasty you are, always make sure you close PowerPoint and shut down your computer properly. Otherwise, your files might be corrupted.


Is it possible to recover a PowerPoint file deleted from OneDrive?

Yes, OneDrive keeps deleted files in the Recycle Bin for a certain period. You can navigate to the Recycle Bin in OneDrive online and restore deleted PowerPoint files from there. Besides, you may also be able to recover deleted ppt files from a version that was automatically saved. Here’s the step-by-step guidance.

  1. Open PowerPoint.
  2. Click File, then Open.
  3. Click Recover Unsaved Presentations.
  4. Select your unsaved presentation and click Open.

What steps can I take to recover an unsaved PowerPoint file on Mac?

In PowerPoint for Mac, check the AutoRecover folder. Navigate to “Users[username]\Library\Application Support\Microsoft\Office\OfficeVersion\Office [App Name] AutoRecovery” to find unsaved files.

Wrap up

The loss of important PowerPoint files can be daunting, but with the right knowledge and tools, you can find them quickly and effectively. Figure out the root cause of your loss and bring your lost ppt file from the 7 solutions we have provided. Remember, also back up your data!

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